Lana Burke Sparks, 68, went home to be with Jesus on Sunday, May 1, 2022 following years of challenging health issues and a brief period of serious decline.
A native of Burlington, she was the daughter of Buck H Burke and Hazel Swinney Burke Jarrett, both deceased.
Although unable to attend, she was a long-time member of Glen Hope Baptist Church, where her grandfather, Rev. GW Swinney, was pastor for many years.
She is survived by her husband, Charles H Sparks Jr (Chuck), daughter Julianne Martin (Todd), grandsons Benjamin and Alex Martin, granddog Blue Martin (service dog - Alex), and sister Susan Burke Bishop (Tom).
Lana will be warmly remembered for her phenomenal teaching career at Turrentine Middle School in Burlington. She taught 7th and 8th grade math with great passion and creativity. She was awarded Outstanding Young Educator of the Year, Burlington City Mathematics Teacher of the Year, Region V Mathematics Teacher of the Year, and North Carolina State Mathematics Teacher of the Year. She was a member of the NC Council of Teacher Mathematics and Delta Kappa Gamma Honor Society for Women Educators. She spoke at many conferences and held workshops to aid other educators in their pursuit of excellence in the teaching profession.
Unfortunately, due to health issues, she was forced to leave that profession many years before her eligible retirement. This was a loss to her personally but also to the education community she served so admirably. She left an amazing legacy that has impacted many lives. She challenged, motivated and loved her students. She wanted the world to be a little better because "I was important in the life of a child". In true Sparks form, she succeeded!
A graveside service to celebrate her life will be held Saturday, May 7th at 11am at Alamance Memorial Park with Rev. Bob Stephenson officiating.
If you wish to attend, please be mindful of others and practice covid safety protocols for everyone's protection.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you do something special for a child. That would make her smile!