Mae Arlene Ness Sparby, 95, passed away October 6, at Dove Healthcare in Bloomer, WI. She was born on her parent’s farm north of Sand Creek, Wisconsin on April 23, 1927. Her father had also been born in the same house in 1895. She married Charles S. Sparby on April 3, 1952 at Zion Lutheran Church in Sand Creek. Mae attended Sand Creek Elementary School and Junior High, and Chetek High School, graduating with the Class of 1944. The Class of 1944 had no yearbook – the only Chetek class to miss this milestone – due to World War II. Mae, with fellow classmates, created a long-awaited yearbook for their class sixty-five years after graduation.
Following high school Mae attended the Minnesota School of Business in Minneapolis. In the eight years she lived in the cities she lived at Augsburg College, and in several houses with friends. She worked for Lutheran Brotherhood, now Thrivent, was secretary to the Dean of Education at the University of Minnesota, and secretary for the Public Relations Director at Augsburg University.
She returned home to Sand Creek in 1952, to marry Charles. Their paths had crossed in the community, at church, and when Charles would pick up the Ness’ milk on his route every morning. They bought the Ness farm, which came with a live-in hired man, Odin Anderson, and began their life together. They had four children, Mark, who was killed in a car accident at age 16 in 1970, Gregory, who died as a result of a congenital heart condition at age eight in 1962, Michael, and Mary.
Mae was busy throughout her life, serving through her church, 4-H, Scouts, as an officer of the Women’s groups locally and through the synod, serving on other boards, was an active quilter with the New Hope Comforters, and served in many other ways. She worked as church secretary for many years at New Hope Lutheran Church.
Mae was preceded in death by her great-grandparents, most of whom immigrated to the United States from Norway: Gregers and Helen Olesdatter (Solberg) Anderson, and Bent Andreas and Helene Jonsdatter Hanson, both of whom homesteaded north of Sand Creek around 1870; Martin and Oleana Halvorsdatter (Sorknes) Christianson, whose homestead was at Eagle Lake/Ottertail County, Minnesota, and Herman and Maren Hansdatter (Holmen) Hermansen (Botilsrud) who remained in Grue, Hedmark, Norway; her grandparents: Ole (Anderson) and Annie (Hanson) Ness (her grandfather, Ole, changed the family name to Ness thinking there were too many Andersons in the area) of Sand Creek, and Mary (Martinson) and John Rude (Botilsrud) of Henning/Ottertail County, Minnesota; her parents: Aron Garfield and Mabel (Rude) Ness formerly of Sand Creek; her in-laws: Kristian Olaf and Sylvia (Warp) Sparby formerly of Sand Creek; in-laws: Dennis Sparby formerly of Sand Creek, and Melvina (Sparby) and Stanton Waterhouse formerly of Eau Claire, Wisconsin; siblings: sister, Gertrude Ness Berg, and her twin, John Ness; aunts: Cornelia Rude and Hulda Rude; and foster aunt and uncle: Irene Hoff Mullen, and Henry Borge; her husband: Charles; her sons: Mark Charles and Gregory Alan; and son-in-law: Ronald Keller.
She leaves to celebrate her life: a son, Michael of Chetek, Wisconsin; a daughter, Mary Keller of Chetek, Wisconsin; three grandchildren: Nicholas Sparby and Erik Sparby of St. Paul, Minnesota and their mother, Kristin M. Anderson, and Ashley (Nathan) Bingenheimer of Hudson, Wisconsin; two great-grandchildren: Bennett and Margot Bingenheimer; brother in-law, Alden Berg; nieces and nephews: Jeff Berg, Tim Berg (Jean Giebenhain), and Becky Schnacky, and Glen and Dawn Waterhouse; many cousins and countless friends.
A Memorial Service will be held at New Hope Lutheran Church’s Sand Creek Site, E9085 County Road V, located one mile west of Sand Creek at the corner of County Roads V and U, at 11 a.m. on Saturday, October 22, 2002 with visitation prior to the service from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday at the church. The service will be Streamed from www.newhopescpc.org. Burial will be at Zion Cemetery north of Sand Creek immediately following. A luncheon will be served in the church’s fellowship hall. Arrangements have been entrusted to Olson Funeral Home in Bloomer. Online Condolences may be expressed at olsonfunerealhomebloomer.com
The family thanks the staff at Dove Healthcare in Bloomer for their care over these past few years, and St. Joseph’s Hospice for guiding her through her final days.
Memorials preferred to New Hope Lutheran Church, New Hope Lutheran Church Foundation, Zion Cemetery Association, which can be mailed to PO Box 85, Sand Creek, WI 54765, or to the giver’s preference.