On Saturday, January 4, 2020, Judith Ann Sparks passed away at age 83 at Mercy Hospital in Des Moines following a brief illness. Judy lived in Oskaloosa, Iowa for the majority of her life and moved to Grundy Center, Iowa in August of 2015 to be closer to family.

She was born February 4, 1936, in Pella, daughter of Gary and LaVelle DeReus. She graduated from Pella High School in 1954. She married Dennis Sparks on January 30, 1958. He passed away August 22, 1978; after which she invested her time and energy in her children. Judy was a lifelong member of Community of Christ Church.

Judy was a devoted Mother, Grandmother, and Great-Grandmother. She supported her children’s athletic involvement and was a vocal fan at games – no matter if her kids were players or managers. Later she supported her grandchildren and then her great grandchildren by attending soccer games, track meets, school programs, church programs, and music and dance recitals, just to name a few.

Judy worked at Wal-Mart in Pella and Oskaloosa, retiring after 30 years of service in January of 2015. She enjoyed contact with the public and especially enjoyed the close friendships she developed with her co-workers. Judy loved Elvis Pressley and traveled with friends a number of times to Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee. She enjoyed time boating and camping and trips to Colorado and to the House on the Rock. Later in life she often emulated another great entertainer and had many “Garth Brooks days” – when she took the entire day to rest.

Judy loved bright colors, especially purple, and had an astonishing array of colorful Crocs. She made every attempt to match clothing and was often successful, but when she was not the result was at least interesting.

Survived by: three sons, Chris (Rusti) of Reinbeck, Brad (Jeannie) of Oskaloosa, John of Ames, and a daughter Julie (Matt) of Marshalltown; numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and dear friends and adopted grandchildren.

Preceded in death by: Her parents Gary and LaVelle, a sister Joyce Ford, and her niece Kathy.

Memorial services: 11 a.m. Saturday February 1, at the Community of Christ Church in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Visitation will be from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at the church. Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to Community of Christ Church, Waterloo Congregation, where she had been an active member for the last few years.

Judy loved time with her family and above all else spending time with them. She had an unshakable faith in God and trusted His plan for her life.

Online condolences may be expressed at

Service Details

Saturday, February 1, 2020
9:30 am to 11:00 am
Community of Christ Church
330 N. 6th Street
Oskaloosa, Iowa
Saturday, February 1, 2020
11:00 am
Community of Christ Church
330 N. 6th Street
Oskaloosa, Iowa
Hamilton's Crematory
Des Moines
Hamilton's Funeral Home
605 Lyon Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50309
(515) 243-5221

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