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Sunday, August 27, 2023
2:00 - 3:00pm (Central time)
Lona Renner Sparke was born on March 12, 1936 in Oberfranken, Bavaria, Germany, and passed away peacefully on Sunday, August 13, 2023 at the age of 87. A Memorial Service honoring her life will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 27, 2023 at Rose Park Baptist Church located at 5560 Buncombe Road, Shreveport, Louisiana 71129. Officiating the service will be Dr. B. J. “Rocky” Maddox.
Lona, known to her friends as “Loni,” was a loving wife, mother and grandmother who exemplified class and elegance. Although she fearlessly immigrated to the United States, arriving to join her sister in 1963, that journey was not the first adventure for Loni. After growing up and attending school in the small village of Stammbach, Germany, Loni travelled to England to serve as a nanny to the children of a London physician and his wife. While there, she improved her English and studied Business, as well. As she learned English from the British, her linguistic transition to the southern United States was a rocky one, fraught with misunderstanding, and including the occasional rearranging of local idiomatic expressions to hilarious effect.
Originally slated to visit her sister in Shreveport for a short time to better her English and return to Germany, Loni met the love of her life, Richard Sparke, married, and made her life here. Loni met Richard through her sister, Ludy, who worked alongside Richard at Woody’s Cameraland. She loved her new country so much, she became a proud American citizen in 1973.
A whiz with numbers, Loni began her work at the Shreveport Beverage Agency, subsequently bookkeeping for Palais Royal and, then, Computer Sharing. Ultimately, she joined Richard in operating the H. A. Sparke Co., Inc., where her business acumen kept the business going in good times and bad. Every morning, she arrived at that industrial environment, wearing high heels, appropriate jewelry, and with every hair in place. Her professional telephone demeanor made her a favorite with customers “from coast to coast and around the world.” Even several years after she retired from daily service, customers send their greetings to her while placing their order.
Loni was a member of the YWCA’s International Women’s Club, spending Oktoberfests celebrating with women from many different nations all living in the Shreveport/Bossier area. A wonderful homechef, Loni’s cooking was sought after, especially the Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte she would make for birthdays and other special occasions. Not only could Loni tailor and sew clothes, but she could also knit and crochet, enjoying those crafts while watching her favorite mystery shows on public television.
Despite all these gifts and abilities, Loni’s main focus, by far, was caring for her family, including her husband, Richard; daughter, Anna Maria; and granddaughter, Melina. Her lessons for living and home cures kept the household humming. Although Loni held her family to high standards for conduct and achievement, there was no doubt of the love and pride she felt for them.
Loni is preceded in death by her parents, Johann Renner and Charlotte Petzet Renner, as well as her older sister, Eleonore Renner Zimmermann. Left to cherish her memory are her beloved daughter, Anna Maria and husband, Meade Patton; her little “Engelein,” granddaughter, Melina and husband, Cade Gray; and her sister, Ludy Parker.
Just remember: You will catch a cold if you go to bed with wet hair or run around barefooted. But, if you do, chamomile tea cures everything.