James Thomas Sparks

Apr 15th, 1923 - Oct 27th, 2017


Blue Funeral Home (Marion)

Wed, Nov. 1st, 2017 11am


Blue Funeral Home (Marion)

Wed, Nov. 1st, 2017 1pm

James Thomas Sparks

Johnston City-James Thomas Sparks, 94, passed away on Friday, October 27, 2017 at his home.

James was born on April 15, 1923 to Everett and Sallie Sparks in Logan, IL. Being raised in West Frankfort, he had two sisters and one brother; Louise Sparks Fleming, Robert E. Sparks and Nevella Sparks Donley, all of which preceded him in death.

He married Betty Jane Smith on January 24, 1942. In this marriage they had 12 children.

Preceding him in death were his parents; wife, Betty; daughters, Sally Sparks Reed and Sara Sparks Barnard; grandson, Cody Ray Casey; granddaughter, Jennifer Reed White; great grandson, Tyler White; great-great grandson, Beckett Sparks; son in laws, Jeff Reed and Wally Swingle;  and daughter in law, Kim Sparks.

James is survived by five sons and five daughters:

James Robert Sparks

Sandra Sue Fulton (Richard)

Stephen Allen Sparks

Stephanie Ann Salva (Joe)

Susan Kay Swingle

Samuel Stewart Sparks (Marsha)

Stanford Marshall Sparks

Sonya Rene Reed (Wesley)

Cynthia Janet Winters (Wayman)

Christopher Michael Sparks

Numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren and one great-great grandchildren.

James served in the U.S. Coast Guard during WWII, serving in the Southwest Pacific. He retired from the Illinois Department of Corrections at the age of 62.

James was born into the family of God at the age of 28 in the year of 1951. His new life in Christ started in an underground coal mine (Old Ben #8) where he worked.  After having given his life to the Lord, he attended Great Lakes Bible Institute in Zion.  He felt the call of God to evangelize the end time prophecies.  James never belonged to any denomination, yet he belonged to Jesus Christ.

He created a prophetic chart in the basement of his mother’s home and it was his passion to preach using the chart. James traveled to various churches in several states teaching the end times in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee.  Many times traveling, (as he put it) living on a shoe string but God always provided.  James also taught classes on this chart at SIU Student Center.  He made his chart in 1953 and he kept it and used it on various occasions until his death.

James will be greatly missed yet he is with his wife and family and most importantly with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ shouting on the streets of gold.

The family would like to give a special thanks to grandson Eric Travelstead and dear friend Debbie Fowler for all their extraordinary care they gave him over the past several years.

Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 at 1pm at Blue Funeral Home in Marion with Brother Richard Peck officiating. Burial will follow at Lakeview Cemetery in Johnston City.  Visitation will be on Wednesday from 11am until the time of service at the funeral home.

For more information or to sign the memorial guest register, please visit bluefuneralhome.com

9 Guestbook Messages

  • Guest: Michael Stalker

    From: Buckley, Michigan

    Date: October 28, 2017

    Brother Sparks’s influence on my life began on the 15th floor of Schneider Hall at SIU in 1972. I was a student and he was a custodian there at the time. Surely, he was an answer to my prayers. I was so interested in his teaching and love for the Lord that I skipped class on several occasions just to hear him speak with me while he worked. The Lord used him mightily to help establish me in the faith. I particularly remember his boldness in the Lord when confronted with the powers of darkness. What a man of God he was! And what an honor to have been mentored by him for a few years. We know where he is now … I trust he will save a seat for me there. Praise the Lord.

  • Guest: Debra Fowler

    From: Johnston , Illinois

    Date: October 28, 2017

    He was my buddy for many years and he will be greatly missed😓

  • Guest: Sandy, #2 and oldest daughter of 10 + 2

    From: Tallahassee, FL, Illinois

    Date: October 28, 2017

    Well pops you didn’t live long enough to be physically here on earth when the Rapture takes place; but you now know what he feels like
    over yonder. Thanks for recording the song the night before you passed away: WHAT WILL IT BE WHEN WE GET OVER YONDER. Thanks to Cindy for the video.
    Thanks for the good memories over the past 6 decades.
    See ya’ and momma, Sally, Sara and the others soon. Tell Jesus hello and hug Him real good and thank Him for dying for my sins.
    Love, your oldest girl, Sandy

  • Guest: Sonya Reed

    From: Johnston City, Illinois

    Date: October 29, 2017

    Prayers for healing and peace to all my siblings. Love you all…..all family members.
    Numbers 6:24-26

    24 “The Lord bless you and keep you;
    25 The Lord make His face shine upon you,
    And be gracious to you;
    26 The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
    And give you peace.”’

    SonaBabe/Buttercup( Sonya Reed)

  • Guest: Tonnie Nordmeyer

    From: Marion, Illinois

    Date: October 29, 2017

    My thoughts and prayers are with you all in this time,May God hold you all tight as you lay your loved in to rest.

  • Guest: Rodger & Angie (Powers) West

    From: Marion, Illinois

    Date: October 30, 2017

    Our condolences to the entire Sparks family.

  • Guest: Roger & Debbie Moore

    From: Kirksville , Missouri

    Date: October 31, 2017

    Our condolences to the Spark family. May God’speace be with you all.

  • Guest: Deb Tuck

    From: Bethlehem, New Hampshire

    Date: October 31, 2017

    I have some very fond memories at “the farm” with all the family, especially during the holidays. He is finally home.

  • Guest: Debra Fowler

    From: , Illinois

    Date: October 31, 2017

    He was a friend n buddy to me for a long and he will be greatly missed