nelsonville - Mary T. Blackburn Sparks, 75, Nelsonville, died peacefully Saturday morning, Aug. 14, 2021. Born on Nov. 17, 1945, in Lancaster, she was the daughter of the late Melvin L. and Virginia Graf Blackburn.
Mary was a 1963 graduate of Nelsonville High School and attended Bliss Business College. Mary was an entrepreneur; owned and operated Mary's Drive In (Formerly Hal's Drive In) she was a Real Estate Broker, owned and operated several student and family rentals in Nelsonville and was a bus driver for Nelsonville-York City Schools Bus #39 for over 30 years. Mary was the co-owner and operator of Sparks Auto Parts with her late husband, Sparkie.
Mary was a member of St. Mary of the Hills Catholic Church. Nelsonville Elks Lodge BPOE #543, Logan Moose 873, Nelsonville Chamber of Commerce, Community Benefit Club, Nelsonville Emblem Club #97 and various bowling leagues in Nelsonville, Athens, and Logan.
Mary coached youth softball for many years and coached the Nelsonville-York High School Lady Buckeyes Softball team for two years. Mary loved being with friends and family celebrating life, listening to music and her summer vacation, but her most treasured moments were spent with her beloved grandchildren and their many adventures.
She is survived by her children, John Hurd Jr (Sandi) Nelsonville, Rachael Sparks Sutton (Jim) Northfield; stepdaughter, Jacky Sparks Jones (Greg) Logan; sister-in-law, Nickie Blackburn, Phyllis Sparks,; grandchildren Kaitlyn, Haley and Mackenzie Hurd; Kevin, Amanda, Jacob and Carley Sutton; Ashley Brookwater, Storee Brooks and Jasper Jones; Levi Hall and special friend, Brenda Tolliver.
Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Ralph Sparks; son, Charles Melvin Hitchings; stepdaughter, Suzette Sparks Hall; brother, Melvin J Blackburn; sister, Julie Ann Blackburn; an infant brother; her stepmother of 25 years, Virginia North Blackburn; companion Jack Ingram of 19 years and brother-in-law's Bill, Gene, and Paul Sparks.
Friends may call at Warren-Brown Funeral Home from 3 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021.
Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Wednesday at Warren-Brown Funeral Home in Nelsonville, with Father Mark Moore officiating.
Interment will be at Greenlawn Cemetery.
The family suggests contributions be made to the Nelsonville High School Alumni PO Box 472 Nelsonville, Ohio 45764 scholarship in lieu of flowers. Mary Sparks