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News archive for the Otoe-Missouria Tribe of Oklahoma

Julia Butler Sparks

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Julia Mahalia Butler Sparks died March 12, 2011 at Lake Point Nursing Home, Augusta, Kansas, after suffering a stroke. Funeral services are scheduled for 2 p.m., Tuesday, March 15, 2011 at the Rindt-Erdman Funeral Home, Arkansas City, Kansas. Interment will follow in the Washunga Cemetery in Newkirk. The family received friends on Monday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the funeral home.

Julia was born to Thomas Andrew and Mary Anna Butler. She was the eldest of thirteen children. She attended Chilocco Indian School from age 9 until she graduated. While there she played sports and ran track. Julia was married October 1, 1938 to Clarence L. Sparks in Newkirk. They had three children. The couple made their home in Arkansas City, after their marriage until Mr. Sparks purchased a 17 ft. home-made trailer. They followed construction jobs throughout the midwest, settling in the Kansas City area for about five years. They eventually moved to Wichita where Mr. Sparks started their construction business known as Sparks Excavating. Julia did all the clerical work for the company. They returned to Arkansas City in the 1970s, living there until their deaths. Julia was very proud of her Indian heritage and enjoyed attending pow-wows. She was an elder in the Otoe-Missouria tribe at the time of her death. Julia enjoyed dancing, fishing, and hunting.

As her health failed she lived at Lake Point Assisted Living in Augusta. Kansas, where she was affectionately named the “social butterfly.” She was always helping those less capable around her. Julia always said her children were her life. She was surrounded by family and friends in her final days and those times were filled with lots of laughter (and tears). She will be greatly missed.

Survivors include: son, Richard L. Sparks, of Wichita, daughters, Charlene Klein, of Arkansas City, and Beverly Funk, of Wichita, nine grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Clarence Sparks; brothers, Benny Butler Sr., Carl Butler Sr., and Billy Dale; two infant brothers; sisters, Thomasine Waymire, Etheleen McGlaslin, and Kathleen Marvel; and three great-grandchildren.

ยป Originally published in the Ponca City News.

Submitted by BrokenClaw

March 17th, 2011 at 11:48 am

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