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Le Petit Marche’s Mom, Dorothy Sparks, passes away

Food Kirkwood and East Lake

Le Petit Marche’s Mom, Dorothy Sparks, passes away

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Dorothy Sparks


Her name was Dorothy Sparks but to regular patrons of Le Petit Marche in Kirkwood she was known as Mom.

Mom passed away on June 7, at home, surrounded by family, friends and her beloved dogs following a long, hard-fought battle with cancer. She was 73.

Her daughter, Marchet Sparks, said, “Kirkwood has lost a legend as her soups, cakes and cookies were some of the best highlights Le Petit Marche offered.”

Marchet wanted everyone to know about an upcoming memorial service for her mother. It will be held Wednesday, June 12 at 11 a.m. at Greater Piney Grove B.C., 1879 Glenwood Ave SE, 30316.

Her daughter provided the following account of her mom’s “Beautiful Life Story.”

It was 1963 when 18-year old Dorothy Mae Sparks, left coastal Mississippi seeking a better life first in New York City, then Los Angeles. She arrived to the big city penniless and uncertain about her new life but was sustained by a few supportive cousins.

One day, having been invited to a church service at Gethsemane Christian Love Baptist Church, she caught the attention of one of its ushers, Isaac Sparks.

At age 20, Isaac himself had also recently left rural Arkansas and headed to the big city in search of a better life. Like Dorothy, he joined other family members after arriving to Los Angeles with a meager $6 dollars and a bag of fried chicken, a proper send-off gift from his mother, Ruth Sparks.

After several failed attempts to ask her out, Isaac was victorious and a love affair, that would span five decades, began. The couple set sail to build a life together and after having been spared a draft to Vietnam, Isaac ended up stationed in Germany where he’d serve his county as a sergeant in the Army. After a 2-year stint overseas, he returned to Los Angeles and promptly married his sweetheart on June 25th, 1967. Their one and only child, Marchet Sparks, was born in 1973.

The young couple embraced life as parents and worked hard to build their future together. Dorothy took a job as a data entry clerk with utility giant, Southern California Edison, later obtaining a Master’s Degree from California State University at Dominguez Hills. After rising to the ranks of a corporate real estate appraiser, Dorothy retired in 2005 after 33 years of service. Similarly, Isaac concluded his 30-year career with the City of Los Angeles having worked his way up from a trash collector to a high-level Superintendent overseeing street paving for the entire San Fernando Valley.

Dorothy and Isaac moved to Atlanta in 2005 to build their dream house and settle into semi-retired life with Dorothy joining the team at Keller Williams Realty, Atlanta Partners. Little did they know, daughter Marchet would relocate as well and open a business, Le Petit Marche in 2008 where they eagerly participated in its growth. Dorothy, Isaac and Marchet worked side-by-side building what would become a staple restaurant where Mom’s soups, cakes and cookies were sought-after and highly regarded.

Known affectionately by many as “Mom,” Dorothy was a mainstay at the restaurant often touching the hearts of those who came to visit with warm, non-judgmental affection and the “cool mom” vibe so many people adored. Adding to her arsenal of extended family, she joined the spiritual congregation at Greater Piney Grove Baptist Church where she was a proud usher and tribe member.

Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013 and after a courage-filled, hard-fought battle, ascended with dignity on June 7th, 2019. She praised the Lord the whole way through and her faith never once wavered for which, God is most certainly pleased.

Preceded in death by her mother, Ida Mae Ingram and brother Bobby Ingram, Dorothy is survived by her loving husband of 52 years, Isaac Sparks, daughter Marchet Sparks-Tune and son-in-law, Romal Tune in addition to a host of cousins, nieces, nephews and her cherished dogs, Benji and Happy.

She lived and loved like no other. Her earthly presence will be missed but she is more alive than ever, in the presence of her Lord and Savior.

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