Johnnie D. Sparks, 89, Ligonier, passed away at 2:08 p.m., Wednesday, May 1, 2019, at his home in Ligonier. He was born on Aug. 4, 1929, the son of Clyde Sparks and Delphi (Belcher) Payne. On Jan. 17, 1954, he married Barbara Mullins; she survives.
He is survived by two sons: Timothy Sparks of Topeka; and Johnnie Sparks of Albion; three daughters: Sharon (Ernie) Miller of Ligonier; Tammy (Harvey) Taylor of Ligonier; Mendy Myers of Virginia; 15 grandchildren; 34 great-grandchildren; and seven great-great-grandchildren; two brothers, Glenn (Patricia) Payne of W. Va.; and Bubby (Evelyn) Payne of W. Va.; two sisters: Susie Lester of Fort Wayne; and Phyllis Morris of W. Va.; and brother-in-law: Rick Madden of Leesburg.
He was preceded in death by his parents; son Paul Sparks; daughter Diana Shearer; one grandchild; two great-grandchildren; brother Jack Sparks; and a sister Elaine Madden
He served his country honorably in the United States Army and was a Top Gunner and Communication Lineman while in the Korean War. He was a member of The Ligonier and Millersburg American Legion, enjoyed working on and racing cars, and was a jack of all trades. He also enjoyed playing bluegrass music on his guitar.
A funeral service will be held in Johnnie Sparks’ honor at 11 a.m., Saturday, May 4, at Shiloh Baptist Church, 709 Johnson St, Ligonier, IN 46767. Pastor Jimmy Shepherd will officiate. Burial will follow at Maple Grove Cemetery in Topeka, IN.
Family and friends will be received from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m., Friday, May 3, and also one hour prior to the service on Saturday from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m. at the church.
Memorial contributions may be directed to the family.