Ninna Pearl Sparks

January 7, 1935 - November 20, 2023
December 1, 2023 21 Condolences Print Obituary Send Flowers

It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Ninna Pearl Sparks (nee Bjornson) of Edmonton, AB. She died peacefully on the evening of November 20, at the age of 88.

Ninna was born in Foxford, Saskatchewan to Jonasina and Magnus Bjornson, the second of four daughters. Her father worked as a grain buyer, and the family moved to McLaughlin, AB, then Portage La Prairie, MB, before settling in Smeaton SK. As a young girl, Ninna was confident, cheerful,and atheletic. She was a devoted daughter, loyal sister, and defender of the underdog.

After completing high school, Ninna moved to Moose Jaw, SK to pursue her nursing degree, a profession for which she was ideally suited. It was here that she met her future husband, RCAF pilot Lorne Sparks. They were married in 1959 and moved to Montreal where they welcomed their first son Ken. Eventually, they would move to Edmonton and add two more boys to their family, Stephen and Doug. She joked that raising boys was "an extreme sport," and she enjoyed many family adventures including ski trips, camping, and literally "buying a farm" where her prairie girl work ethic helped to make it a success.

Throughout her marriage and after divorce, Ninna continued nursing in a career that spanned over 35 years. The bulk of this was spent at The Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital where she was affectionately known as "the stump nurse." She had a positive impact on countless patients' lives, and was well-liked and respected by her fellow nurses and doctors for her caring yet no-nonsense approach to healthcare.

After retiring in 1998, she continued to do the things which gave her so much pleasure in her life. She traveled with friends. She continued to support the local arts community, enjoying her season tickets to the Winspear as well as local theatres. She was a voracious reader and always had a book on the go. She was also a huge sports fan (the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Toronto Blue Jays were her teams!) When one visited her, one often had to compete with a big screen television blaring a baseball, hockey, football game, or curling.
Ever practical, ever strong, she had a deep and abiding lifelong faith. She was the one person you could always rely on for advice and support. She was a loving and very involved grandparent to her grandchildren. She could poke fun at others, but she could also laugh at herself. And her keen sense of humour kept us laughing until the end.

Ninna is predeceased by her parents, Magnus and Jonasina Bjornson, her son Kenneth Sparks, sisters Betty Moskal and Margaret/Toni Gauzer.

Left to mourn are her sister Shelly Stadnick (George), sons Stephen Sparks (Shelley Hoffman), Douglas Sparks (Linda Grass-Sparks), daughter-in-law Lisa Cryderman; grandchildren Erin-Lee Hosken and Matthew Sparks, Astrid and Axel Sparks, and Maggie Howell; great-grandchildren Alexander, Eric, Nathaniel, and Joseph Hosken; nieces Kim, Krista, Carlane and Lacey, and nephews Alan and Jared.

Ninna's family would like to thank Dr. Abuzahar and the wonderful nursing staff at the Tofield Health Centre for their exceptional and compassionate care.

A funeral service will be held on Saturday, December 16, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. at The Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, 5003 - 162 Ave. Edmonton, AB.

"Your strength will be in keeping calm and showing trust." Isiah 30:15

  1. My heartfelt sympathies to all of your family. I’m a friend of Doug’s. Rest in peace beautiful lady ❤️

  2. Ninna will be sorely missed. She was such a positive, loving, and upbuilding sister in our congregation. Her practical advise based on her deep respect for God’s word was deeply appreciated. During the covid shutdown, her cheerful presence on Zoom encouraged so many.
    We look forward to seeing our dear friend again when she is resurrected to life in the restored paradise on earth.
    In the meantime we want to express our condolences to her family and close friends. Big hugs to everyone. 😊😊😊

  3. We share with you the loss of a wonderful Ninna – we will miss her deeply.
    Ninna alway took such delight in sharing stories about her sons, her grandkids and great grandkids and all the family gatherings held at Doug’s house.
    Going to the Prospect Baseball game with Ninna was indeed an adventure – one we will always treasure.
    Our many condolences to the family.

  4. I, Arlene, first met Ninna who was volunteering in First Aid at the Edmonton Coliseum during a large convention. Her trust, humility, and caregiving skills were obvious. She became a dear friend and fellow worshipper to many. Her fondness for children was evident when she insisted on giving a framed giraffe picture for our granddaughter who also loves giraffes. Our sincere condolences go out to Ninna’s family and friends. We share in your sadness. She will be greatly missed.

  5. Ninna is truly a gem. We will miss her. My family met her 12 years ago, worked together on various occasions, and shared African food together. She is very fond of little kids. She is always looking out for the good of others. Until we meet in Paradise.

  6. Ninna was always so kind and cheerful. She was a true cornerstone in our congregation, you could always count on her being present whether in person or via zoom. We extend our deepest condolences to her family and friends. She will be greatly missed by many, including us.

  7. Our deepest sympathies for your loss. Nina will be sorely missed. We loved her so very much. Her kindness and love for others was so evident. May you find comfort in beautiful memories.

  8. We sorely miss our dear Ninna. She was our partner, sitting next to us at the Kingdom Hall during meetings and out in service together often. We had such fun together on our trips to Palm Desert in the winters and our favourite food there was fish and chips . Even the brothers and sisters there loved her too as she had such an outgoing and loving personality. Looking forward to seeing her once again in the new world we are anxiously awaiting.

  9. We will miss Ninna dearly especially on Zoom.We all had many laughs and enjoyed Nina’s sense of humour.We look forward to seeing her in the New World!

  10. Ninna was a true gem. She loved life and will be remembered how she handled with style the ups and downs that getting older brought her. We will miss her heartfelt comments at the meetings on zoom and her hugs when we met in person. Our condolences to the family whom she so dearly loved.

  11. A special person. Will be remembered by those who met her.

  12. Lovely obituary allowing us to know Ninna better. I remember first meeting her as a fellow attendant at the First Aid table at conventions though I’ve known her Douglas since kindergarten. Through the years, I’ve heard of her exploits and loving support of the brotherhood from my Mom and through Douglas too. Most recently, as she was moving out of her apartment, Ninna made some beautiful donations to some of our Ukrainian Refugee sisters, again showing her generosity and love of others. She will definitely be missed by all of us until we are able to welcome her back and update her on all that has happened since she went to sleep. My love and condolences to her family.

  13. May the resurrection hope be our source of comfort. Our sincere condolences to sister Ninna’s family. She is Missed.

  14. Our dear Ninna will be sorely missed by us both. She was a loyal and true friend. We loved her. Her sense of humour, kindness, and mature perspective was treasured and we feel her loss deeply. We are looking forward to the day we will see her again in paradise. Our sincere condolences go out to her family members. We know she loved you all dearly.

  15. Ninna was much loved and is dearly missed by everyone who knew her. We appreciated her perspective, honesty and strength. She was always positive despite all her trials and brought joy to those around her. We are so sorry for your loss.

  16. Our condolence to the family. I had the opportunity to visit Ninna in Tofield hospital. It provided another time to thank her for volunteering to help when I was responsible for first aid at our circuit conventions. It was such a relief to have someone so experienced to be available when individuals arrived needing care. She had a personality that really endeared her to others.

  17. Thank you all for your memories and kind words.

  18. Our very sincere condolences to Nina’s family as they suffer this very great loss.
    Nina was such a stoic defender of our God Jehovah. We will miss her down to earth humour and I (Loretta) have many fond memories of working in service with her. She made service serious and fun at the same time. What a wonderful day it will be when we welcome her back to a pristine earth.

  19. Nina was a woman of strength/patience and with a heart of gold. And practically. Allan Hermanson adored his aunt Nina.
    Margaret Baker (spouse: Allan Hermanson)

  20. We will sure miss Ninna’s kindness, encouragement and wit.
    We extend our deepest condolences to her family.

  21. Condolences to Ninna’s family. Ninna was a true gem, lots of advice (solicited or not) always from the heart. We loved her so much and miss her dearly. Looking forward to seeing her again in the new system of things.

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