April 14, 1925 – January 9, 2018
Leilla Lavelle Sparks, 92, passed away January 9, 2018. Leilla was born on April 14, 1925 in Medford to Tom and Blanche McGraw. Except for several years residence in McCloud, California, Leilla lived her entire life in the Rogue Valley. And she wouldn’t have had it any other way.
While still a high school student in Eagle Point, Leilla met her future husband and the love of her long life, Benjamin Franklin (Frank) Sparks.
In 1941 with storm clouds on the horizon, Frank joined the U.S. Army and following the country’s entry into World War II, was sent to the South Pacific. In the four years he was overseas, much of it in combat, she wrote him every day. That’s a lot of letters.
Leilla and Frank were married August 20,1945 in Medford at the home of her parents five days after his troop ship docked in Seattle. After a long honeymoon, Leilla and Frank settled into a home on Biddle Road in Medford, before moving to a 27-acre farm on S. Pacific Highway between Phoenix and Talent.
To help make ends meet, Leilla eventually accepted a job as secretary at Phoenix Grade School, a position she proudly held for 23 years.
Upon their retirement, Leilla and Frank sold the family farm and purchased a home in Phoenix where they enjoyed many happy years. Frank passed away March 21, 2014 after nearly 69 years of marriage.
In addition to being the perfect mom and grandmother, Leilla was a warm and generous person and greatly enjoyed the company of her many family members and friends. She was a faithful member of the West Main Church of Christ in Medford for 67 years.
With Leilla’s passing she leaves behind her four sons, Keith (Stephanie), Denis (Lynn), Lee (Wendy), and Jay; eight grandchildren, Andrea, Amy, Jason, Kara, Megan, David, Tyler, and Shawn; six great-grandchildren, Cameron, Tyler, Taitum, Payton, Inem, and Hayden; and many nieces and nephews.
In addition to her dear husband, Frank, she was preceded in death by her grandson, Casey; daughter-in-law, Janie; and older brothers, Merle and Elmo.
A private interment will be held at Eagle Point National Cemetery. Friends and family are encouraged to attend a memorial service to be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, January 20 at West Main Church of Christ in Medford. In lieu of flowers, at Leilla’s specific request any donations in her name should be made to the Children’s Program at West Main Church of Christ.