Obituary: Rebecca Sparks
Becky Sparks passed away on May 19, 2020 in Falmouth, Maine. She was born in Kyoto, Japan, December 29, 1921 to parents Eva and Homer Grafton, who were teachers with the YMCA. Her formative years were spent at her parents’ boys’ camp in Ontario in the summers, and a series of schools in the Midwest in the winters. She graduated from Bennington College where she majored in music, then attended Julliard School of Music after the war ended, where she met her first husband, Ken Ward. They moved to Chardon, Ohio where daughter Carol and son Craig were born.
In 1954 they moved to Colorado, settling in Aspen in 1955, where she taught piano. In 1968 after a divorce Becky moved to New England, taught physical education and music at Northfield/Mount Hermon schools, and then got an M.A. in early childhood education. She married John Sparks in 1972 and they spent 10 happy years together on a gentleman’s farm in Virginia and then moved to Stuart, Florida.
After Jack’s death in 1987, Becky moved to Snowmass Village to be near her son, Craig, and rekindled friendships with many Aspenites. She attended Aspen Music Festival concerts, Anderson Ranch art and photography classes, worked for Snow Cubs, volunteered for cross country ski races, was a member of PEO (an educational organization), played tennis at the Snowmass Club, downhill and cross country skied. Her artwork flourished during these years. She moved to Whitcomb Terrace in 2008 and made many friends with residents and staff. Often she would take seniors to the Maroon Bells to paint the landscapes. She snowshoed around Whitcomb Terrace into her mid-90’s.
Becky leaves behind her children, Craig Ward and Carol Ward, stepdaughters Tania Clark and Lana Leonard, their spouses, seven grandsons, and 9 great-grandchildren. Her life will be celebrated at a family gathering in Aspen/Snowmass later this summer.