The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


December 9, 2012

Debra Sue Cookerly Sparks


Debra Sue "Sparky" Cookerly Sparks, age 60, of Mount Vernon, Mo., formerly of Joplin, passed away on Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, at Mount Vernon Place Care Center.

Debra was born March 6, 1952, in Joplin, daughter of the late Eugene James Cookerly and Elizabeth Fay Smith Cookerly. She graduated from Parkwood High School in 1970, and attended Missouri Southern State University. She was a longtime resident of Meadows Care Center in Joplin, and was displaced by the tornado of 2011, and relocated to Mount Vernon. She was very much loved at both facilities and was the official meeter and greeter at both facilities. She loved the Lord and used her singing to bring joy to everyone she met. She will be dearly missed by many.

In addition to her parents, Debra was preceded in death by her husband, Virgil Sparks; and her brother, James Van Cookerly.

Survivors include her children, Greg Phillips, of Webb City, Kara Mitchell Nunez and husband, Joe, of Carl Junction, and Tracy Mitchell Artym and husband, Chris, of Carthage; grandson, Mason Artym;  sisters, Karyl Conard and husband, Bob, of Wichita, Kan., April Parcher and husband, Roy, of Oklahoma City, Okla., and Denise Kramme and husband, Dave, of Cedar Hill, Mo.; sister-in-law, MaryBeth Cookerly, of Joplin; and several nieces and nephews.

Cremation arrangements are under the direction of Parker Mortuary. Memorial services will be held at a later date.

Online condolences may be made at

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