Return to Class of 1953

Vera Irene (Cowman) Sparks, age 86, of Knoxville, Iowa, passed away on Friday, January 28, 2022, at the Comfort House in Pella, Iowa.

Visitation will be held on Friday, February 4, 2022, at the Winfield Funeral Home in Knoxville, beginning at 4:00 P.M. Vera’s family will be present from 5:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. to greet friends and relatives.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, February 5, 2022, at 10:00 A.M. at the funeral home. Burial will take place at Graceland Cemetery in Knoxville. Following burial, a luncheon will be held at A & P Pub, also in Knoxville.

Vera was born on December 19, 1935, in Knoxville, Iowa, the daughter of Ernest and Martha (Wallace) Cowman. She grew up in Knoxville and graduated from Knoxville High School. Vera started working at the Grand Theater in Knoxville when she was a sophomore in high school. She was affectionately known as the “Popcorn Lady”. During the summers, she worked at the drive-in movie theater.

Vera was also employed at the Knoxville schools and was known there as the “Ticket Lady”. Vera worked at Northstar Elementary School and then at the Jr. High School.

Vera was united in marriage to Richard Lee Sparks on February 29, 1968, in Knoxville, Iowa. They shared over 46 years of marriage together before Richard’s passing on January 6, 2015. Vera and Richard were blessed with three children: Mary, Heather, and Buffy.

Vera liked to read and especially spend time with her family. Vera also liked feeding the squirrels that would come around her yard. Some of the squirrels would even come up to her door and take food from her hand.

Vera is survived by her children, Mary Mathews-Slone and husband Vic of Des Moines, Heather Welch and husband Bryan of Adel, and Buffy Farley and husband Mike of Sheboygan Falls, WI; three grandchildren, Brennyn Sparks, Caitlin Lamb and husband Zac, and Draven Welch; and two great-grandchildren, Kaia and Jayda.

Vera is also survived by her siblings, Howard Cowman, Gary Cowman and wife Delores, and Dorothy Carter and husband Roger.Vera Cowman

Vera is preceded in death by her parents, Ernest and Martha Cowman; husband, Richard Sparks; son, Joseph Miller; brother, Eugene Cowman; and sister-in-law, Linda Cowman.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given in Vera’s memory to the Grand Theater or Comfort House in Pella.