Vilma I. Sparks

Vilma I. Sparks 82, went home to her Savior on Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at her daughter’s home. She was born in Guaypao, Puerto Rico on July 12, 1938 to Celso and Margarita Ramirez Irizarry.

Vilma was a graduate of Washington Irving High School in New York, NY, Marymount College where she received a secretarial certificate and Rhema Bible Training Center where she earned a ministerial license and ordination.

Vilma was an executive secretary working for Williams Brothers Petroleum Engineering and later for the Hilti Corporation. In her later years she was a childcare worker at the YMCA in Saratoga Springs.

She enjoyed serving as a Pastoral and Evangelism Translator for outreach in Latino Communities in the continental US and Puerto Rico. She was passionate about working with children, both as a teacher’s aide in the 1980’s and coming out of retirement to serve in an afterschool care program.

The most important things in Vilma’s life were her love for Jesus, her family and her community.

She was predeceased by her husband Joseph Sparks II and her sister Nelly Vargas. Vilma is survived by her children Margaret-Anne Watson (Douglas), Vilma Meeker (Mark), Joseph Sparks III, and Dwight Sparks; stepdaughter Laureen Sparks; grandchildren Zoe Meeker, Samantha Masey, Caitlin Meeker, Matthew Watson, Ashley Dionne, Tara Meeker, Isabel Sparks, Jenna Watson, Adriana Sparks, Joseph Sparks and Antonio Carter; great grandchildren Silas Meeker and Robert Pippin; siblings Celso Irizarry II, Nydia Cofresi, Alba Irizarry, Elisa Irizarry, Celso Irizarry III and George Irizarry; and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held 11am Saturday, September 26 at the Saratoga Abundant Life Church, 2 Hutchins Road, Saratoga Springs. A calling hour will precede the service from 10am to 11am at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to James Project of Latin America, PO Box 842210, Kansas, MO 64184-2210 or donate online at

Guest Book

Donna Heichel

Vilma was more than a friend to me. She and I were Sister's in Christ. She showed me how to be a better Christian as we shared our lives. I met Vilma in a Griefshare grief support group. She became a supporter to those who attended with their grief. She was a true believer of Jesus. He was her Lord and Savior.. She judged no one. On a trip to Florida she introduced me to her family. Everyone Christian's and lovingly welcomed you as a new friend.

God Bless you my beautiful friend and Sister in Christ. I love you and we will meet again.

Jason and Toni Scott

Vilma was more than just a kind neighbor, she was a dear friend and we will miss her greatly.