Dorothy Leonie Sparkman Coley, 88, of Lafayette, TN, died June 30, 2012 surrounded by her family. She was born September 8, 1923 to the late Alexander Patton Sparkman and late Leonie Hardison Sparkman of Carter’s Creek community in Maury County, TN.
She graduated from David Lipscomb College in 1943 and worked five years for the Tennessee Department of Education. On April 5, 1948, she married Dee Wilber Coley who preceded her in death on January 13, 1977.
They lived in the Coleytown community in Macon County where they partnered with Dee’s brother, Clyde, and built a nationally recognized registered Hereford cattle operation, Coley Hereford Farm. For many years she and her husband operated Coley Sales Service and managed cattle sales all over the southeast.
From 1974-1978, she worked with the GED program for the Macon County Board of Education and Vol State Community College. A high percentage of students earned their diplomas due to her efforts. She worked 13 years with Federal Mogel Corporation before she retired.
She was an active member of the Lafayette Church of Christ, Tennessee Hereford Women’s Auxiliary, American Hereford Women, American Diabetes Association and Friends of the Library. She was honored as the Tennessee Hereford Woman of the Year for 3 years and in 1993 she was selected as an honorary member of the University of Tennessee Block and Bridle Club.
She is survived by four children: Dr. Robert B. Coley (Jan), New Market, TN; James D. Coley (Kay), Castalian Springs, TN; Carol Coley McDonald, Carthage, TN; Bonnie Coley-Malir (Rick), Dublin, OH. Six grandchildren: Kimberly and Chad Coley, Denise Coley Skelton (Wesley), Michael Coley, Celia and Sarah McDonald and one great-granddaughter: Hannah Katherine Skelton; Two sisters-in-law: Christine Sparkman and Bettie Sparkman. Brother-in-law: Clyde Coley.
Preceding her in death, besides her husband, are her parents, four brothers, Seth, Richard, Alex, and Tom Sparkman, and one sister Eula Bates Dale.
A Celebration of Life was conducted Tuesday at 11 am from the Lafayette Church of Christ with Jerry Mercer and Richard Rogers officiating. Visitation was conducted Monday, July 2, 2012 at the Alexander Funeral Home in Lafayette, TN from 3:00 - 8:00 and Tuesday at the Lafayette Church of Christ prior to services at 11:00. Interment followed in the Macon County Memorial Gardens.
Active Pallbearers were Skip Sparkman, Lexie Sparkman, Hanes Sparkman, Larry Dale, Pat Sparkman, Tommy Coley, Johnny Coley and Joe Coley.
Honorary Pallbearers were members of Chamberlain-McBroom Bible Class and Elders and Deacons of Lafayette Church of Christ as well as Billy Usher, Tim Ledbetter, Terry Petty, Charlie Ingram, Bobby Morel, Chet Travirea, Billy Merkel, Harold Hardison, Wayne B. Hardison and Ollie Joe Sparkman.
Memorials may be made to the Dee W. & Dorothy Coley Memorial Stockman Award or the Lafayette Church of Christ by sending contributions to Alexander Funeral Home, 209 E. Locust Street, Lafayette, TN 37083.