Valera Dodson Sparks, a longtime resident of Commerce, peacefully passed away March 15, 2013, in Arlington.
Mrs. Sparks was born on Jan. 16, 1921, — a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, and friend, who will surely be missed by all who knew her.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 49 years, W.J. Sparks, on April 26, 1989; her mother; father; two brothers and one sister.
She is survived by her three sons, Joe Sparks (Phyllis) of Arlington, Jerry Sparks (Marilyn) of Tyler, and Stephen Sparks (Laura) of Commerce; one daughter, Karen Sparks Vesely (Daniel) of Sealy; 10 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Mrs. Sparks graduated from East Texas State Teachers College with a bachelor of science degree in 1951 and a master’s of education degree in 1957.
She taught business at various schools in East Texas, including Cooper High School in Cooper, and finished her teaching career at East Texas State University (Texas A&M Commerce) in 1980.
After retiring from teaching, she supervised student teachers in a large area of East Texas. Later in life she did a great deal of volunteer work for the Presbyterian Hospital in Commerce, the Salvation Army and Chamber of Commerce.
She was a longtime member of the First Baptist Church in Commerce and served as secretary for the Senior Sunday School class for more than 25 years.
The famiy would like to thank the staff at Arden Courts in Arlington for their love, support and wonderful care.
Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at Commerce Funeral Home. A graveside service is set at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Rosemound Cemetery.
Online condolences may be made at www.CommerceFuneralHome.com