Betty Sparks

Betty Sparks

Betty L. Sparks of Plainwell, Michigan, passed away Saturday, June 28, 2014 in Allegan. Betty was born November 21, 1935 in Allegan to Alva and Anna (Babbitt) Hayes.

She had worked for Wm. Crispe Hospital for 11 years and then worked for Parker Hannifin for 31 years retiring in 1998. In her leisure time she enjoyed flower gardening, wintering in Florida and playing shuffle board where she had competed in the Master’s Tournament in Palmetto, FL. More than anything she loved spending time with her family and her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

On April 21, 1973 she married Birl Sparks who preceded her in death in 2013. Surviving are her children, Gail (Floyd) Harmon of Mendon, Gordon (Jackie) Stineback of Otsego and Sandra (Steve) Harmon of Allegan; 7 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren; her sister, Peggy (Paul) Boysen of Arkansas. Preceding her in death were her parents, her husband Birl and her step-father Bill Pearson in 2014.

Friends may visit with Betty’s family from 2-4 and 6-8 P.M. Monday,June 30, 2014, at the Winkel Funeral Home, Otsego where a funeral service will take place at  11 A.M. Tuesday, July 1, 2014, with Mr. Mike Risner and Hospice Chaplain Greg Carlson officiating. Burial will follow at Oakhill Cemetery, Orangeville.

Contributions in memory of Betty may be made to the West Michigan Cancer Center or Wings Home.

Messages of condolence may be posted at

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Messages of Condolence

  1. Pat Clingenpeel says:

    Dear family…please accept my heartfelt sympathy in the loss of Betty. We all had such fun at our Friday night card games. Betty, Birl, Carol, Andy, Keith & myself. Now the 3 of you (Birl, Keith & yourself) are having a wonderful communion with our Blessed Savior. Your Mom is not suffering now & is with her loved ones once again. Good night for just a short while Betty…until we meet again….

  2. Russ & Jean Goeman says:

    In Golf Lakes we got to know Betty. She was a great christian in spite of her long battle with cancer. Our sympathy to all the family at this parting time from your dear loved one. Russ & Jean Goeman

  3. Walt and Ann Wedel says:

    We got to know Betty through Shuffleboard and living in Golf Lakes. A lovely Lady. She also belonged to the Battle Creek Shuffleboard club.

  4. Walt and Ann Wedel says:

    We got to know Betty through Golf Lakes were we lived in Bradenton, FL. We also knew her from shuffleboard in FL and also in Battle Creek MI. She dearly loved the game and we are so pleased she got to make her wish come true playing in the Amateur Masters in Bradenton this past year. She was a lovely Lady to be around also full of energy even through all her illness. She will be truly missed. Our deepest sympathies to her family. Walt and Ann Wedel

  5. Dan and Luelen Coughlin says:

    Another sweet, loving person has left this world for a better place. We will miss Betty, as we have missed Birl. They were a special couple, who even through the trials of life, showed a wonderful spirit that only our Jesus could provide. Love to the family, Dan and Luelen Coughlin

  6. David and Jana Aho says:

    Betty was a wonderful friend and neighbor to us and we will miss her. Our thoughts and sympathy are with her family.

  7. Charlie and Letha says:

    Betty and Burl belonged to our shuffleboard family of friends. Always a kind word and lots of laughs when Betty was playing. She will be missed at Golf Lakes and back home in Michigan, she was a wonderful Christian lady. Heaven is her home now, sympathy to her family.

  8. Jean and Kathy Boutwell Wilson says:

    We met Betty and Birl through shuffling. Betty loved the Lord and was more than willing to share her faith with others. She was a true Lady both in word and deed. She showed so much strength of character in competing in the Masters Tournament in April, and the standing ovation and clapping of hands from the crowd when she received her award was so touching and deserved. Deepest sympathy to those who loved her and will miss her so much.

  9. Ed & Gloria Hollander says:

    We were part of the Golf Lakes family along with Betty and Burl. A loving and caring lady who enjoyed her shuffleboard family! Our sincere condolences to her family and know she is enjoying the peace and love of our dear Savior in Heaven. Ed and Gloria Hollander

  10. Ruby Flickinger says:

    I met Betty and Birl on the shuffle courts in Florida, and then finding out they only lived a few miles from me here in Michigan. We also belonged to the same club here in Battle Creek, Mi. and traveled to other areas in Michigan, YES, to shuffle we all loved the game. Betty and I became close after Birl died last fall. During this time I was always amazed at her attitude regarding her illness. Such faith and love of the lord.
    I am so pleased she made her goal of playing in the Amateur Masters this past spring. Rest in peace my Dear Betty you will certainly be missed.

  11. Nikki Cummins says:

    I remember the day I met Mr & Mrs Sparks. It was at their Granddaughter, Heather Greig’s, home. Betty welcomed me with open arms. Even though we just met & didn’t know each other she still called me ‘honey’ and asked me to please eat something. She was a wonderful example of a lighthouse for her family. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to her entire family and all of those that were touched by Betty. She will be greatly missed by those left behind.

  12. Steve & June (Markle) Anson says:

    Peggy, Gail, Gordon, & Sandy,
    We were so sorry to hear Betty passed away. It has been many, many years since we have seen Betty. There was fun times during our high school years riding around with Peggy in Betty’s convertible. Lots of good memories. Our thoughts are with all of you at this sad time.



  14. Bill & Sherry Harrison says:

    Betty you will be dearly missed . We shared many good times together .You touched so many people with your kind heart . May your family find comfort in all the great memories you left behind and let them be there guide to get through the tough time and that you are looking down on them with your beautiful smile telling them you are ok

  15. Pauline sparks drewyor says:

    Today as I said goodbye to my wonderful sister,i wanted so much to stand up ,and say some thines,but like always I couldn’t bring myself to do it.But now I will say what I wanted to.
    When Betty first came to our family,my brother was going through a really hard time,and once he met Betty,he snapped right out of it
    for he had met his soul mate,his love of his life,from that time on he was a different person,we had our brother back,and also a wonderful sister,and when I say that I mean it,she is and always be
    one of our sisters,the last time I saw Betty,she said to me
    I love Pauline I love all you girls and the boys,she was such a great light for all the young girls at church,they all loved her so much
    one more thing you kids and grandkids can be so proud of the person your mom was,love to all the family,you will see your mom again some day,just make sure you are ready to go when your time comes.

  16. Pat Tomko says:

    I met Betty and Birl on the shuffle court in Florida. I played against Birl and got to know Betty later. What a blessing to have known that very special lady. Her faith was an inspiration to me. My deepest sympathy to the family. She fought the good fight, again and again. Rest in peace angel.

  17. Pam Kuiper says:

    Betty was a great friend to me when I needed it the most.I will never forget the support and strength she gave me when I was young and very foolish. I’m sad that I did not have the chance to tell her what she meant to me. My prayers go out to you all.

  18. Tom and Mae Kase says:

    Condolences to Betty and Birl’s family. We admired Betty for her strength through all her time of illness and was an inspiration to many.

  19. John and Nancy Ulicny says:

    We have just heard of Betty’s passing. We met Betty and Birl at Golf Lakes and through shuffling. Betty was an amazing woman, so filled with love and faith in The Lord. Our deepest sympathy to her family. We too will miss Betty. Our last memory is of Betty sitting in our living room, talking about her illness and accepting it so readily. Rest in Peace dear Betty, we know you are with Birl again.

  20. Anne Kirby says:

    I was your folk’s mail lady for many years. I enjoyed seeing them work in their gardens and selling corn beside the road. I am sorry for som many losses in your family recently.

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