School 31

Helen (Boxx) Sparkman Brandt

January 17, 1925 ~ March 19, 2023 (age 98) 98 Years Old

Helen Sparkman Brandt Obituary

Helen (Sparkman) Brandt, 97, departed this earthly life Sunday, March 19, 2023, in Decatur, Illinois.

She was born in western Butler County to Myrtle (Davis) Boxx and Luther Boxx.  After attending four different grade schools and two years of high school at Ellsinore, she graduated from Poplar Bluff High school in 1943. Beginning her teaching at age 17, she taught rural schools in Butler County 14 years. By attending college classes during the summer during the summer terms, she received her BSE degree in 1962. After teaching two years at Fox School at Arnold, Missouri and 17 years at Poplar Bluff Junior High School, Helen retired in 1980.  (Helen often remarked that teaching was a rewarding vocation – not financially, but watching children learn.)  

Upon retirement, she pursued new interests. One of these interests was working in the Butler County Genealogical Society. Serving as Chairperson of the group, they completed the two volumes of Butler County History in 1988. Later she was Editor of the AREA FOOTPRINTS for 10 years. After this, with some assistance, Helen canvassed 32 cemeteries of NW Butler County. Helen was a member of the Cane Creek UMC for over 50 years. She served as the church historian, UMW president, S.S. and church membership secretary and pianist. In 2006 she became a member of the First UMC of Poplar Bluff. Helen was a member of the Butler County Retired Teachers, serving as President. in 2006; a member of Cane Creek Homemakers; and Secretary-Treasurer of Shiloh Cemetery 14 years.  Other interests were vegetable and flower gardening, reading, playing the piano, attending gospel singings, card playing, church and club work.

John Sparkman and Helen were married Aug. 21, 1944. They moved to the old Sparkman farm, John’s birthplace, on Ten Mile in 1949 with their two infant girls, Mary and Linda. John passed away Feb. 20, 1998.  She later married Rev. Carl Brandt, a retired Methodist minister. He died Jan. 22, 2019. After living near her daughter, Linda, in Colorado, for 12 years, Helen moved to Illinois to be near her daughter, Mary, in April 2019.

Survivors: Helen’s sister, Esther (Boxx) Burleson, of Doniphan, Missouri; two daughters, Mary (Sparkman) Spencer (David), Forsyth, Illinois, and Linda (Sparkman) Cory, Greeley, Colorado; two grandchildren, Ron Spencer (Kristi) League City, Texas, Janet Perry (Rodney) Parker, Colorado; four great-grandsons, Levi and Ben Perry, Jake and Garrett Spencer. 

Preceding Helen in death were her parents, two brothers, Clifton and Malcolm Boxx, a special son-in-law, Paul Cory, and a special niece, Jeanne (Burleson) Hagar.

Visitation will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 25, 2023, at Cotrell Willow Ridge Funeral Chapel in Poplar Bluff.  The funeral service will follow at 2 p.m. in the chapel, with Rev. Brian Sharp officiating.  Interment will be at Sparkman Cemetery.

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March 25, 2023

1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Cotrell Willow Ridge Funeral Chapel (Iron Bridge Road)

Funeral Service
March 25, 2023

2:00 PM
Cotrell Willow Ridge Funeral Chapel (Iron Bridge Road)

Interment following funeral service
March 25, 2023

Sparkman Cemetery
Off TT Hwy
Butler County, MO 63901


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