SOUTH HUTCHINSON — Laura “Lou” Sparkman, 92, beloved wife, mom, and teacher, died April 14, 2017, of natural causes at the Mennonite Friendship Community in South Hutchinson.
Lou was born in 1924 in Emporia, to Alexander H. and Addaline (Lillibridge) Daum. Lou first taught in 1943 at a country school near Madison when she was 19 years old. She married Henry Lee Polansky a year later. When she lost her husband in the war, she returned to Emporia where she would get degrees from the Emporia State Teacher’s College.
She moved to Hutchinson in 1950 to teach at Morgan School and taught kindergarten. In 1953, she left Hutchinson to become Mrs. Carl Sparkman and the mother of Carl’s two sons, Dean and Gene. She became a wonderful mother while continuing to teach for nine years at Eisenhower, Jefferson and Washington schools in Great Bend.
In 1963, she returned to Hutchinson and started at Roosevelt Elementary School. She taught for 37 years, 33 of them being kindergarten and four being first and second grade.
As Lou would say “I hope that all of my children will explore the world on their own as I had taught them. With wonder, and with love.”
In addition to the many generations that Lou taught and influenced as a teacher, she will be remembered for her unconditional love to her family, her loyal friendship, her kindness and her terrific sense of humor.
Lou is survived by, her stepson, Dean Sparkman and wife Janet, Minneapolis, Minn.; daughter-in-law, Sharon Sparkman; grandchildren, Gretchen, Ed, Nettie, and Elliott; and two great-grandchildren, Heidi and Aine.
She was preceded in death by, her parents; step-father, both of her husbands, Henry Lee Polansky and Carl Eugene Sparkman Sr.; infant son, Carl Henry Polansky; and stepson, Gene Sparkman.
Funeral service will be held at 2:30 p.m. Friday at Elliott Mortuary in Hutchinson with Pastor Matt Stafford officiating. Family will greet friends at 1:30 p.m. Friday, prior to the funeral. Burial will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday in the Great Bend Cemetery.
Friends may call from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday at Elliott Mortuary in Hutchinson. Memorials may be made to Mennonite Friendship Communities, in care of the funeral home.
Funeral arrangements provided by
1219 N. Main
Hutchinson, KS 67501
Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, April 19, 2017