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 Chaos and Grit




Francis "Pete" Leroy Lamppa eighty-four years of age, passed away on September 8 at Carefree Living in Virginia.
Francis was born in Biwabik on September 7, 1934, the son of Richard and Rose M. Lamppa. He graduated from Embarrass High School in 1952 and continued his education at the University of Minnesota Duluth, where he earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Education in 1956. He was awarded his Master of Science Degree in Education Administration from the University of Minnesota in 1964.
Francis spent the first six years of his career teaching and coaching baseball in the Tower-Soudan Schools. In 1962 he accepted the position of elementary principal in Kasson, Minnesota, after which he returned to the Iron Range to serve as the elementary principal in Babbitt for twelve years. In 1975, he accepted the position of superintendent in Biwabik, where he remained until his retirement in 1987.
Francis married Patricia Bla-keney of Duluth in 1956.They divorced in 1990. The remainder of his life, Francis spent with his special friend, Mary Prijatel of Ely.
Survivors include his friend, Mary Prijatel of Ely; two sons, Reid Lamppa and his wife, Terry, of Waskish, Minnesota and Kerry Lamppa and his wife, Holly, of Albuquerque, New Mexico; three daughters, Stacey Lamppa of St. Louis, Missouri, Stefanie Olson and her husband, Dan, of Duluth and Darcie Clark and her husband, Robert, of Charleston, South Carolina; seven grandchildren, three great-grandchildren; and three brothers, Herbert Lamppa of Tower, Roger Lamppa and his wife, Joan, of Virginia and Fred Lamppa and his wife, Karen, of Britt.
Preceding him in death were his parents, Richard and Rose Lamppa; two brothers, Ray-mond and Bernie, and two sisters, Flora and Kathleen.
A Memorial Gathering will be held at the Range Funeral Home in Virginia on Tuesday, September 25, at 11:00 a.m. Memorials are preferred to the Alzheimer's Association.
Arrangements are with the Range Funeral Home in Virginia. To sign the online guest book or to send condolences, please visit www.rangefuneral
Francis loved to fish, canoe, create driftwood artwork and spend time at the family cabin on Lake Vermilion. He also loved to play golf and baseball and always enjoyed listening to the Twins on the radio. In his words, "Be good, be kind and take care."

Viola Eleanor Lamppa of Embarrass, ninety-nine years of age, passed away on Wednesday, September 12, at Essentia Health Virginia. She was born on January 30, 1919 to Matt and Wilhelmina (Koyola) Paavola in Section 30.
When Viola was two years old her family moved to rural Babbitt, where she grew up. She attended a rural school but continued her education in Duluth, graduating from Central High School with the Class of 1937.
Viola married Leonard Lamppa on April 18, 1938. They established their home in Embarrass, where they lived, with the exception of a couple of years when they made their home in Hawthorne, Nevada.
Viola was appointed the career clerk of the Embarrass Post Office, while her husband was the Postmaster. They both retired in 1973 and spent many enjoyable years traveling.
During her early years, Viola was active in the Firemen's Auxiliary, the PTA and was a member of the Aurora Moose Lodge. In 2001, she moved to the Laurentian Apartments, where she lived independently until 2017, when she moved to Golden Horizons Assisted Living in Tower.
Survivors include her three daughters, Arlene Johnson of St. Paul, Judy Syrjanen and her husband, Bob, of Soudan and Diane Lempia and her husband, Leroy, of rural Tower; grandchildren, Bradley Syrjanen and his wife, Jodene, of Esko, Wendy Tuominen and her husband, Jim, of Soudan, Sherri Johnson and her husband, Brian, of Proctor, Dana (Alysha) Johnson of Oakdale, Sonja Schular and her husband, Mark, of Panama City, Florida, Kirk Johnson of St. Paul, Tanya Maquire of Oakdale, David Lempia and his wife, Lauri, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Daryl Lempia and his wife, Jodie, of North Branch, Renee Zupancich and her husband, Steve, of rural Tower; fifteen great-grand-children and seventeen great-great-grandchildren, and a very special niece, Vivian Haugen of Phoenix, Arizona.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Leonard; sisters, Mary and Vienna; brothers, Lauri, Ed, Robert, Ralph and Matt; a great-grandson, Corey Tuominen, and her parents, Matt and Wilhelmina Paavola.
Viola's natural sense of caring and her loving generous ways touched the hearts of many. Viola's greatest joy was supporting her daughters in whatever activity in which they participated. She loved politics and kept up with the latest news until the end. Above all, Viola took the greatest pleasure in her family.
A private family memorial service will be held.

Gretchen Webber Lobe of Ely passed away on Wednesday, September 12, at Carefree Living in Babbitt. She was 102 years old.
Gretchen was born in Albert Lea, Minnesota on June 8,1916, the daughter of Paul and Evelyn (Connell) Webber. She was the oldest of four children. She graduated from Albert Lea High School and continued her education at St. Catherine's, graduating in 1938. She accepted a position in the Ely School District to head the Girl Scout Program and to teach Social Studies. Ely was a long way from Albert Lea, but Gretchen was adventurous and loved a challenge.
John M. Lobe came into her life at a skating rink in Ely. They were married on February 7, 1942 at ceremonies held in Albert Lea and enjoyed sixty years of marriage. In the early 1960s Gretchen pursued a degree in library science and was subsequently hired by the Babbitt School District, where she served as the school librarian for twenty years.
Upon her retirement, she and John shared happy times at their cabin on Eagles Nest Lake. She was a lifelong member of the American Association of University Women, had served on the Ely Bloomenson Board of Directors and was a member of the Ely Bloomenson Hospital Auxiliary.
Survivors include her four children, Joneene Lobe of Ely, Vincent Lobe and his wife, Paula, of Pittsford, New York, Larry Lobe of Roseville and John P. Lobe and his wife, Michelle, of Woodburn, Indiana; six grandchildren, Michael Lobe and his wife, Josie, Sarah Lobe, Charlie Lobe and his wife, Lynn, Katie Farr and her husband, Mark, Siiri (Aaron Bubb) Lobe, and Ian Lobe and his wife, Sarah; four great-grandchildren, Max, Evan, Hunter and Arlo, as well as extended family and a special friend, Nancy Bement.
In addition to her parents, Paul and Evelyn Webber, Gretchen was preceded in death by her siblings, Eileen Matze, Vincentia Balsinger and Paul V. Webber.
Her Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 24, at St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Ely. Family and friends will begin gathering at the church at 10:00 a.m. Inurnment will take place in the Ely Cemetery.
Memorials are preferred to honor Gretchen's life and may be directed to the John and Gretchen Lobe Helping Hands Fund at the Vermilion Community College Foundation in Ely.
Services to the family are being entrusted to Vermilion Funeral Home in Tower. To share condolences online please see:
Gretchen never let life's challenges get her down. She was optimistic, resilient and strong. Her witticisms, philosophy and advice will never be forgotten. Friends were very important to Gretchen and she particularly enjoyed entertaining her beloved bridge club. She always said, "I have had a wonderful life and the very best of friends." She loved the outdoors and had a special interest in Girl Scouting. She was the first Girl Scout in Albert Lea to achieve the Golden Eaglet Award.
She will be keenly missed and will be remembered with admiration and affection by all who knew her.


Tina Hardy Brown of Soudan, fifty years of age, passed away on Monday, September 3, in Essentia Health Virginia, after a courageous battle with cancer. Tina was born in Ely, Minnesota on December 8, 1967, the daughter of Tom Helm and Dorothy Lushine. She moved to Wisconsin and then to Soudan in the late 1980s.
Tina and Russell "Rusty" Brown were united in marriage on July 2, 2005 at ceremonies held in Tower. They made their home in Soudan. Tina was employed as the manager of D'Erick's Tower Liquor for twenty years.
Survivors include her husband, Russell "Rusty" Brown of Soudan; her mother, Dorothy Lushine of Ely; two brothers, Carl Hardy of Silver Bay and Kevin Helm; children, Travis (Jenna) Benck of Soudan and Matthew (Katie) Benck of Palo; stepsons, Jacob Brown of Hibbing, Kyle Brown of Babbitt and Karl (Angel) Brown of Eveleth; grandchildren, Declan Brown of Babbitt and Ezekiel Benck of Soudan and Brynlee, as well as extended family.
Tina was preceded in death by Tommy Helm and Dave Hardy.
A Celebration of Life will be held from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 15, in the Tower Mini Park. Inurnment will take place in the Ely Cemetery.
Bauman's Vermilion Funeral Home in Tower is in charge of arrangements. To share condolences online, please see;
Tina loved motorcycling, concerts and swimming. She was a friendly, outgoing person and she will be keenly missed and remembered with affection.


Muriel G. (Thierer) Lamken of Tower passed away on Monday, August 13, at the Virginia Regional Medical Center. She was ninety-five years of age.
Muriel was born in Soudan on March 24, 1923, the daughter of Oscar and Anna (Gustafson) Korpi. She spent her girlhood years in Soudan, attended the local schools and graduated from Tower-Soudan High School.
Muriel was united in marriage to Clifford Thierer on March 23, 1946 at nuptial rites held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where they lived for two years before moving to Soudan. After raising their children, the couple moved to Virginia, where Muriel enrolled in the Licensed Practical Nursing program at the Virginia Regional Medical Center. After earning her degree, she worked at the Pioneer Infirmary in Virginia for many years. Clifford passed away on March 10, 1989.
On August 25, 1992, Muriel married Charles Lamken at nuptial rites held at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Soudan. The couple traveled extensively during the early years of their marriage. They visited the Scandinavian countries and Hawaii, as well as numerous points in the United States. They made their home in Soudan for a number of years before moving to Golden Horizons Assisted Living in Tower. Charles passed away on February 20, 2008.
Muriel was a dedicated, active member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Soudan. She was a friendly, outgoing person, who loved to socialize. She enjoyed Bible study, the Chub Club and, especially, spending time with her family.
Survivors include one daughter, Penny Hiltunen and her husband, Bill, of Tower; two sons, John Thierer and his wife, Ronda, of Duluth and James Thierer and his wife, Teri, of Pike Township; eleven grandchildren, Patrick, Heidi, Kendra, Nicole, Corrine, Warren, David, Amanda, Jeremy, Eli and Charlie; twelve great-grandchildren; a son-in-law, Don Crayne of Vermilion Lake Township, and a number of nieces and nephews.
Muriel was preceded in death by her parents, Oscar and Anna Korpi; her husbands, Clifford Thierer and Charles Lamken; one son, Clifford "Duff" Thierer; one daughter, Mary Ann Crayne; one grandson, Zachary Thierer; two brothers, Stafford Korpi and John Korpi; three sisters, Elsie Klitzke, Grace Peliska and Ann Wilson, and a stepson, Arthur Lamken.
A Celebration of Life for Muriel will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 9, at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Soudan, with The Rev. Greg Anderson officiating. A gathering of family and friends will be at the church for one hour prior to the service. Organist will be Ann Sherve-Ose and vocal soloist will be Muriel's nephew, Michael Korpi, who will sing "Amazing Grace." Congregational hymns will be "Christ The Lord Has Risen Today," "Jesus Loves Me" and "Now All the Vaults of Heaven Resound." Honorary casket bearers will be Patrick "Hilty" Hiltunen, Bruce Rossi, Eric Waldriff and Kyle Gustavson.
Burial will be in Lakeview Cemetery in Tower at a later date.
Arrangements are being entrusted to the Landmark Funeral Home of Virginia.
Muriel was a devout, sincere Christian woman, with a great deal of compassion and caring for others. Her family was the center of her life. She will be sadly missed, not only by her family, but also by a wide circle of friends.

Teresa Miller Erickson of Embarrass, fifty years of age, passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, September 1, in Essentia Health St. Mary's Hospital in Duluth. Teresa was born in Virginia on July 3, 1968, the daughter of Sarah (Rod) Maki of Embarrass and Kenneth Miller of Aurora. She graduated from Babbitt High School with the Class of 1986.
Survivors include three sons, Travis Erickson, Eric Erickson and Ethan Erickson, all of Embarrass; extended family, Sam and Jared of Embarrass and Haley of Hibbing; her parents, Sarah (Rod) Maki of Embarrass and Kenneth Miller of Aurora; five sisters, Angie (Jeff) Miller of Soudan, Stacy (Troy) David-son of Babbitt, Sherry (Jerry) Maki of Biwabik, Page (Bo) Miller of Embarrass and Mar-iaha Woitel of Virginia; two brothers, Michael Miller of Virginia and Matthew (Jessica) Woitel of Ohio; her mother-in-law; sisters-in-law; brother-in-law and a number of nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles, as well as extended family.
She was preceded in death by her husband of twenty-four years, Glenn Erickson, and her grandparents.
Teresa will be remembered as a strong advocate for ALS Awareness.
Visitation will be held at Bauman's Vermilion Funeral Home in Tower on Friday, September 7, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Inurnment will take place at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 8, in the Embarrass Cemetery. Following the inurnment, a Celebration of Life will be held at the Timber Hall in Embarrass.
Teresa's family extends its appreciation to all who provided assistance on Saturday evening.
Family services have been entrusted to Bauman's Vermilion Funeral Home in Tower. To share condolences online, please see: www.baumanfuneralhome
Teresa will be sadly missed, not only by her family, but also by a host of friends.


Ruth Dorothy Beystrom of Iron, formerly of Lake Fourteen in Britt, passed away on Wednesday, August 15, at the Essentia Health Virginia Convalescent Care Center. She was seventy-seven years of age.
Ruth was born in Duluth, Minnesota on August 8, 1941, the daughter of Leo and Violet (Duncan) Beystrom. She graduated from Virginia High School and earned her Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education from Bemidji State University. She was an elementary education teacher and also volunteered her time in Evergreen Township.
Ruth is survived by her nephews, Scott Norcia and his wife, Roxanne, of Tower, Mark Norcia and his wife, Susan, of Austin, Texas and Alfred Norcia of Maple Grove, Minnesota and a niece, Jennifer Lauer and her husband, Todd, of Iron, Minnesota.
Preceding her in death were her parents, Leo and Violet Beystrom, and her sister, Leah Norcia.
At Ruth's request, no formal service will be held at this time. Inurnment will be in Greenwood Cemetery in Virginia.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Bauman-Cron Funeral Home in Virginia. To express condolences online, please see:
Ruth enjoyed gardening, painting and her many dogs she owned throughout the years. She especially enjoyed visiting with family and friends. She will be sadly missed and remembered with affection by all who knew her.

Joseph David "Poots" Croteau, Jr. of rural Gilbert passed away on Friday, August 17, at St. Luke's Hospital in Duluth. He was eighty-eight years of age.
Joseph was born in Biwabik on March 6, 1930, the son of Joseph David and Lahja (Anttila) Croteau, Sr. He attended school in Biwabik and worked for the DMIR Railroad for seventeen years.
On December 27, 1949 he married Janet Korpi at nuptial rites held in Eveleth.
Poots began working at Erie Mining Company and retired from LTV Steel in 1992 as a welding foreman. He was a retired Biwabik Volunteer Fireman, a member of Ducks Unlimited and the NRA. He enjoyed wintering in Arizona with his wife for twenty-one years, but his passion was spending time with his family - especially his grandchildren.
Survivors include his wife, Janet; sons, Terry Croteau and his wife, Lee, of Lake Vermilion, Robert Croteau and his wife, Cecilia of Biwabik and Scott Croteau and his wife Crystal, of Biwabik; grandchildren, Jason, Tara, Celene, Tawnee and Kendra; great-grandchildren, Cody, Jacob, Daniel, Lucas, Max, Alanna, Brent and Beau; sister, Joyce Zidarich of Kittsville and a number of nieces and nephews.
Preceding him in death were his parents, Joseph and Lahja Croteau, one grandson, Eric, and a sister, Lois Pavlisich.
A Mass of Christian Burial for Joseph was held at eleven o'clock on Tuesday, August 21, at Our Lady of Hope Parish in Biwabik, with The Rev. Father Charles Flynn as the celebrant. Visitation was at the church one hour prior to the Mass. Burial will take place in Lakeside Cemetery in Biwabik at a later date.
Arrangements are in charge of Ziemer-Moeglein-Shatava Funeral Home in Gilbert.
"Poots" will be greatly missed and will be remembered with affection by all who knew him. He was an avid fishrman and was well known as a "jack of all trades."