Marilyn Sparks, 52
Marilyn McMillan Sparks, 52, assistant librarian at Whitman
College, died October 1, 2001, in Walla Walla. An English major
who later earned an M.A. in information science at the University
of Washington, Sparks served the Whitman library for more than 50
years in all.
She was first employed as a student in 1948, continuing her job
after graduation until her marriage to George Sparks in 1956. She
worked at the public library in Richland, Washington, and in 1971,
after her husbands death, returned to Whitman to serve as
When she retired in 1997, Sparks was awarded the title of assistant
librarian emeritus. After retirement, she continued helping at the
library as a volunteer for the Northwest Archives. She also used
her skills on behalf of the Walla Walla Symphony, Kirkman House,
and other local agencies. She was a member of professional library
associations and served on the Washington Advisory Council on Libraries
Task Force on Library Service.
Memorials may be sent to the Marilyn Sparks Endowment Fund at Whitman
Bert Edwards, 36
Bert Edwards, 36, a trustee emeritus of Whitman College,
died October 29, 2001, in Walla Walla. A Walla Walla businessman,
Edwards began a 30-year career with Sherwood and Roberts in 1937,
rising to the position of executive vice president. From 1967 until
retirement he worked for First Federal Savings and Loan Association
as executive vice president.
Edwards was named an overseer of Whitman College in 1963 and served
as chair of the board. He was elected to the board of trustees in
1976. He chaired search committees for two presidents and helped
spearhead major fund-raising efforts including the Cordiner Hall
fund drive and the Campaign for Whitman in the early 1980s. In 1997
he received the Alumni Associations Gordon Scribner Award
for Distinguished Service.
Since 1939, Edwards also advised the Whitman chapter of Sigma Chi,
receiving the fraternitys national Order of Constantine, its
highest award for service, in 1984. Active as a Walla Walla volunteer,
over the years he helped chair more than a dozen United Way campaigns
and served 25 years on the YMCA board.
Survivors include his wife, Patricia. Family members who have attended
Whitman include his son Jock Edwards, 66, and grandchildren
Brooke Edwards, 94, Brittany Smith Lackey, 95, Jon Edwards,
95, Katherine Lethenstrom, 97, Emily Lethenstrom, 98,
and Ian Edwards, 03.