Today our hearts are broken as we mourn the loss of our older sister, Karen Sue Sparka, who passed away suddenly at the age of 71 in Rochester, New York.
Karen was born in Indiana and moved to Rochester at a young age. She graduated from Penfield High School in 1968, and from Bowling Green University in 1972. While at Bowling Green, she was Miss Ohio in the 1972 Miss America pageant. In the years following, she was a successful actress and singer. She toured with The New Christy Minstrels and made many television commercials for Rochester businesses.
At the age of 31, she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. She battled that disease for 40 years, but she never let it dampen her beautiful spirit.
Karen will be remembered for her passion for life, her joyful heart, and her love of family and friends. She was a deeply religious person whose unwavering faith in a higher power sustained her through life’s challenges. Her bright light left us too soon.
Karen is preceded in death by her father Donald Sparka and her mother Janet Sparka. She is survived by her sisters Peggy McLeish (Andrew McLeish) and Jennifer Sparka (Jeff Berryman), and by her nieces Jennifer Moccia (Sam Minnis) and her nephew Jeffrey Moccia (Lauren Moccia).
Jennifer Sparka and Peggy (Sparka) McLeish will hold a Celebration of Karen’s Life on September 25th from 3:00-5:00 p.m., at the Unity Church of Rochester on 55 Prince Street, Rochester, N.Y.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Multiple Sclerosis Society.