Helene Sparger Obituary, Death – Helene Sparger, 79, died quietly in her home in the early hours of May 11 surrounded by her loving family. Her final yearning to come home was granted after a month in the hospital due to a lung infection. We also like to thank Hospice of Southern Illinois for their assistance.
Helene Gottschling was the youngest of five children born on May 14, 1943, in Salzgitter-Lebenstedt, Germany. Her family immigrated to America in 1953, settling in Harvey, Illinois, a Chicago suburb, where she attended Lowell Grade School and Thornton Township High School. She attended Eastern Illinois University after graduation. Helene Gottschling met and began dating Dennis Sparger in her junior year at Thornton. They married four years later.
Dennis and Helene moved to Belleville, Illinois, in 1966, after a year in Urbana, where they raised their family and continued to live. She retired in 1999 after working as a Ralph Lauren specialist in fine women’s clothes at Famous Barr and Macy’s at St. Clair Mall. She was a member of the Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority at EIU and a previous president of the P.E.O. chapter in Connecticut. She waited until 2007 to become an American citizen because of her parents and family’s ancestry.
Helene enjoyed dining out with friends, family dinners, and especially romantic dinners with her husband. She enjoyed classical music concerts, reading, the theater, and traveling. For nearly two decades, trips to Niagara on the Lake for the Shaw Festival were an annual event. She enjoyed supporting her children’s and grandchildren’s activities. Helene was well-known for her friendliness—she never passed up an opportunity to talk to a stranger—her gorgeous smile, elegance, grace, and ability to light up a room. When attending a Masterworks Chorale or Bach Society event, she made it a point to welcome as many people as possible, especially newcomers.