Barbara Ellen Sparks
Barbara Ellen was born on 24 February 1933 in Cliffside, NC, the eighth child of Robert Lee Sparks and Ebber Sloan Bostic. She was talented in music and public speaking, taking part in the Glee Club at Cliffside High School and winning the Declamation Recitation competition both in the eighth grade and ninth grade. After graduating from Cliffside High School in 1951 as salutatorian of her class, she attended Appalachian State University for one year. Barbara was employed in the offices of Cone Mills in Cliffside until 1953.
On 6 September 1953 Barbara was married at Cliffside Baptist Church to John Edward Mills. They lived in Chapel Hill, NC, until John graduated from UNC in 1955. They were in Charlotte where John was employed as a pharmacist when their first child, Judith Ellen Mills, was born on 5 March 1957. The family then moved to Cliffside where John worked with his father in Mills Drug Store. Their second child, Kristi Ann Mills, was born 10 January 1959 at Rutherford County Hospital. The family moved to Mt. Airy, NC in 1959 when John and his father purchased W. S. Wolfe Drug Company. Barbara and John’s third child, John Edward Mills, Jr., was born in Mt. Airy.
Barbara was a homemaker and was active in church and community life in Mt. Airy. She died at Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem on 8 January 1985 after several years of declining health. She is buried in Mt. Airy.
John Edward Mills, Sr. was born in Cliffside, NC, on 18 July 1932, the son of John C. Mills and Mae Spratt. He graduated from Cliffside High School in 1950 where he was active in sports and scouting. He attended UNC School of Pharmacy, graduating in 1955. His career in pharmacy was spent mostly in Mt. Airy. After selling W. S. Wolfe Drug Company, John continued to work as a pharmacist with Rite-Aid Drugs. He was active in many areas of community life, serving for several years on the Mt. Airy school board and as a member of the choir at Central United Methodist Church. John suffered a massive heart attack and died at Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem on 14 June 1997.
From Some of the Ancestors and Descendants of Robert Lee Sparks and Ebber Sloan Bostic by Jimmy Louis Sparks, 1999