Rita R. Sparkes

May 22, 1920July 10, 2018

Rita Rodriguez Sparkes, 98, peacefully slipped the bonds of earth on July 10, 2018. Rita, a native San Antonian, was born on May 22, 1920, the second of eight children born to Ysabel Sanchez Rodriguez and Cayetana Arreaga Rodriguez. She was raised on 1519 San Fernando Street along with her siblings Indalecia, Aurelia and Agustina Rodriguez, Guadalupe Munoz, Helena Hernandez, and Jose and David Rodriguez.

Rita lived life by her own rules and traveled throughout the U.S after graduating from Lanier High School in 1938. In her late 20’s she returned to San Antonio to raise her son, Andrew. A few years later she gave birth to a second son, Richard.

An original fashionista who donned eye-catching attire, Rita’s passion for designer fashion led her to a life-long career as a saleswoman at Joske’s; and, ultimately, to her life partner, Charles Spalding, who she met while working at the department store. Avid sports fans, the couple never missed an opportunity to support the Spurs, Cowboys, or the Kentucky Derby. They often traveled to Louisville, Kentucky, to visit Charles’ family and partake in the Kentucky Derby and all of its fanfare. The couple adored one another and spent over 35 years together until his death in 1994.

Rita’s creativity extended beyond fashion and was married to her love of celebrating holidays. She saved egg shells for months to decorate Easter cascarones with her grandchildren and displayed multiple Christmas trees in her home, which were adorned with meticulously wrapped gifts that remained in place from October to February. Rita’s loved ones will cherish the experiences she created for the family centered around her creativity.

Rita is survived by her sons Andrew (Leticia) and Richard, three granddaughters, three great-grandchildren, and a host of loving family members. Visitation will begin at 5:00 pm on Tuesday, July 17, 2018, at Del Angel Roy Akers Funeral Home, 515 N. Main Ave. with a rosary to be recited at 7:00 pm. Mass will be held at San Fernando Cathedral at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday followed by the burial at San Fernando Cemetery II.


  • Rita is survived by her sons Andrew (Leticia) and Richard, three granddaughters, three great-grandchildren, and a host of loving family members


  • Visitation Tuesday, July 17, 2018
  • Rosary Service Tuesday, July 17, 2018
  • Funeral Service Wednesday, July 18, 2018
  • Committal Service Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Rita R. Sparkes

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