Services for Tommye Procter Kirby Sparks will be 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019, Craddock Memorial Chapel with Rev. David Daniel officiating.
Tommye Procter Kirby Sparks passed from this life to be with our Lord on Dec. 4, 2019.
Tommye was born Nov. 11, 1921, in Dallas, Texas, to Dr. Omar Autrey Kirby and Grace Virginia Kirby. She had an older brother, Marion Franklin “M.F.” Kirby, and a younger sister, George Anne “Tincy” Kirby McMakin.
Tommye begin her school days in Marietta, and then moved with her family to Oklahoma City. She loved spending summers in Lometa, Texas with her grandparents, aunts, uncles and childhood friends with whom she maintained active friendships and fond memories throughout her life. Another family move took Tommye to Ozona, Texas where she graduated from high school. After graduation she joined the workforce and soon moved to Washington D.C. where she was a secretary in the U.S. Department of State prior to and during WWII. She spoke often and fondly of her time in our country’s capital. After her time in D.C., Tommye moved back to Dallas to be closer to family in Texas.
Upon her return to Dallas, Tommye met the love of her life, Tom C. Sparks, Jr., who was in medical school there. Tom and Tommye married on Oct. 30, 1948, in Dallas. Following Tom’s graduation from medical school, they moved to Houston where Tommye worked at Humble Oil Company (now ExxonMobil) while Tom completed his medical residency training. While in Houston, together they made more lifelong friends, and started their family with the births of Tom C. Sparks, III and Gary Everett Sparks. They then moved to Wichita Falls for Tom’s medical internship. While there they welcomed the birth of third son, Larry Edward Sparks. In 1953 with medical training completed, Tom and Tommye moved to Ardmore, the town they would call home for the rest of their lives. And in Ardmore they welcomed the birth of their fourth child and favorite daughter, Susan Sparks.
Tommye was a devoted stay-at-home mother, volunteer and doting wife. Her home was a place where friends of her children were always welcome. Tom and Tommye also hosted two Rotary exchange students who lived with the family while Tommye served with the Rotary Club committee for Exchange Students. Tommye volunteered as a Sunday School Teacher and Vacation Bible School Teacher, sang in the choir for several years, and served on the Sanctuary Guild at First United Methodist Church, Ardmore. She worked enthusiastically on the initial Ardmore YMCA membership campaign and supported her family’s participation in activities there for many years including hauling kids all over Oklahoma and Texas for sporting events. She served a term as President Elect and then a year as President of the Oklahoma Women’s Medical Auxiliary. Tommye joined the Ivy Garden Club and the Ladies of the Leaf in Ardmore, where she enjoyed preparing for and presenting many in depth and we’re told entertaining literary reports to the Club. Tommye loved sports as a spectator and a participant. She especially enjoyed camaraderie with friends and family water skiing and camping at Lake Murray, playing tennis, golf, snow skiing, wilderness backpacking and fly-fishing. In her spare time she was a seamstress, a gardener and an artist. Tom often commented that he didn’t know anything she couldn’t do… and do well.
She and Tom enjoyed traveling to many places of the world and made friends everywhere they went. They enjoyed hosting and sharing time with family and friends during many wonderful summer and winter trips in Breckenridge, Colo. Tommye enjoyed her many friendships in Ardmore, one in-particular was her long friendship with Jo Quillin, who continued sharing lunch with her every Tuesday, whom Tommye’s family honors for her faithful friendship. Her family also wishes to thank the many caregivers at Elmbrook Suites for their continued thoughtful aid to Tommye and Tom during the years they resided in their care, and the caregivers at Cross Timbers. In her final years here, Tommye dearly loved the time she had to spend with friends, her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. But she was also tired from her ninety-eight year journey and eager to go and be with the Lord, and with friends and family who had preceded her.
Tommye was preceded in death by her parents, brother and sister, her beloved husband, and one grandson, Chase Stead Sparks.
She is survived by her children: Tom C. and wife, Charlene, Gary and his wife, Barbara, Larry and his wife, Anette, Susan and her husband, John Watt; three granddaughters, Lindsay her husband, Jared Harrell, Audrey her husband, James Harrell, Laura Sparks and two step-granddaughters, Rowan O’Connell and Harriet and her husband, Graeme Eastwood and seven great-grandchildren: Sawyer, Wynne and Boone Harrell, June, Henry, Sadie and Rose Harrell. She also had seven loving nephews and two nieces and their families.
In lieu of flowers, contributions would be welcomed at the Ardmore YMCA or at Cross Timbers of Ardmore.
Online condolences may be made at craddockfuneralhome.com.