Longtime Alamosa resident, Mary Elizabeth Sparrow, passed away on October 21, 2012 at the age of 83.
Mary was born in Craig, Missouri, and as a young girl moved with her family to Norfolk, Virginia, where she graduated from Maury High School in 1946.
During WWII, Mary was a USO volunteer and later selected “cover girl” for the USO Magazine. It was during this time she was introduced to her future husband, Gene Sparrow, who was serving in the U.S. Coast Guard. They were married in November of 1950 and six children were born to the union.
She is survived by her beloved sister, Shirley Brown of Virginia Beach, Va.; her six children, Gary (Sharon) Sparrow, Corpus Christi, Texas; Glenn (Marsha) Sparrow, South Fork, Colorado; Linda Sparrow, Alamosa, Colorado; Tim (Sandra) Sparrow, Crowley, Texas; Allison (Steve) Balog, Denver, Colorado; and Kathryn Bailey, Del Norte, Colorado; her five grandchildren, August (Amber) Sparrow, Jacqueline Sparrow, Bridget (Chuck) Sandoval, James Bailey and Samantha Sparrow; and six great-grandchildren, Alyssa, Ashtin, Aubrey, Tiffany, Brandy and Matilda.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Donald and Cora Biggs; husband, Gene Sparrow; brothers Bill and James Quentin Biggs, and two grandchildren, Brian Witherbee and Brandon Bailey.
Mary’s husband, Gene, was killed in Vietnam in 1967. Within months of his death, Mary left Norfolk, Virginia, and boldly moved her six grieving children to Alamosa to raise them in what she considered a safe rural setting. She was very active in local politics and served as chairwoman of the Alamosa Democratic Committee for many years. She was a professional seamstress, served as administrative assistant to the Alamosa County Commissioners and later office manager and volunteer at Hospice del Valle. She was an avid reader, talented cook, quilter and brilliant gardener.
Over the years, Mary opened her home to a number of children outside of the family and raised them as her own. She was a wonderful listener and giving to a fault. She will be greatly missed by those who knew and loved her.
Funeral Services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, October 25, 2012 at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Alamosa. A meal will follow services at the church parish hall.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Mary’s memory may be made to Hospice del Valle in care of Rogers Family Mortuary.