Longtime FCT publisher Claude Sparks passes away

Claude E. Sparks, 89, of Huntsville, passed away Wednesday at his home. He was born in Imboden, Arkansas, to the late Lucy and Claude E. Sparks Sr.

Mr. Sparks graduated from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Journalism. His lifelong career was in the newspaper business, which started with delivering newspapers for the Arkansas Gazette in Imboden and then establishing The Franklin Citizen and the Franklin County Times in 1965. Mr. Sparks served as the President of the Alabama Press Association in 1976 and served on many community organizations throughout the 1960s. Mr. Sparks was awarded U.S. Steel Corporation’s weekly newspaper “Alabama Journalist of the Year” in 1964.

Mr. Sparks is survived by his wife of 66 years, Anne Weldy Sparks; daughter, Amy Sparks Epps (Bruce) of Huntsville; son, Thomas Weldy Sparks of Birmingham; two granddaughters, Dr. Sarah Grace Epps and Emily Anne Epps; and daughter-in-law, Lisa Sparks of Hazel Green.

He was preceded in death by his beloved son, Joseph Andrew Sparks.

The family will receive friends from 10-11 a.m. Sept. 22 at Laughlin Service Funeral Home, with a graveside service to follow at 2 p.m. at Franklin Memory Gardens, Russellville, Alabama.

(www.laughlinservice.com)

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