Ninna Pearl Sparks
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