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Karla Kaye Sparby, 42 Print E-mail
Written by TRF Times   
 Thief River Falls - Karla Kaye Sparby, 42, died on Thursday, March 3, 2005 at Northwest Medical Center in Thief River Falls. 
  She was diagnosed on December 23, 2004 with terminal cancer. To learn more about her courageous battle with cancer, visit her Website at www.caringbridge.org (directory-mn and name-karla).
 Funeral services were held on Monday, March 7 at Zion Lutheran Church in Thief River Falls, with Rev. Gary Johnson officiating.   Casket bearers included Bruce Brink, Jeff Nelson, Greg Nelson, Bryan Nelson, Steve Nelson, Michael Sparby and Delray Sparby. Honorary casket bearers included all of Karla and Russ’s many friends and relatives. Interment was held at Greenwood Cemetery in Thief River Falls.
 Karla Kaye Nelson was born on June 3, 1962 in St. Ansgar Hospital in Moorhead, the daughter of Jerome and Marilyn (Dargus) Slager. She was baptized and confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church and attended Lincoln High School, graduating in 1980. After high school Karla attended Northland College, where she was crowned Homecoming Queen in 1981.
 Karla was united in marriage to Russell Sparby on March 12, 1983 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Thief River Falls. The couple lived in Warroad, 1985-1988, Eagan, 1988-1989, Deerfield, Wis., 1989-1992 and December of 1992 Karla and Russell returned to Thief River Falls, where they have continued to make their home. They have two daughters, Mandy, born in 1985 and Kassi, born in 1989, who were both baptized and confirmed at Zion Lutheran Church, as their father was also confirmed at Zion.
 During her career she worked at the Best Western, Marvin Windows in Warroad, Lake Family Dental Center in Warroad, Family Dental Center in Burnsville, Universal Screen Print in Thief River Falls, and most recently she worked for Tony Dorn in Thief River Falls, where she worked in sales throughout northwestern Minnesota.  Karla had a great relationship with her clients.
 Karla was Miss Thief River Falls Snowmobile Queen in 1980, Miss Northwest Snowmobile Queen, played flute in band, and lettered in track. She was also active in the Miss Thief River Falls Pageant. Karla also loved snowmobiling, hunting, scuba diving, fishing, and traveling with Russ throughout the country and Caribbean. She enjoyed several trips to Florida with the girls and she and Russ most recently enjoyed a trip to Jamaica in October. She always loved nature, either on their journeys, around home or watching TV.
 Karla’s greatest attribute, she never thought of herself, always thought of her family first.  She never complained, even throughout her illness. There was nothing she didn’t think she could accomplish.  Karla had a deep trust and love for her soul mate, Russell. They were best friends throughout their marriage, always had a deep love for each other. Russ never left home without a romantic card or something stuck in his luggage. 
 She was a member of Zion Lutheran Church, where she taught Sunday School and directed the Sunday School Christmas program.  She also taught Sunday School in Deerfield.
 Karla is survived by her hopeless romantic husband, Russell Sparby of Thief River Falls; two loving daughters, Mandi and Kassi, who got their mother’s outgoing personality and sense of humor; her mother, Marilyn Nelson (Ward, “Pops”) Brink of Thief River Falls; grandmother, Opal Dargus of Thief River Falls; brothers, Jeff (Connie) Nelson of Viking, Greg Nelson of Thief River Falls, Bryan (Jody) Nelson of Goodridge and Steve (fiancé, Tammy) Nelson of Strathcona; step-brother, Bruce (Sandy) Brink of Thief River Falls; step-sister, Debby (Kerry) Rhoan of Idaho; Tami (Tony) Gould of Oklahoma; sister-in-law, Junelle (Barry) Hoffer of Thief River Falls; brothers-in-law, Delray (Tammy) Sparby of Thief River Falls, and Michael (Nancy) Sparby of Morris,; mother-in-law and father-in-law, Wallace and Ione Sparby of Thief River Falls; and many nieces and nephews, uncles, aunts and friends.
 She was preceded in death by her grandfather, Herman Dargus; and cousin, Sean Dargus.