Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

January 20, 2014

Ernest “Pete” Sparks - 1937-2014

Steen Funeral Home-13th Street Chapel
The Independent

ASHLAND — Ernest “Pete” Sparks, 76, of Ashland, moved on to his heavenly reward on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, in Community Hospice Care Center in Ashland following a brief illness. He constructed many homes in this life, but now resides in a place prepared for him.

Pete was born Sept. 5, 1937, in Ashland, a son of the late Charles and Anna Martin Sparks. He was also preceded in death by a brother, Jim Sparks, and two sisters, Ethel Elam and Charlotte Boward.

Pete was a 1955 graduate of Russell High School, although he grew up in Westwood, prior to the establishment of Fairview High School. He was well known for his masonry skills and worked on numerous homes and buildings throughout the area. He retired from AK Steel in 1995. He enjoyed his years working in the masonry department and keeping in touch with his co-workers and friends. However, Pete was best known for his smile, wit and constant music in his heart. He shared the gospel in song for many years throughout the area. He had a song on his lips even near the time of his homecoming. His joy included the music that continues through his wife, children and grandchildren. He was a former member of Westwood Enterprise Baptist Church and a member of Central Free Will Baptist Church in Huntington, W.Va., at the time of his death.

Those left to celebrate his life and cherish his memory include his devoted wife of 54 years, Andrea “Sue” McGuire Sparks; four children, David Ernest (Debbie) Sparks of Somerset, Kathy Jane (Randy) Skaggs, Brian Edward (Stacey) Sparks and Christopher Eric (Jennifer) Sparks, all of Ashland. Additionally, he leaves five sisters, Edith Blankenship, Allene Adkins, Martha Stallings, Doris Gallaher and Gladys Hoffman. Pete also had nine grandchildren who dearly loved their papaw, Candice Baugh, Justin Sparks, Nicholas Skaggs, Nathan Skaggs, Hannah Skaggs, Reagan Sparks, Eric Sparks, Emma Sparks and Elise Sparks. He is also survived by several sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, cousins, nieces and nephews who dearly loved him.

A celebration of his life will take place at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, at Westwood Baptist Church (formerly Enterprise Baptist) by Pastor Steve Williams and Pastor Ed Cook. Burial will be in Rose Hill Burial Park in Ashland.

Friends may call from 6 to 9 p.m. today at Steen Funeral Home-13th Street Chapel in Ashland and after 10 a.m. Wednesday at the church.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Community Hospice, 1480 Carter Ave., Ashland, KY 41101.  

Condolences may be sent to steenfuneralhome.com.