1932 - 2018
Wilfred Edward Sparks, beloved husband of Pat Sparks, passed away in Calgary on Friday, August 31, 2018 at the age of 85 years.
Relatives and friends were invited to meet with the family at Southland Funeral Chapel, 5006 - 48 Avenue, Taber on Wednesday, September 5, 2018 between 7:00 P.M. and 8:00 P.M. and at the church prior to the funeral service on Thursday, September 6, 2018 between 10:00 A.M. and 10:40 A.M.
The Funeral Service was held at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Taber Stake Centre, 4709 - 50 Avenue, Taber on Thursday, September 6, 2018 at 11:00 A.M. Burial followed at the Taber Memorial Garden.
Besides his loving wife Pat, Eddy is survived by his nephew Shawn (Michelle) Rombough of Taber; siblings Ella Malinsky, John (Patsy) Sparks and Robert (Margaret) Sparks all of Taber; brother-in-law Ken Rombough of Taber and by numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was predeceased by his parents Ella (nee Barton) and Wilfred Sparks, his sister Louise Lysohirka and brother-in-law George Malinsky. He was also predeceased by Pat’s parents Del and Walter Rombough and her sisters Sheron Rombough and Arlene Rombough.
At an early age, Eddy was stricken with polio. His right leg and torso were in a full plaster cast. He was unable to participate in any childhood activities. A doctor suggested to Eddy’s mother that riding horses would be good therapy for him, so Roanie was purchased for twenty dollars by his mother, who also got him a job herding one hundred head of cows which were grazed on open prairie north of Taber. He was paid fifteen a month.
Eddy was a talented calf roper, artist, singer, historian, writer, speaker and he loved to dance. He had several articles published in various magazines and had an article written about him in Cornelson's publication Antelope Trails (2007). He had an article published in the Canadian Cattleman’s (two installments) about the history of the quarter horse.
Eddy completed grade twelve at W.R. Myer's High School, attended Cal Poly Tech in San Luis Obispo, California where he completed a horse shoeing course and started team roping. He shod horses for several years, then worked for the federal government as a produce inspector.
In 1965 Eddy married Patricia Rombough and started raising registered quarter horses. Over the years, they received many awards for their horses, many trophies, belt buckles and saddles for competition on the Rodeo circuit (both Eddy and Pat). He was the founding member of the Sugar Town Saddle Club, the Taber Roping Club, Taber Equestrian Club, Southern Alberta Roping and Riding Clubs, Chinook Rodeo Association and the Taber Exhibition Association. Eddy and Pat's greatest accomplishment was receiving the Legacy award from the American Quarter Horse Association for fifty years of raising registered Quarter Horses.
Eddy had many friends and family who loved him dearly. If you wanted to know anything about the Taber area or horses he was the man to talk to. Eddy was a loving husband, brother and friend. He loved children. He always had time for coffee with family and friends at McDonald's. Eddy always had time for his wife and her needs at the extended care. He was one of a kind. The world needs more good people like Eddy Sparks. He would probably say to everyone, “happy trails to you till we meet again”.
If friends so desire, memorial tributes in Eddy’s name may be made directly to STARS, 1441 Aviation Park NE, PO Box 570, Calgary, Alberta T2E 8M7 www.stars.ca.