November 26, 1935 - July 23, 2015
November 26, 1935 - July 23, 2015
Stella Lorraine Wilson (née Sparrock) was born November 26, 1935 in Brooklyn, New York. She was the eldest of three children born to the union of Valence James Sparrock and Stella Eudore Merkel Sparrock.
From an early age, Stella was reared in the Roman Catholic faith. She began her formal education at Saint Peter Claver Elementary School, in Brooklyn, where she excelled in her academic endeavors and ranked at the top of her class. She was named Valedictorian and, as such, was bestowed a full scholarship upon her matriculation to Queen of All Saints-Bishop McDonald Memorial High School, where she would later have the distinction of being the first Black graduate. Stella spent her collegiate years at the Brooklyn College-Jewish Hospital School of Nursing. Again, with a full academic scholarship and as a member of the first racially integrated class, Stella completed the degree requirements and was conferred with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S, R.N.).
Stella enjoyed a long and successful career in the field of nursing. She was employed by the Jewish Hospital and the Swedish Hospital, both located in Brooklyn and, over the years, held various positions including Licensed Mid-Wife, Emergency Room Nurse, Surgical Nurse, and Administrative Nurse. Her last assignment, prior to retirement, was as the Director of Nursing Services at CABS Nursing Home. Her spirit of excellence and commitment to helping others extended beyond her professional duties and was evident in her active engagement within the Church and her community. Stella was a faithful lay worker for the Roman Catholic Church, in which she served as a CCD Teacher for the youth at Saint Peter Claver Church and Saint Teresa of Avila Church, in Brooklyn, as well as Saint Fidalis Church in College Point, New York. Additionally, she volunteered with the Democratic Party (in New York City and later, Columbus) and had been an active participant during Shirley Chisholm’s campaign for the U.S. Presidency. In recent years, Stella relocated to Columbus, Ohio, where she resided with her sister. Before her health began to decline, she spent much of her time working on various arts and crafts projects, teaching her great nephew to speak Spanish and Portuguese, and enjoying the new friendships she had forged among her fellow parishioners at Church of Our Lady. Stella had become a member of the Women’s Bible Study Group, whose enriching discussions gave her a sense of fulfillment and peace.
On the morning of Thursday, July 23, 2015, at the age of 79, Stella Lorraine Wilson quietly departed from this life while at Mother Angeline McCrory Manor in Columbus. She was predeceased by her parents, her maternal grandparents, D’Arcy and Catherine Kingston Merkel, and paternal grandparents, James and Blanche King Sparrock.
She is survived by her husband Walter Wilson, Jr.; son Stephen Wilson; daughter Joanne Lopez; granddaughter Nina Lopez, all of New York; brother Charles (Eleanor) Sparrock of Florida; sister Dr. Lynn Chavers of Ohio; niece Tiffany (Thomas) Barfield; nephews, Captain Robert Sparrock, USN (Major Joan Sparrock, USAF), John Sparrock, and Edward (Nicole) Chavers, III; great nieces, Justine Sparrock, Chelsea (Devon) McCoy, Lindsey Stella Sparrock, and Stephanie Sparrock, and Isabella Chavers; great nephew Miles Barfield; great-great niece Gabriella McCoy, and a host of other relatives and friends.
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