Lois Virginia Sparks, age 47, a resident of New York city for 20 years, died of cancer on June 26 in Chilmark.
Ms. Sparks was president of Sparks Systems, a small telecommunications consulting firm based in New York city. She was an avid traveler who loved life, laughter and 20 years of gathering with friends on the Vineyard. Her upbeat attitude, contagious enthusiasm and gift for friendship were legendary. Her special gift was linking people from diverse backgrounds and places. Her determined spirit as a nine-year cancer survivor and veteran of seven operations inspired many cancer patients and friends around the world. She was cared for in her last weeks by family, friends and the Visiting Nurse Service and Hospice program on the Vineyard.
She loved New York city, participating in her block committee and the famous annual 69th street Halloween parties. She served as a chalice bearer at All Angels' Church and, as a member of the altar guild, chairing the flower ministry. A native of Birmingham, Ala., she was graduated from Auburn University where she belonged to the Pi Beta Phi sorority. Growing up on the Tennessee River, she learned boating and water skiing early in her life. She always enjoyed exploring new places, particularly Italy, the Adirondacks and beaches of any kind.
She was predeceased by her sister, Jean Sparks Stanfield. She is survived by her parents, Caroline and Chester Sparks of Guntersville, Ala., and her sister, Caroline Sparks of Washington, D.C. Other survivors include nephews, William Stanfield and Christopher Stanfield; her niece, Jeanne Crago; great-nephews David and Andrew Crago; great-niece, Emily Crago; brother in law, Joseph Stanfield, and her beloved dachshund, Latte.
A service in celebration of her life was held at 4 p.m. on July 8 at All Angels' Church, 251 West 80th street, New York city. Interment will be in the garden of Church of the Epiphany, 1101 Sunset Drive, Guntersville, Ala., at 11:30 a.m. on July 20 and in Abel's Hill Cemetery on Martha's Vineyard. Memorials may be made to the Adopt-A-Bench Program, Central Park Conservancy, Lois Sparks Fund for a park bench near the entrance to 69th St W, where she always walked Latte. Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home in Oak Bluffs.