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Barbara Ann Sparkes

Musician Barbara Ann (Huey) Sparkes, 87, Birmingham, Ala., died Sunday, March 31, 2013.

Born on Jan. 24, 1926, in Indianapolis, Ind., to Helen and Gerald Huey, she was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Julian Sparkes; a sister, Sue Huey Smith; children, Marla Hiles, Lance Hiles and Kelly Sparkes; stepdaughters, Judy Kennady and Kathy Greene; and a grandchild, Ana-Kelly Jemison Lacy.

She was a piano and organ player with more than 60 years of professional experience. Her music focused on the great American Songbook. At 17, during World War II, she joined the USO Camp Shows as an accordionist, first traveling with a Tabloid Troupe across the U.S., then later to France and Germany. She was the focus of the story “Two Suitcases and an Accordion: Traveling with the USO Camp Shows,” created and performed with Birmingham actress Dolores Hydock beginning in 2009.

She moved to Birmingham in 2001. In 2002, she was a featured artist in a National Endowment for the Arts-funded performance of Birmingham’s best jazz pianists.

Survivors include her daughters, Tabitha Lacy (Alex), Birmingham, Ala., Tracy Chugani (Bobby), Austin, Texas, and Lisa Hiles, Bluffton, S.C.; sons, Kent Hiles, Hartford City, Ind., and Scott Hiles (Jennifer), Bedford, Ind.; stepchildren, Joan Riley (Jim), Lighthouse Point, Fla., Julian Sparkes, Cabot, Ark., Kevin Sparkes (Carol), Nampa, Idaho, and Pamela Hofflander (Barry), Nampa, Idaho; grandchildren, Alexis, Melanie, Evie, William, Shanon (Tia), and Lance (Julie); and great-grandchildren, Kynlee, Rylee, Sadie, Jude, Gabriella, Landon and Danielle.

A  Celebration of Life Service will be held at 1:30 p.m. today at Episcopal Place, 1112 26th Street South, Birmingham.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be sent to any cancer research organization, the Resident Relief Fund at Episcopal Place, Birmingham, or the Michael Feinstein Great American Songbook Initiative, One Center Green – The Palladium, Carmel, IN 46032.

Post online condolences at www.theheraldbulletin.com.

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