Esther Lois Bowen Sparks
Esther Lois Bowen Sparks, 82, died peacefully at her home in Eagle River on June 18, 2012, from complications of pancreatic cancer.
Funeral Services for Esther were held Wednesday, June 20, at St. John Orthodox Cathedral in Eagle River. She was laid to rest at the St. John Cemetery.
Esther was born July 5, 1929 to Willis and Katherine Bowen at their ranch on the Musselshell River near Mosby, Montana. She was the seventh of eleven brothers and sisters. She received her RN nursing diploma in 1950 from St. Patrick’s Hospital School of Nursing in Missoula, Montana.
Esther enlisted in the Army and was stationed at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. There she met and married Jack Norman Sparks on April 11, 1953. They had four children.
Esther was the backbone of their family throughout their ministry with Campus Crusade for Christ, Christian World Liberation Front, and Saint Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology. In 2004 Esther and Fr. Jack moved to Eagle River to be near their children and grandchildren. She participated in the St. John women’s reading group, the Mary and Martha prayer team, and has been a beloved member of St. John Orthodox Cathedral.
“She has been a loving mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. She is remembered as someone who never complained, had a strong faith, and worked selflessly for others,” her family said.
She is survived by her children, Stephen (Valorie), Robert, Ruth (Steve), and Jonathan; grandchildren, Jessica (Christopher), Luke (Kastle), Stephanie (Dan), David, Elizabeth, Timothy, and Kathleen; great-grandson, Christian; sisters, Donna Christianson, of Hinsdale, Mont., Laura Knapp of Spokane, Wash., and Audrey Jurovich of Billings, Mont.; and other loving family members.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, Fr. Jack; sisters, Dorothy, Irene, Jean, and Eileen; brothers, Don, Russell, and Buddy; and son-in-law, Dn. Christian.
The family would like to thank Melanie Bowe and all those who have visited, prayed, helped and cared for Esther during her illness.