December 10, 2002
Katherine Christine Sparovic, a lifelong resident of the Roaring Fork Valley died Dec. 6 in Aspen. She was 77 years old.
Sparovic was born Sept. 26, 1925 in Carbondale, to Francis Myren Dempke and Dorothy Elizabeth Gardner Dempke. She was the first of four children, and attended Carbondale schools.
In 1942, she moved to Aspen to work at the Hotel Jerome. While working there, she met Frank “Sparky” Fred Sparovic. They were married Oct. 3, 1943. It was a time of gas rationing, so their friends gave them enough gas stamps to go on a honeymoon to Grand Lake. When they returned three days later, the party was still going on.
In the summer of 1944, the couple started managing Elk Mountain Lodge near Ashcroft. They cooked meals, took care of the horses and cabins and guided riders and hunters. They stayed in town during the winter because the road to Ashcroft was not kept open.
In 1946, they bought 83 acres at Stillwater, east of Aspen. They operated Sparky’s Cabins and Trailer Park for many years. They also operated the sand pit on the property and owned and operated Elder’s Market in Aspen. Later, they sold part of the property, which became the Mountain Valley subdivision.
The couple had one daughter, Christine Ann. A niece and a nephew, Kathy and Rudy Damjanovich, joined the family.
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Sparovic was a 4-H leader for many years and was known as a good cook and busy homemaker. She was the sole caretaker for her husband during his terminal illness.
For the past 32 years, Sparovic has been a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. She was an active member and the congregation cared for her during her final illness.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her sister June in 1970; her husband, in 1969; and her niece, Cheryl Williams. She is survived by her brother and sister-in-law, Al and Janet Dempke of Washington; her sister and brother-in-law, Carol and Bill Funk of Arizona; their daughter and son-in-law, Chris and Curt Thayer of Washington; grandson Callen Thayer of Washington; granddaughter Brinna Thayer of Washington; and several cousins, nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and friends.
A memorial will be held Saturday, Dec. 14, at 4 p.m., at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Aspen. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations may be given to the Aspen Historical Society.