Funeral Services were held for Einar “Erp” Paavola, age 90 of New York Mills, on Wednesday, November 2, 2022, at Apostolic Lutheran Church in New York Mills with Pastor Nicholas Kandoll officiating. Music was provided by Louise Amberg-Jokela and Janell Brakel. Soloists were Tom Hammers and John Paavola. Pallbearers were Chad Wallgren, Brandon Kupfer, Tanner Paavola, John Lex, David Paavola, Brad Helmeke, and Brian Maki. Honorary Pallbearers were Gene Falk, Larry Witt, Ron Ehnert, Jerry Anderson, Bobbi Anderson, Roger Salo, Larry Hodgson, Wayne Smith, Leo Bernu, Tom Kimmes, and Harold Sunstrom. Erp was laid to rest at Woodland Cemetery, New York Mills. 

Einar Roy Paavola (Erp) was born on June 20, 1932 in rural New York Mills. As the baby of the family, he came into the world in the Finnish sauna at their home. His parents were the late Fred and Flora (Hietala) Paavola. He attended country school through eighth grade, and then attended New York Mills Public School where he graduated in 1950. He was confirmed at the Trinity Church, and raised on the Kenyon farm just west of town.  

On June 11, 1955, Erp was united in marriage to Elaine Amberg at the Apostolic Lutheran Church in New York Mills. They were married 67 years where they continually displayed the loyalty, steadfast love, and hard work a marriage requires. It was rare to see them apart. Their marriage was blessed with three children: Kris, Karla, and Todd.  

Both Erp and Elaine worked for Lepisto Apparel, and then Erp started his own bowling alley in the New York Mills City Hall basement. His passion for bowling lasted over 40 years, and included much of the same team. His bowling alley was known for the “Erp Burgers.” In 1964, Erp and Elaine purchased the family farm from Charley and Helen Amberg and stayed there until retirement in 1995. A fire in 1991 destroyed their barn and they lost all of their cattle—this was a devastating time for the couple. Erp found true joy in farming. He enjoyed teaching his farm help how to work hard.  

Carpentry and wood working were also a passion of his. All of Papa’s grandchildren are lucky enough to have a piece of furniture made by him and it proved to be a staple on Christmas lists. He also enjoyed watching sporting activities, golfing, water skiing, hunting and playing pool. His honorary pallbearers are his retirement pool and/or golf buddies. Erp and Elaine were fortunate to travel to 48 states and to Finland twice. Erp was an active member of the Apostolic Lutheran Church. He was also passionate about the local Elders Home where he served on the board for many years. Also, Erp was a member of the Finn Creek Board and School Booster Club—both organizations near and dear to his heart. 

Anyone who knew Papa knew that he was a man of integrity. He was also competitive, an achiever and perfectionist by design, faithful, and the epitome of a devoted husband. He never left Nana’s side, especially during her battle with Alzheimer’s. He taught his family “if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.” He was simply a wise man. 

Elaine passed away on April 12, 2022 and, soon after, Erp turned 90 years old on June 20, 2022. Turning 90 was one of his goals! Since her passing, his zest for life changed with his broken heart and he was ready to join her and Jesus. On October 29, 2022, he passed away peacefully with his family by his side at Perham Living.  

Erp is preceded in death by his parents; wife, Elaine; brothers Melvin (Sylvia) Paavola, Edwin (Linda) Paavola, Wilho (Rosie) Paavola, Waino (Mary Ann) Paavola, and infant brother, Erwin Paavola; sisters Helen (Russ) Lepisto, Vienna (Jack) Koivula, and Viola (George) Cresswell.  

Erp is survived by his children Kris (Tom) Wallgren, Karla (Tim) Kupfer, and Todd (Lisa) Paavola; grandchildren Greta Wallgren, Chad (Ashley) Wallgren, Beth (Tony) Gleason, Justine (Chad) Anderson, Jenna (Josh) Hendrickx, Brandon (Taylor) Kupfer, Tori (Erik Olson) Paavola, and Tanner Paavola; 12 great-grandchildren; nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.  

Please visit to leave memorials and condolences on Erp’s Tribute Wall. 

Arrangements provided by Karvonen Funeral & Cremation Service of New York Mills.