Nina Sparks Haaversen, 51, dies

Nina Sparks Haaversen, 51, died in a car accident Nov. 23 outside of Ely. She and her family have been Ely residents for 15 years.
Nina was born on June 30, 1965 in New Brighton, PA, and grew up there. She attended Geneva College in the area then headed for Colorado in 1986. That’s where she met her husband, Carl Haaversen, on the second day after she arrived. They were married in Colorado Feb. 10, 1990, and then moved to Coon Rapids, MN in April ’93. They and their four children moved to Ely April, 2001, where she home schooled her children.
Nina was very active in the community. She was a volunteer for Meals on Wheels and the Nordic Ski Team. She was well known for her cooking skills and supplied the food for countless ski team banquets, events and races over many years.
She was a popular chef at Camp du Nord and Camp Voyageur for several years. Hundreds of people purchased her pumpkin rolls every fall. She was an avid gardener who loved Ely but not its short growing season. She loved trying new things, including tapping maple trees to make syrup.
Nina was a generous person who was always available to help. The Haaversen family hosted high school exchange students from Japan, Italy, Germany and Brazil.
Nina was preceded in death by her father, Frank Romanchak. She is survived by her husband of almost 27 years, Carl, and children: Jon Haaversen (girlfriend Katie Alexson), Duluth; Rachel Haaversen (partner Kendra Osgood), Prescott, AZ; Erik Haaversen, Duluth; Caty Haaversen, Billings, MT; her mother Sylvia Romanchak, New Brighton, PA; siblings: Frank Sparks, New Brighton; Steve Romanchak, Pensacola, FL and Margorie Lecnar, New Brighton; in-laws Bill and Arlene Haaversen, Brainerd; and numerous loving aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews.
A celebration of Nina’s life will be held December 10 at 1 p.m. at LedgeRock Community Church in Ely, MN. Memorials may be directed to the family, 245 East White, Ely, 55731, or to your favorite charity.