Janice Sparks, age 92 of Isanti, passed away peacefully July 24, 2021 at Walker Methodist Levande in Cambridge. Private family services will be held. A public Celebration of Life will be held in September.
Janice was born to Swedish immigrants Les and Olga (Olson) Darth on July 7, 1929 in Minneapolis. She grew up in North Minneapolis with her two sisters and graduated from North High. Janice met George Sparks, Jr. on a blind date in 1948 and the rest was history. They married On December 4th of the same year and started their home on a farm in Brooklyn Center before moving to Isanti in 1955 where they raised 5 children.
Janice dreamed big, worked hard and lived life to the fullest. She and George started the Green Barn Farm Market in 1957; they worked side by side in the fields, green houses, stand and Minneapolis Farmers Market to build a business that is now in its 65th year and 3rd generation.
Family was Janice’s pride and joy and she counted many as her extended family including the Schmitz family, friends from the Pipe Coverers union and University of Minnesota exchange students from around the world; Chris, Terry, Rob S, Rob M, and Bente.
Janice had a passion for travel; she and George walked the Great Wall of China, took the train across Australia and explored much of Europe. A year was never complete without a trip to Las Vegas; she loved a good show and was always lucky at the tables.
After George passed away in 1993 Janice continued to live both on the farm and at her home in Fountain Hills Arizona. She ran a greenhouse in Lindstrom with Sparky, traveled with friends and was an avid reader. Janice was blessed to have had over 20 years of companionship with Mark Schmitz; they enjoyed winters in Arizona, summers at Lake Hannah, concerts in the park, finding deals at garage sales and playing cribbage.
The final chapter of Janice’s life brought her to Walker Methodist Levande in Cambridge where she continued to enjoy a rich quality of life with new friends, fun social gatherings, patio gardening and a wonderful staff that provided friendship and excellent care. In her final months, Janice was fortunate to have had the added support of the Ecumen Hospice team; their nursing care, music therapy and spiritual support helped to provide the highest level of comfort.
Janice will be missed but never forgotten by her children, George III (Sparky) Sparks, Susan Shackelford & Tony Hoheisel, Tony & Cathy Sparks, David & Julie Sparks, Sally & Chad Hoehne; grandchildren, Donny, David, Ben, Kelsey, Michelle, Jake and Justin; and three great-grandchildren. Janice is also survived by her sister, Barbara Dilley and several nieces and nephews.
Janice has reunited with her parents, Les and Olga; loving husband, George; sister, Jean; and many other family members and good friends. There will be a private family service with a public celebration of life to follow in September.
Nothing would make Janice happier than your buying a tree at the Green Barn to plant in her honor.