On June 28, 1968, Charlene married Thomas O. Sparks; the love of her life in Granite City, Ill. Charlene had retired from General Steel after 31 years. She was a former member of Niedringhaus United Methodist Church, Granite City, Ill. Charlene enjoyed reading and gardening; her greatest joy was spending time with her family and friends.
Charlene was preceded in death by her parents, Thomas J. Ward and Lori Dexter; her loving husband, Thomas O. Sparks; son, Tom Sparks; brother, Jack Ward; sisters, Tommie Sue Paynor and Carol Lee Kilburn.
She is survived by her three loving children, Jeanette Wilson of Evansville, Ind., Carolyn (Thomas) Adamitis of San Diego, Cali. and Deborah (John) Van Buskirk of Granite City, Ill.; brother, Glenn (Jean) Ward of Winter Haven, Fla.; sister, Jacquelyn (Richard) Brown of Granite City, Ill.; daughter-in-law, Janetta Sparks of Troy, Ill.; sister-in-law, Ann Ward of Mammoth Spring, Ark.; brother-in-law, Caroll Kilburn of St. Louis, Mo.; 14 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.
In celebration of her life, funeral services were held on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, at Irwin Chapel, Granite City, Ill. with Rev. Henry Crippen officiating. Interment was in Sunset Hill Memorial Estates.
Memorial donations may be given to the First United Methodist Church, Mammoth Spring, Ark. 72554, and will be accepted at the funeral chapel. www.irwinchapel.com