The Heavenly choir has gained another voice in its alto section.

Mrs. Nita Page Forehand Sparks passed away on July 13 at home, surrounded by her family after an extended illness. She was born in Conway on July 18, 1930, daughter of Dewitt Forehand and Nina Moore Forehand. 

She was predeceased by Gene O. Sparks, her beloved husband of 65 years, also by her siblings, Norwood Forehand, Doris Vereen, Elva Thomas, Ronald Forehand and Louise Forehand.

Sparks graduated from Conway High School and attended Winthrop College.

She is survived by her children, Reneé Sparks Defalco (Jeffrey) of Conway, John Marshall Sparks of Myrtle Beach, Alan Norwood Sparks (Kristi) of Mt. Pleasant, and Mary Grace Sparks of Conway. She loved her grandchildren, Page Louise Curry, and Jacob and Katie Sparks. 

Nita was a member of First Baptist Church Conway where she sang in the Chancel Choir for most of her life. Generations of Lovell Child Care Kindergarten and Sunday school students remember how they benefited from her dedication to their nurturing education. 

She was an influential community member in the Ivy Garden Club, winning awards for her arrangements; in CAP (Churches Assisting People); in TOR (Theatre of the Republic) as a performer and a volunteer; and on the Horry County Foster Care Review Board, advocating for adoption.

Children and adults gained literacy from her volunteer tutoring work. 

Nita and Gene enjoyed dancing, playing Bridge and planning adventures with their family. 

Her passion for gardening, nature and animals will thrive as her progeny continue her legacy. 

Her loyalty and care was, and will be cherished by her closest friends and extended family, who are invited to a private graveside memorial service which will be held by Goldfinch Funeral Home July 26 at 4 p.m. in Lakeside Cemetery. 

I'm the editor of the Horry Independent, a weekly newspaper in Conway, South Carolina. I cover city hall and courts, among many other subjects. Know of a good story? Call me at 843-488-7241.

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