Betty Ann Sparks

January 9, 1941March 10, 2019

Betty Ann Ellis Sparks was born in Santa Monica, CA and grew up in Mobile, AL. After graduation from Murphy High School, Betty went to the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. While in Genetics Lab, she became enamored with her lab partner, David Lee Sparks, and they were later married. Betty received her BS in Biology from Alabama in 1963. She obtained her Master’s degree in Biology from the University of Alabama in Birmingham in 1983.

Dave and Betty were fortunate to be married for 55 years. They had three sons, Steve, Greg and Scott, who were responsible for Betty’s full head of grey hair in her later years.

Betty is survived by her sons Greg and Scott; daughter in-laws Shannon, Christiana, Nancy and Nancy; grandchildren Cassidy, Sadie, Emily, Alex, Lance, Lyndsay, Benjamin and Luke; and her great grandchildren Layla and Jude.

Betty was predeceased by her son Steve, her daughter in-law Charlene, parents Roy and Merle Ellis and her cats Samantha, Crash and Bojangles.

Betty’s career as a research assistant spanned several positions in microbiology, medical genetics, physiology and biophysics, hematology / oncology and the department of neurology. She performed these duties while also being a Supermom, able to deliver her three children to sports practices on the opposite sides of town simultaneously.

Betty was a highly accomplished gardener, becoming a Master Gardener. Her salvia gardens were written up in the Philadelphia Inquirer on two occasions. Betty was a judge in the Philadelphia flower show, the nation’s largest and longest running horticultural event. She was a member of the Hardy Plant society. Her gardens were known to attract beneficial insects, butterflies, bees and other pollinators. David and Betty traveled the world throughout their marriage. After settling down, they resided in Birmingham, AL, Philadelphia, PA, Houston, TX and Pensacola, FL. They finally moved to Highlands Ranch, CO to be close to their grandchildren and family. Betty was known for her inquisitive mind, amazing memory and her love of life. She was most happy when listening to the laughter of her family. Betty passed away peacefully on March 10th, 2019, surrounded by her family.


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Betty Ann Sparks

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Pam Trissel

March 20, 2019

I will always remember how knowledgeable she was about plants and her willingness to share that knowledge, especially to use the Latin names rather than common plant names. On plant expeditions , our car trunks were never big enough to haul all those plants Betty never met a plant she didn't like and her yard always showed that; everywhere she lived, her garden was gorgeous! Plants & felines our shared "loves".

Here's rosemary for remembrance!

What the heart once owned , it shall never lose... our heartfelt condolences to Dave and the extended family.