Funeral services were held for Elaine Paavola (Nana) on Saturday, April 16, 2022, at Apostolic Lutheran Church in New York Mills, with Pastor Nick Kandoll officiating. Congregational hymns were accompanied by Louise Amberg. Pallbearers were Brian Maki, Brent Helmeke, Reed Barthel, Erick Amberg, David Paavola, John Paavola, Charley Speed, Justin Lohse, Tyler Boyne, and Patrick Campbell. Honorary Pallbearers were all of Elaine’s grandsons and great-grandsons: Chad Wallgren, Brandon Kupfer, Tanner Paavola, Kadin Anderson, Gabriel Ostlie, Callum McKeand, Beckett Wallgren, Hudson Wallgren, and Kaiser Hendrickx. Elaine will be laid to rest in Woodland Cemetery, New York Mills.   

Elaine Helen Amberg was born on January 28, 1936, in Wadena. Her parents were the late Charley and Helen (Fraki) Amberg. Elaine was baptized at the Apostolic Lutheran Church in New York Mills.  She went to the Heinola Country School until the sixth grade and then graduated from New York Mills High School with the class of 1953.     

On June 11, 1955, Elaine was united in marriage with Einar “Erp” Roy Paavola at the Apostolic Lutheran Church in New York Mills. Their marriage was blessed with 3 children: Kris, Karla and Todd. In 1964, Elaine and Erp purchased the family farm from Charley and Helen. In 1995, they retired from farming and moved into town.     

Elaine was an active life member of the Apostolic Lutheran Church in New York Mills. She also loved watching sports; the Minnesota Twins, the Minnesota Vikings, and any sport her grandchildren participated in. In addition to sports, ‘the news’ was a favorite pastime.  

While Nana wanted no recognition surrounding her life, her grandchildren especially knew her as a remarkable woman. The urban dictionary defines Nana as “an amazing, pretty, funny, and crazy girl. She has many friends due to the ease in which she makes friends as she is so approachable. She always puts people before herself and is the mother of many. Nana is loyal and somebody you can trust.” This couldn’t prove more true with her grandchildren. Every grandchild has a note, article clipping, passage, or letter from Nana where she expressed her prayers and hopes for each of them. Nana’s kind of love was one without condition—she made every person feel like they were the most important person in this world. She loved fiercely, worried immensely, and let all of her family know she was there if needed. Life without our Nana doesn’t make sense. 

On April 12, 2022, Elaine passed away at Perham Living in Perham, at 86 years of age. She will be missed terribly by her family and friends. Elaine is preceded in death by her parents, Charley and Helen Amberg; beloved siblings: Aileen Maki, Marcy Helmeke, Lorraine Barthel, David Amberg, Wayne Amberg, Linda Amberg and Paul Amberg; nephew, Gary Maki; and brothers-in-law: Ken Maki and Dick Helmeke.   

Elaine is survived by her loyal, faithful and loving husband, Einar “Erp” Paavola; 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; sisters: Brenda (Keith) Boyne, Becky (Brian) Lohse, Sandy (Steve) Speed and Abbe (Tom) Campbell, along with many great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, other relatives and a host of friends.   

Please visit to leave a message of comfort and support for Elaine’s family.   

Arrangements are provided by the Karvonen Funeral and Cremation Service of New York Mills.