HANGING ART – Raven Shaw hangs up art at her booth for the Sitka Artisans Market this afternoon at Harrigan Centennial Hall. Her business, Raven's Random, sells original art stickers and prints. The market opens tonight and runs through Sunday. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Longtime Sitkan Janet ‘Jan’ Sparks Dies at Age 77

Janet ‘Jan’ Sparks

    Longtime Sitka resident Janet “Jan” Joyce Sparks passed away peacefully Sept. 22, 2018, in Sitka, surrounded by family and loved ones. She was 77.
    Jan was born June 18, 1941, in Los Angeles, California, to Robert “Bud” Sandstrom and Viona “Vi” Elizabeth Falk. The other Sandstrom children were Wayne and Karen.
    In 1951 the family moved to Alaska, where Bud worked as a pipefitter, steamfitter, plumber and fisherman. Vi was a homemaker, worked at S&W in Haines, and volunteered there at the Salvation Army.
    In 1958, Jan married Ronald “Ron” Sparks of Haines, and they had four children: Ronald “Skip”, Evans, Curtis and Tina. After living in Haines and Fairbanks, the family moved to Sitka in the early 1960s.
    Jan enjoyed working at Sitka Community Hospital in Medical Records and as the dietary manager. In her spare time she liked to garden, paint, work with ceramics, work on puzzles, read, listen to the radio, read the newspaper, and watch game shows.
    “She was one of the strongest people we have ever known,” her family said. “Nobody had a bad word to say about her, because she accepted you for who you were. You could always turn to her for advice and she never judged you.
    “She was truly one of a kind, and she will be forever missed and never forgotten.”
    Jan was preceded in death by her parents, Robert and Viona Sandstrom, and her husband, Ronald Sparks.
    She is survived by her brother Wayne (Laurie Rumbaugh) Sandstrom of Fairbanks, and sister Karen Estrada of Tucson, Arizona; children Skip (Sabine) Sparks of Haines, Evans (Kim) Sparks of Sitka, Curtis Sparks of Anchorage, and Tina (Nick) Anderson of Sitka; and grandchildren Evans Sparks Jr. of Sitka, Samantha Sparks of Sitka, Ryan Sparks of Beaverton, Oregon, and Rachel Sparks of Wilsonville, Oregon.

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