Wesley Perle Sparks was born on January 6, 1927 to Frances Floressa Sparks and Perle Sparks. Wesley was the light of his parents’ life. He graduated from Novelty High School and was promptly drafted into the U.S. Army, where he served in the occupation forces in Nagasaki, Japan at the end of World War II. After honorably serving his country, he attended the Northeast Missouri State Teachers’ College at Kirksville, MO, graduating with a Bachelor and Masters Degree in Music Education. Wesley subsequently acquired his first teaching position at Knox City, MO. While teaching at Knox City, Wesley met Wanda Benner, who he later married. Out of this union, came two children, Constance and Terry. Wesley taught music at various schools in Iowa and Missouri throughout his 35-year career and eventually retired from the Ferguson-Florissant School System in St. Louis County. It should be noted that while his vocation was teaching, farming was his true love. During his summer teaching breaks, Wesley repeatedly returned to the family farm near Hurdland, Missouri to assist his father in planting and harvesting the crops and working with the animals. After retirement from teaching, Wesley and Wanda left St. Louis and moved to Kirksville. During this time he expanded the family farm with more acreage and a larger herd of Anqus cattle. He also enjoyed the new friendships that he made in Kirksville. He especially enjoyed travelling with the Senior Songsters and other singing groups in Kirksville. Wesley was a member of The Church of God Holiness Church in Kirksville, MO and had many good friends there.
Wesley is survived by his wife, Wanda; his daughter, Constance and son-in-law, John Toler; his son, Terry and daughter-in-law, Cheryl; his Grandchildren, Laura and husband, David; Ryan and wife, Adie; Shawn and wife, Aubrey; and Eric and wife, Jenna. In addition, he is survived by 12 Great Grandchildren and special friends.
A private family graveside service will be held on Friday, July 3, 2020 at Park View Memorial Gardens in Kirksville, MO.
Arrangements are in the care of Davis-Playle-Hudson-Rimer Funeral Home of Kirksville, MO.