Jessie Fern Sparks

August 19, 1929 - April 17, 2015 

Jessie Fern Sparks

August 19, 1929 - April 17, 2015 

Obituary for Jessie Fern Sparks

Jessie Fern Sparks was born on August 19, 1929 in Irvin, Kentucky. She was the daughter of the late Simpson and the late Elizabeth Canter. Jessie has been a resident of Monroe for fifty years.

Jessie was a hard worker all of her life as she supported her family employed in Housekeeping as a Laundry Supervisor at Mercy Memorial Nursing Center for over thirty years, retiring in 2012. She raised four wonderful children and shared her life with her best friend for twenty-nine years, Walden “Whitey” Yates.

Jessie was honest and straight forward who earned respect among friends, family and coworkers. She was known for her selfless generosity and giving spirit and had a beautiful contagious smile. Family was most important to Jessie who loved spending time with them, especially her grandchildren. She was a “Betty Boop” fan and enjoyed dancing, playing horseshoes and adventures to the casino. Jessie was famous among friends and family for her canning, fried apple pies and delicious peanut butter fudge. In her quiet time, Jessie was fond of relaxing on her front porch in her favorite rocking chair.

Jessie, age 85, of Monroe passed away on Friday, April 17, 2015 at Promedica Monroe Regional Hospital surrounded by her loving family. In addition to her parents, her passing was preceded by a daughter: Brenda Joyce Farris; a sister: Pocahontas Raider; a brother: Chris Canter; and an infant granddaughter.

To cherish her memory she leaves her significant other: Walden “Whitey” Yates; three children: Mary Frances Fitzpatrick of Newport, Veronica Sue (Terry) Herkimer of Monroe and Jamie Lynn (Dan Hoffer) Patrick of Dundee; a brother: Cecil (Louise) Canter of Kentucky; two sisters: Rachel (Russell) Hall of Flint and Hazel (Rupert Jr.) Abney of Kentucky; thirteen grandchildren; eighteen great grandchildren; ten great-great grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

Friends may gather from 10:00am-12:00pm, Tuesday, April 21, 2015 at Merkle Funeral Service, 2442 North Monroe (734) 384-5185. A Celebration of Her Life will take place at 12:00pm also at Merkle’s with Pastor Bob Nadeau of Monroe Outreach Assembly of God officiating. Procession will follow to Rath Cemetery for burial.

Memorial donations are suggested to the charity of the donor’s choice. Online guests may leave words of inspiration and comfort, share a photo, or make a donation by visiting and then selecting the Online Tributes page.

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  • 2442 North Monroe Street
    Monroe, MI
  • 734-384-5185

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