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Goldie Sparks

 

April 13, 2018

A funeral service for Goldie Sparks, 95, of Baker, was held April 12, 2018 at Baker Community Church with Pastor Sherwood McKay officiating. Burial took place in Lame Jones Cemetery.

Goldie passed away Saturday, April 7, 2018 at Superior Care Villa in Baker, MT.

Goldie Edna Collie Sparks was born April 27, 1922 on her mother's homestead on O'Fallon Creek, 20 miles south of Ismay, Montana. She was the fifth of six children born to Edna Marshall Collie and David G Collie.

Goldie's school days were spent at schools in Ismay, MacKenzie, Plevna and Baker. Early travel to school was by buggy or horseback, often riding double and facing winter winds. She participated in 4-H and enjoyed going to country dances (riding horseback once again and covering several miles to attend). Goldie completed high school in Baker where she and sister, Vivian, batched in a cabin in town, only getting home to the ranch for Thanksgiving, Christmas and for the summers. They found part time jobs of cleaning and ironing for a total of fifty cents for eight hours work. The summers on the ranch were spent herding sheep, gardening, and milking cows along with other tasks.

Goldie attended Normal School in Billings and became a rural school teacher. She taught in five schools in Fallon County, sometimes living in the back of the school houses, sometimes boarding with a family. Horseback was the mode of transportation until later, purchasing a used Model A coupe for $25.

Frank and Goldie Sparks were married on September 8, 1948 and Goldie quit teaching to raise her family of three sons and to help Frank work on the ranch. They raised registered Hereford cattle and Goldie kept riding horses every day to check cattle. After she could no longer ride horses, she adapted to three-wheelers and then four-wheelers, which she often stated later in life, "were her legs."

Goldie loved to sew, whether to sew a dress, shirt or coat or to replace zippers, linings, or patch holes. She did a lot of sewing with leather from deer and cow hides that were sent off to be tanned. In 1975 Goldie was invited to conduct a leather sewing workshop at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC for two weeks. She declined, but often wondered about the opportunity she missed.

Gardening and canning were very important to Goldie. This she accomplished in some poor soils and with critters like deer, coons, turkeys and Frank's pigs getting out. Her canned deer meat was especially enjoyed. Late into her 80s, Goldie was canning case lots of peaches and pears for winter enjoyment.

A lot of meals for guests were prepared at the Sparks' home, some folks coming to view the cattle or Frank's range improvements. In 1961 the ranch received a Ford Farm Efficiency Award for beef production. She and Frank traveled to Dearborn, MI to receive the award and meet some of the Ford family. That was Goldie's only airplane flight.

Frank and Goldie celebrated 51 years of marriage before his passing in 1999. Goldie has remained living and helping on the ranch until her stay at Superior Care Villa the last two years. We are very thankful for the wonderful care that she received there.

Goldie is survived by her three sons – James (Nancy Brandt), Thomas (Carol) and Donald (Judy) and by ten grandchildren – Fred, April, Roy; Frank, Katy, George, and William; Syd, Krissy and Keisha; and 14 great-grandchildren. Goldie is also survived by her brother, Alex Collie.

Preceding her in death were husband Frank, parents David and Edna, brother David G (Boy) and sisters Mary (Bud)Mackay, Daisy (Walt) McNaney, Vivian (Ed) Celander. Also brothers and sisters-in-law Alfred, Ernest, George , and Robert Sparks, Melvina Korneychuck, Pearl Greenlee, and Mary Wynn and Lois Collie.

Remembrances and condolences may be shared with the family at http://www.stevensonfuneralhome.com.

Stev

 

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