Karen Barton Sparkes

Karen Barton Sparkes, age 77, of Lamoni, Iowa, the daughter of Lawrence Albert and Evelyn Alberta (Boles) Owens, was born February 19, 1943, in Des Moines, Iowa. She died at Unity Point Health Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa on November 5, 2020.

Karen attended country school at the Brick School north of Grand River, Iowa, graduating from the eighth grade. Her family moved to Albany, Oregon where she completed her education and graduated from Albany Union High School in 1961. From 1963, until 1970, she was married to William Lane Keeling. They were blessed with two children, Ronald and Jackie. Karen worked in a restaurant several years before moving back to Grand River, Iowa where she met George Barton. They were married on April 28, 1973, and were together when he died on August 22, 2011. George and Karen lived on a farm north of Grand River for several years before moving into town to operate a grocery store and café for the next three years. George continued to farm until his retirement in 2002. Karen worked at Casey’s General Store for six years making donuts and at the Decatur County Hospital in Leon, Iowa for 12 years as a nurse’s aide. Karen gave her heart to Jesus in 1977, and continued serving him by becoming an ordained minister and doing the Lord’s work. On October 19, 2019, Karen was united in marriage to John Kevin Sparkes in Osceola, Iowa. She and Kevin were living at Crown Colony in Lamoni, Iowa at the time of her death.

Preceding her in death were her parents; brother, Jack Owens; infant sister, Carol Owens; and husband, George Barton. Survivors include her husband, Kevin Sparkes of Lamoni, Iowa; son, Ronald Barton and wife, Sherri from Cainsville, Missouri; daughter, Jackie Lochmann and husband, Vic from Chariton, Iowa; grandchildren, Dallas Barton of Grand River, Iowa, Damien Barton and wife, Brandie of Grand River, Brandi Cook and husband, Zeb of Cainsville, Garett Barton and fiancé, Christine Christman of Cainsville, Kayla Lochmann and significant other, Josh Lang of Newburyport, Massachusetts, Cheyanne Nickell and husband, Mike of Russell, Iowa, and Taylor Lochmann and significant other, Dustin Updike of Van Wert, Iowa; great grandchildren, Gabby, Autumn, Brooklyn, and Jackson, Halie and Larissa, Ella, Ace, and Owen, Kage and Kyson, and Luke, Jamie, and Scarlett; and other relatives and many friends.

Funeral services will be held at the Slade – O’Donnell Funeral Home in Leon, Iowa at 10 a.m. Wednesday, November 11, 2020, with Pastor John Virden officiating. Burial will in the Wheelis (Tennessee) Cemetery, north of Grand River, Iowa.

Online condolences can be left HERE.