BRAMWELL HIGH SCHOOL CLASS 1967

MARTHA OSBORN SPARKS MEMORIAM

MARTHA'S OBITUARY

Martha Julia Sparks, age 71, of Bramwell, WV died on Wednesday, March 6, 2019 at Bluefield Regional Medical Center.

Born on December 6, 1947, in Bluefield, she was a daughter of the late Orris and Myrtle Bell Osborn. She was a graduate of Bramwell High School and was a former member of Riverside Baptist Church. She was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother.

Martha contracted polio when she was 5 years old. After many months in the hospital and several surgeries later, she was back home sporting crutches and braces to help her walk. And walk she did. Martha was not deterred in her zest for living; she continued to grow and she enjoyed a very full life. Whether it was because of the polio, or in spite of the polio, Martha was fiercely independent, not allowing her many brothers and sisters to do things for her. In essence, Martha was unspoilable. She herself tackled every mountain in front of her, undaunted and always with a matter-of-fact attitude. Martha graduated Bramwell High School long before there were any handicap accessibilities. She walked the halls and climbed the stairs to the third floor classrooms just like every other student. The only accommodation afforded Martha was being let out of classes 5 minutes early so that she wouldn’t be run over in the hallways. After High School, Martha went on to Business School in Charleston, then returned home and soon married. Martha was happy being a homemaker and then a mother to her three high-spirited children that she successfully raised, mostly single-handedly. When the grandchildren came along, Martha was there to tend them and to help shape the character of each one, including the great grandchildren that followed. Martha’s strength and Martha’s courage has been the mainstay in her family. She never complained about her lot in life, but took on every task before her with an attitude of gratitude. Because Martha never wanted praise or attention to herself, her strength and courage were never touted. They were just there, a part of her, always the same and always available like outstretched arms for all who had a need.

Martha was a tower of strength for her family and friends. Now that tower has been relocated. She stands straight and tall in a new city, sporting a new body without any hindrances whatsoever. Martha walks and runs and leaps for joy, and she beckons us all to come join her in this place where there is no pain, no parting, and life is eternally full of joy.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Ervin Sparks.

Survivors: Son: Ronald Murray and wife Cheryl; Daughters: Bethany Smith and Companion Tim McCraw and Juliette Friend and Companion Johnny Gorsky; Siblings: Pansy Byrd and husband Jack, Clay Osborne and wife Reva, Jack Osborn and wife Cindy, Bonnie Powers and husband Bud,Carter Osborn and wife Linda, Sadie Severt and husband Lee, Lilly Warren, Otis Osborn and wife Debbie, Nora Floria and husband Danny. She had 8 Grandchildren and 4 Great-Grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held on Sunday, March 10, 2019 at 2:00 PM at the Cravens-Shires Funeral Home in Bluewell with Rev. Curtis Honaker officiating. Burial will follow at the Belcher Cemetery at Coaldale, WV. Her pallbearers will be family and friends. Friends may call on Sunday from 12:00 until 2:00 prior to the service. The family is accepting online condolences at www.cravens-shires.com 

"They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old. Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them.”

- Laurence Binyon

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