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Obituaries


11-16-18

Gladys Jeanette Maul, a longtime resident of Soudan, passed away at her home in Soudan on Tuesday, November 13, with her niece/care giver, Lynne Gangl, at her side. Gladys was seventy-eight years of age, having been born at home in Balsam, Minnesota on December 19, 1939, the daughter of Arvo and Emelia Kannas. She attended the Schumaker School in Balsam from the first through the eighth grade and then attended Grand Rapids High School from the ninth through the twelfth grades.
Gladys was united in marriage to Lawrence D. Maul on August 10, 1974 at nuptial ceremonies held in Soudan.
She was a member of St. Martin's Catholic Church in Tower.
Gladys was employed as a home health care nurse for St. Louis County for a number of years.
Survivors include one sister, Patricia Whitener of Penngrove, California; two brothers, Jim Kannas of Santa Ynez, California and David Kannas of Seattle, Washington; two sons, Jim Knudson and his wife, Twyla of Apache Junction, Arizona and Greg Knudson and his wife, Deb, of West Monroe, Louisiana; two stepdaughters, Mic-key Peterson and her husband, Doug, of Tower and Marilyn Chilstrom and her husband, Wally, of Mountain Iron, Minnesota and a number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Larry Maul; her parents, Arvo and Emelia Kannas; one brother, Charles Henry "Smokey" Kannas; a son, Scott "Butch" Knudson, and a daughter, Heidi Honkola.
She was a beautiful soul, who inspired many people. She cared selflessly for others and her family. Gladys loved gardening and baking and was a wonderful cook. She will be keenly missed by her family and a wide circle of friends, who cherish their memories of her.
As per her request, there will be no funeral service, but a gathering of friends and family will be held at a later date.

Catherine Rose Patch of Ham Lake, Minnesota passed away peacefully in her sleep on Friday, November 2. She was seventy-seven years old.
Catherine was born in Soudan on May 7, 1941, the daughter of Louis and Katherine (Grahek) Cvetan. She spent her childhood years in Soudan and attended the local schools, graduating from Tower-Soudan High School with the Class of 1955. She moved to Minneapolis, where she met her future husband, Keith Patch. They had been married for forty-three years.
Survivors include her husband, Keith; one sister, Theresa Kugler of Oshkosh, Nebraska and one brother, Bill Cvetan, and his wife, Sissy, of Mountain Iron.
Her parents, Louis and Katherine Cvetan, preceded her in death.
Funeral services will be held at twelve o'clock noon on Saturday, November 24, at St. Martin's Catholic Church in Tower, with The Rev. Father Nick Nelson as the celebrant. Burial will be in Lakeview Cemetery in Tower at a later date.
Catherine will be keenly missed and will be remembered with affection by all her knew her.

Larry Harold Saukko of Duluth, formerly of Tower and Bemidji, passed away on Monday, November 12, at St. Mary's Hospital in Duluth. He was seventy years of age, having been born in Virginia, Minnesota on October 24, 1948, the second of four children born to Oiva and Irene (Niemi) Saukko.
He began a lifelong love of music and performing when he was named to the All State Orchestra in his junior and senior years of high school. He graduated as an honor student in 1966 from Eveleth High School. Larry continued his education at the University of Minnesota Duluth and graduated Cum Laude with degrees in German, French and English. While in college, Larry signed up to work on the Great Lakes ore boats. He was assigned as second cook and went ashore at the first port to buy a cookbook.
Larry began his teaching career in the Tower-Soudan Schools. After nine years, he purchased the Tower Hotel and Café and incorporated traditional Finnish dishes into the menu.
In 1988, he began his career at the Concordia Language Institute at Turtle River Lake, Bemidji, as Dean of Instruction in the German and Finnish villages and as the Dean of Salolampi.
Larry was an accomplished musician, playing the violin, button accordion, mandolin and tuba. He traveled around the country to several Finnish Festivals and with a variety of groups, including Alexander's Old Time Band, in which he played with his father, and the American Pojat Brass Band. He also was a member of various community orchestras, usually as first chair.
In 2017, he sold his lake home and moved to Duluth. Most recently, he was residing at Marywood Assisted Living at the Benedictine Health Care Center.
Larry is survived by his sister, Leone Kendrick and her husband, Millard; brother, Richard Saukko and his wife, Jane; sister, Anni Knutson and her husband, Mike; nieces and nephews, Chris (Kelly) Ken-drick, Julie (Mike Koskovich) Kendrick, Ben (Annie) Saukko, Lindsey (Edward Downs) Saukko, Michael (Kelly) Saukko and Beth (Paul) Giddings and a number of great-nieces and great-nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Oiva and Irene Saukko, as well as a number of aunts, uncles and cousins.
Funeral services will be held at United in Christ Church in Eveleth at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 17, with Pastor Art Dale officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service.
Arrangements are in charge of the Range Funeral Home of Virginia. To sign the online guest book or to send condolences, please visit www.range funeralhomes.com
Larry had the respect and admiration of all who knew him. Friendly and personable, he made friends wherever he went and will be sadly missed.

On Friday, November 9, Jacob Varoga of Virginia, husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, was called home to be with his heavenly Father, after losing his battle with Alzheimer's disease.
Jacob was born in Ely on July 9, 1933, the son of Jacob and Frances Varoga. He spent his boyhood years in Ely. Jake served in the United States Air Force and was in the Reserves for many years.
He loved his sports and attended every local game he could. He especially loved baseball and football and was a huge Vikings and Yankees fan. He knew all the players and their stats.
Jake volunteered for many years at the Servicemen's Club, as well as for Legion Baseball. He was a lifetime member of the Crelin-Tini V.F.W. Post 1113 of Virginia; the Pratt-Volden-Mickelson-Anderson American Legion Post 239 of Virginia; and 40 et 8, LaSociete des 40 Hommes et 8 Chevaux of Virginia.
Jake is survived by his wife of twenty-four years, Millie Sandnas; two sons, Ken Varoga and his wife, Lana, and Chris Varoga and his wife, MaryAnn; two daughters, Patty Cooper and her husband, Rick, and Kelly Varoga; Terry Sandnas and his wife, Dolores "Toots", and Tammy Mastin and her husband, Ron; nine grandchildren, Rebecca, Benjamin, Caleb, Sean, Eli, Brianne, Jacob, Evan and Miranda, and great-grandson, Gavin.
Jake was preceded in death by his parents, Jacob and Frances Varoga and brothers and sisters. He was the last surviving member of his family.
At his request, there will be no funeral service. Private interment will be in the Vermilion Cemetery. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Landmark Funeral Home in Virginia.
Jake will be keenly missed and remembered with affection by all who knew him.

11-9-18

James Thomas "Limbo" Stefanich of West Palm Beach, Florida passed away on Monday, July 2, 2018. He was eighty-nine years of age.
Jim was born in Tower on May 19, 1929, the son of Louis and Emma (Strukel) Stefanich. He was raised in Tower, above the family grocery store, Stefanich Brothers Grocery, where he worked throughout his early years. He attended the Tower-Soudan Schools and graduated from Tower-Soudan High School in 1947. He was very active in school activities and enjoyed acting in school plays and received recognition as a star football player. During his junior and senior high school years, he was a Mass server at St. Martin's Catholic Church in Tower and worked at the Rex Theatre.
In the Fall of 1948, after having worked at a number of jobs to raise money for college - railroad extra gang, Tower Box Factory, Tower Main Street infrastructure project, Soudan Underground Mine - he enrolled at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and in 1952 graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in business accounting.
He also was involved in many college activities during his college years. He served terms as president of the Minnesota Club as well as president of the Accounting Club. During his senior year, he worked part-time as an accountant for a Milwaukee electric construction company, which developed into full-time employment.
Jim then established his own accounting and tax preparation service business in Milwaukee, which he operated until moving to Florida to work in the same field until his retirement. He kept busy during his retirement years, doing taxes for friends and neighbors and cooking. He loved to cook and was always trying new dishes, as well as specializing in preparing recipes handed down from his mother.
He is survived by a son, Larry Stefanich, and his wife, Bettina; two daughters, Cheryl Johnson and her husband, Kent, and Laura Wegesser and her husband, Hans; a granddaughter, Hanah; one brother, Jerome Stefanich; a sister-in-law, Greta Stefanich, and nieces and nephews, Rebbeca, Mary Beth, Susan, Tim, Louis, Ruth, Mat-thew, Tara and Jerome, Jr.
Preceding him in death were his wife, Carol, who passed away in March of 2007; his parents, Louis and Emma Ste-fanich, and two brothers, Louis Stefanich, Jr. and Clement Stefanich.
Private memorial services were held.
He is sadly missed by a wide circle of friends, as well as by his family, who cherish the wonderful memories of him.

11-2-18

Dawn Marie Stellmach of Virginia, fifty-eight years of age, passed away on Sunday, October 28, in Essentia Health - Virginia. She was born November 20, 1959 in Soudan, the adopted daughter of Bruce and Nancy (Hall) Engel. She graduated from Virginia High School and attended Culinary School.
Dawn married Timothy Peter Stellmach on September 19, 1981 at nuptial rites held in Virginia and was a long-time Virginia resident.
She was a member of Hope Community Presbyterian Church.
Dawn is survived by her husband, Tim; son, Casey Stellmach and his wife, Kelsey, of Chatfield, Minnesota; grandson, Colton; mother, Nancy Engel of Virginia; sisters, Debbie Moon and her husband, Gary, of Canby, Oregon, Jayne Egan and her husband, John, of Highland Ranch, Colorado and Darlene Hadrava and her husband, John, of Eveleth; brother-in-law, Bryan Meyers of Duluth, and extended family, including a special cousin, Ethie Kniivila, and pets, Tucker and T-2.
Dawn was preceded in death by her son, Jacob "Jake" Stellmach; her father, Bruce Engel, and a sister, Renee Meyers.
A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 1, at Hope Community Presbyterian Church in Virginia, with The Rev. Kate Stangl officiating. Inurnment will take place in Calvary Cemetery.
Services to the family are being provided by the Bauman-Cron Funeral Home of Virginia. To share condolences online, please see www. baumanfuneral home.com
Dawn enjoyed gardening, collecting angels and baking cookies for all to enjoy. She will be keenly missed and remembered with affection by all who knew her.

Dolores A. Lakso, eighty-nine years of age, passed away on Tuesday, October 23, at Carefree Living in Babbitt. A memorial service and inurnment will be held in the spring. Arrangements are with Range Funeral Home in Virginia. To sign the online guest book or to send condolences, please visit www. rangefuneralhomes.com
Dolores Ann Lakso was born on February 19, 1919. Originally from Tower, Minnesota, Dolores went to country grade school in Vermilion Township by Pike River. She graduated from Tower-Soudan High School in the class of 1947. In 1951, Dolores earned her Bachelor of Science degree cum laude from the University of Minnesota and in 1958 she was awarded her Master's (M.A) degree from the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyoming.
Dolores accepted the position of English instructor at Virginia High School in 1955 and in 1958, accepted a teaching position at Virginia Junior College. Considered a "hard" instructor by students, Dolores made sure they learned during their sojourn in her classroom. She was respected by her colleagues as a promoter of the English language and its proper usage. In 1993 she received a Certificate of Honor from the Minnesota State Board for Community Colleges. Dolores always intended to retire early, but she was happy at the community college and stayed for twenty-seven years.
After retiring in 1985, Dolores spent much of her time with family and traveled to places she had never seen. She enjoyed two trips to Finland with her mother, Emma Lakso, and aunt, Sylvia Matri (Lakso). While in Finland, they visited with many relatives and built lifelong bonds with them.
Dolores was a member of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church. She always looked forward to the fishing season opener. She enjoyed fishing from her dock on Pike Bay Narrows of Lake Vermilion. Dolores always made sure that her mother, Emma, had her line in the water, too. In addition to fishing, Dolores enjoyed blueberry picking and harvesting wild rice from local lakes.
Dolores is survived by her nephew, Michael Ferguson and his wife, Jill, and niece, Ann Locke (Ferguson) and her husband, Stephen.
She was preceded in death by her grandparents, Richard and Lena (Pederson) Lakso and grandparents, John and Anna Sofia (Ylinen) Matilla; parents, Jack and Emma (Mattila) Lakso; her baby brother; her twin sister, Doris Ferguson (Lakso); nephews, Jack Ferguson and Donald Ferguson, and niece, Jennifer Ponte (Ferguson).
She will be sadly missed by her family and a wide circle of friends.

Evie Irene Lamppa of Virginia, one hundred years of age, passed away on Sunday, October 28, in the Essentia Health Care Center. Evie was born on July 18, 1918 in Siuro, Finland, the daughter of Emil and Hulda (Perttu) Niemi. Evie emigrated from Finland with her parents when she was two years of age. They settled in Florenton, where she spent her childhood years. She graduated from Virginia High School. She was united in marriage to Arthur Owen "Art" Lamppa on July 29, 1939 at ceremonies held in Embarrass. She was a longtime Embarrass resident.
Evie was a member of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church and its Ladies Guild. She volunteered for the Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency and was employed by Cluett-Peabody Arrow Shirt Factory. She also worked as the produce manager for Lamppa's Store.
Evie is survived by her children, Bonnie Shroff and her husband, Bansi, of Pasadena, California and Gary Lamppa and his wife, Rita, of St. Paul; grandchildren, Brennan Shroff and his wife, Jennifer, Sean Shroff and his wife, Norma, Zach Lamppa and his wife, Misty, Courtney Thompson and her husband, Kevin, and Rebecca Andestic and her husband, Andrew; great-grandchildren, Waylon, Sadie, Barron, Anthony, Dutch, Judd, Steele, Kai, Hayk, Oscar and Leola, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Emil and Hulda Niemi; her husband, Art; one daughter, Donna Lamppa, and her eight siblings.
Pastor Don Stauty will officiate at private family services. Family and friends are invited to a "Celebration of Life Gathering," to be held at 11:15 a.m. on Friday, November 2, at the Virginia Elks Club. Interment will be in the Embarrass Cemetery.
Memorials are preferred to honor Evie's memory, and they may be directed to the Gloria Dei Ladies Guild.
Evie enjoyed crocheting, knitting, hardanger and was known for her delicious bread, biscuit and tarts. Her greatest joy came from the times spent with family. She was a devoted, caring wife, mother, grandma and great-grandma, and will be sadly missed.
Services to the family were entrusted to the Bauman-Cron Funeral Home in Virginia. To share condolences online, please see: www.bauman funeralhome.com

10-26-18

Joseph "Happy Joe" John Zupancich, Jr. of Soudan passed away peacefully in his home on Monday, October 22. He was eighty years of age, having been born in Ely on August 10, 1938, the son of Joseph Zupancich, Sr. and Mary (Gasperlin) Zupan-cich.
Joe spent his boyhood years in Ely, attended the Ely schools and graduated from Ely High School in 1956. He was class president of his senior class. He continued his education at St. Thomas University in St. Paul to hone his entrepreneurial skills to help him run the family business, Zupancich Brothers, Inc. (Zup's). Joe gave up his dream of becoming a "Tommy graduate" to marry the love of his life, Mary Lou Planton, on July 9, 1960. All five of their children worked at Zup's to learn the family business. "Happy Joe," a self-proclaimed "Sausalogist," loved working side by side with his sons every day. He often could be found sipping coffee with the guys in the "spice room" of Zup's, bestowing his wisdom and one-liners to his captive audience.
Joe "retired" fourteen years ago, but never stopped working. He traveled to Ely every morning at 5:00 a.m. to ensure the meat department at Zup's was running smoothly - from the weekly smoking of hot bologna and polish sausage to the occasional batch of blood sausage and zelodic.
Joe was a faithful, devout member of St. Martin's Catholic Church in Tower, a former member of the Township of Breitung Fire Department and a former small airplane pilot. In his earlier years, he enjoyed fishing at Zup's Lac La Croix camp near the Canadian border. He loved the outdoors and cutting wood, a hobby that was passed down to him by his father. He also loved visiting with family and friends.
Survivors include Mary Lou Zupancich, his wife of fifty-eight years; three daughters, Mary Jo Threinen, Angie Enroth and her husband, Carl, and Christine Larson and her husband, Kraig; two sons, Joseph Zupancich III and Steven Zupancich and his wife, Renee; eleven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren; one sister, Zoe Planton, and her husband, Frank, and a number of nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 30, at St. Martin's Catholic Church in Tower, with visitation one hour prior to the service.
Joe was an outgoing, sincere, friendly person, with an indomitable spirit. He made friends wherever he went and will be sadly missed and forever held dear in the hearts of all who knew him.
The Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely was entrusted to taking charge of the funeral arrangements.

Jerome Lee "Jerry" Kolstad passed away peacefully on Friday, October 19, with his family by his side. He left a legacy of hard work, loyalty, generosity and great storytelling.
Jerry was born on May 26, 1934 in Virginia, the son of Cecelia Rebecca (Lambert) Kolstad and Carl Stevens Olson. He was the oldest of seven children.
When Jerry was a young boy, the family lived in Panama, where his father worked on the canal. They left Panama when Pearl Harbor was bombed and it was feared that the Panama Canal would be the next target. Returning to Parkville, Jerry continued his schooling, graduating from Mountain Iron High School in 1952. During his high school years, Jerry starred in football, shotput and discus and basketball, once making a buzzer-beater 3/4 court shot in a clutch basketball performance. He was recently inducted into the Mountain Iron High School Football Hall of Fame.
Following High School Jerry continued his education at Virginia Junior College for a short time, leaving college to financially support his younger brother Tom's college education. He worked for Virginia Ready Mix and Lambert Industries.
In 1959, Jerry married the love of his life, Carol Ann Garden. A proud United States Army veteran, he was stationed in Japan during the Korean War and then was called back to serve during the Cuban Missile Crisis. On his return, he eventually became co-owner of Virginia Ready Mix and later founded Mining Services, which he operated for a number of years.
In the late 1970s, Jerry realized his dream of moving to Lake Vermilion, where he sold real estate and, together with Carol, owned and operated Northland Realty. He served on the Tower-Soudan School Board, was an active member of the Lake Vermilion Sportsmen's Club, a volunteer at the fish hatchery and a member of the local chapter of Ducks Unlimited.
Jerry loved to fish, and he enjoyed many fishing trips to Lake of the Woods, Sioux Narrows and Alaska. However, he was content to just sit at the end of the dock with his kids and grandkids, catching perch and walleye on a bamboo pole and admiring the beauty of Lake Vermilion.
Jerry was a kind and loving husband, a great dad and a very proud grandfather. He was generous and kind and he and Carol always welcomed friends and family members who dropped into their home unexpectedly. More than anything, Jerry loved being at home surrounded by family and telling stories.
Jerry will be deeply missed by his children, Jeanne Prittinen and her husband, Jim, of Fayal Township, James Kolstad and his partner, Louise Lincoln, of Duluth, Jon Kolstad and his wife, Joy, of Merrifield and Laura Johnson and her husband, Todd, of St. Paul; twelve grandchildren, Haley, Natalie, Tom, Joe, Kelsey, Anders, Greta, Jona, Gunnard, Lilli, Per and Ingrid; his siblings, Robert Kolstad and his wife, Louise, Roger Kolstad and his wife, Sylvia, Douglas Kolstad and his wife, Sue, and David Kolstad and his wife, Laura.
A Memorial Mass will be held at twelve o'clock noon on Saturday, October 27, at St. John's Catholic Church in Biwabik, with The Rev. Father Peter Lambert as the celebrant. Visitation will be at the church for one hour prior to the service. Inurnment will be in Calvary Cemetery in Virginia. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Vermilion Lake Association or to the Tower-Soudan Fourth of July Celebration.
Arrangements are in charge of the Landmark Funeral Home in Virginia.

Glen "Scratch" Zorman of Ely, sixty-one years of age, passed away on Saturday, October 13, at home, under the care of his loving wife, Lynn, his family and friends.
Glen was born in Ely on April 22, 1957, the seventh child of Art and Betty Ann (Tjader) Zorman. He was an Air Force veteran and spent most of his life in Ely. Glen lived an unusual life following a serious car accident in 1982 which should have been fatal, but family and friends were gifted with many extra years of his life.
Glen thoroughly enjoyed his friends from all over the country who always made it a point to stop and visit.
He was blessed with luck and love when he met his best friend, Lynn, whom he married in 2013. Those were the happiest years of his life. His many friends will remember NASCAR races, rides around the lake, the occasional cocktail and, of course, an exaggerated story. He will be greatly missed.
Glen is survived by his wife, Lynn, of Ely; his mother, Betty Ann, of Ely; three brothers, Sam Zorman and his wife, Marlene, of Winton, Dale Zor-man and his wife, Patty, of Remer and Baudette, and Jack Zorman and his wife, Nancy, of Ely; a sister, Donna, of Tower; sons, Ken Larson and his wife, Ashley, of Chisholm, Michael Zorman of New York City, New York; stepchildren, Kelly Levine of Los Angeles, California, Jonathon Levine and his wife, Cate, of Chicago, Illinois, Jessica Gantt (Harrison), of Eagan, Minnesota, Max Gantt and Ben Gantt, of Ely; grandchildren, Raven, Maddie, Han-nah, Grayson and Gabriel, whom he adored; as well as a number of nieces and nephews and his dog, Jani.
Preceding him in death were his father, Art; one sister, Peg Pohve; brothers, Gene (Grouse) and Don (Herm), his dog, Niko, and his gutter cat, Sasquatch.
A Memorial Service was held on Sunday, October 21, at the Kerntz Funeral Home in Ely from 12:30 noon to 1:30 p.m. Family arrangements were entrusted to the Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely

Adam Kyle Tessin of Biwabik passed away on Tuesday, October 16, at Essentia Health-Northern Pines in Aurora. He was forty-seven years of age.
Adam was born in Wells, Minnesota on July 15, 1971, the son of James and Dorothy (Johnson) Tessin. He held several different jobs over the years, working at an auto parts store and as a security officer. The work he enjoyed most was bartending at several of the local watering holes. Adam was an outgoing "people" person. He loved to laugh, joke around, visit with people and totally enjoyed a good giggle. He was a person who was up for any adventure and enjoyed a variety of different pastimes. He enjoyed fishing, wrenching on cars and was a fan of the New York Jets. He liked to watch wrestling and was an avid Star Trek and Star Wars follower. He also enjoyed the time he spent as a member of the pool league in Cook.
Adam is survived by his significant other, Amanda Folio; his mother, Dorothy Trackler; his sister, Jessie Grebenc and her husband, Greg; three brothers, Tony Grebenc, Jr., Timothy Tessin and his wife, Nicki, and Tom Tessin and his wife, Michelle, as well as a number of nieces and nephews and his dog, Angel.
Adam was preceded in death by his father, James Tessin; two brothers, Fre-derick Grebenc and Terry Tessin, and his grandparents, Melvin and Marie Johnson and Carl and Lois Tessin.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, October 27, at 10:00 a.m. at the Mlaker Funeral Home in Cook. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service. To leave an online condolence, please visit www.mlakerfun
eralhome.com
Adam will be sadly missed and remembered with affection by all who knew him.

10-12-18

Lorene Beverly "Bev" Johnson of Tower went home to be with the Lord on Saturday, October 6. She was eighty-one years of age, having been born in Soudan on April 19, 1937, the daughter of Laurie and Vienna (Milbridge) Tuominen. She attended the Embarrass schools and graduated from Embarrass High School in 1955. In 1956, Bev was crowned "Miss Embarrass." In 1958 she was united in marriage to Donald Johnson.
Bev's life was centered around her love for Jesus and family. She was a devoted wife and mother, who was always joyful and loved having friends in her home. She truly cherished her family and friends. She was a faithful, devoted member of the First Baptist Church in Cook.
Bev loved going for long walks, enjoying the outdoors and appreciating all the sights of nature. Her family lovingly remembers her great laugh and her generous spirit. She was always there to lend a helping hand. Bev can be best described as "someone who brought sunshine wherever she went."
Survivors include her two sons, Keith Johnson and his wife, Trish, and Ricky Johnson and his wife, Cheryl; grandchildren and great-grandchildren: Bianca Colley and her daughter, Natalia Colley; Royce (Jessica) Johnson and their children, Fischer and Hunter; Allanna (Joshua) Critchlow and their children, Callan and Ruby; Austin Johnson; Larissa (Tyler) Campbell and their children, Eliam and Edelyn; Justin John-son; Azalea (Hannibal) Wolong; Ariel (Mike) Wolf and their son, Niel; Channyn (Sam) Hess and their daughter, Cayllie; a sister, Joyce Wiitala, and three brothers, Carl Tuominen, Laurie Tuominen, Jr. and Michael Tuominen.
Bev was preceded in death by her parents, Laurie and Vienna Tuominen; her beloved husband, Donald "Pee Wee" Johnson, and one brother, Jim Tuominen.
A Celebration of Life was held on Tuesday, October 9, at 2:00 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Cook. Visitation was held at the church one hour prior to the service.
Arrangements and assistance to the family were in charge of the Mlaker Funeral Home in Cook. To leave an online condolence, please visit www.mlakerfuneralhome.com
Bev will be remembered as a friendly, sincere, compassionate person, with an infectious smile for everyone. She will be sadly missed, but she left countless memories for family and friends to cherish.

Wilma Maxine Wagoner of Tower, ninety-one years of age, passed away on October 3 at Carefree Living in Ely.
Wilma was born on September 12, 1927 in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, the daughter of Willis and Margeta (Gonion) Bemis. She grew up on a farm near Cohasset, Minnesota with her father and eleven siblings. Her mother passed away when Wilma was only a few years old, leaving her with much of the responsibility in helping to take care of a large farm and family.
Wilma married the love of her life and best friend, Howard Wagoner, of Deer River in 1948. They established a home in Tower. Wilma stayed home to raise the family and manage the household, while Howard was a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources District Forester.
She and Howard were full partners in life, spending their free time camping, gardening, fishing, hunting, trapping, harvesting wild rice and participating in rifle competitions. After retirement, they traveled extensively through the United States and most of Canada, usually camping and often traveling via their Honda Goldwing motorcycle. Their most memorable adventure was a six-week motorcycle trip to Alaska.
Later in life, Wilma worked at The "Y" store and most recently, when she was well into her eighties, she was a waitress and pasty maker at the Tower Café. She was a beloved and nurturing grandmother and great-grandmother and a faithful, dedicated member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Tower.
Wilma is survived by three daughters, Linda Wagoner (Dave Akerson) of Tower, Barb Soderberg and her husband, Kurt, of Ely and Karen Dahl and her husband, Wayne, of Embarrass; one son, Terry Wagoner, and his wife, Jill, of Tower; grandchildren, Chris Mattson of Walker, Sherry Floria and her husband, Larry, of Remer, Erin Downing and her husband, Greg, of Minneapolis, Lance Dahl and his wife, Patty, of Rochester, Angela Dahl of Moorhead, HollyAnn (Steve Jowers) of Hibbing, Jared Wagoner and his wife, Michelle, of Embarrass and Liz Wagoner (Patrick McDonald) of St. Paul; twelve great-grandchildren; three surviving siblings, Shirley Schultz of Deer River, Edna Karjalahti of Spokane, Washington and Bill Bemis of Cohasset.
Preceding Wilma in death were her parents, Willis and Margeta Bemis; her beloved husband, Howard Wagoner, who passed away in 1998, and eight siblings.
She was greatly admired for her quiet strength, her work ethic, her generosity, her faith, her skills and kindness as a wife, mother and grandmother - and her delicious baked goods.
A Celebration of Life for Wilma will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, October 15, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Tower, with Pastor Liz Cheney officiating. A gathering of family and friends will be at the church for one hour prior to the service. Organist will be MaryBeth Reller and vocal soloist, Kathy Siskar, will sing "The Lord's Prayer." The Immanuel Lutheran Church Choir will sing "It Is Well With My Soul," and congregational hymns will be "Here I Am Lord" and "What A Friend We Have in Jesus." Family sharing will be by grandson, Lance Dahl, and granddaughter, Erin Downing.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Landmark Funeral Home of Virginia.
Wilma was an exceptional baker, cook and seamstress. She was well known for her bread, cinnamon rolls, pies and meat pasties. She made most of her children's clothes as they grew up, including prom gowns and wedding dresses. She could fix just about anything that needed fixing, and her favorite expression was "what a person could do is . . ." and then she fixed it!
She and Howard lived life to the fullest and with zest and enthusiasm. Wilma will be sadly missed and forever held dear in the hearts of everyone who knew her.

Harlen E. Sunsdahl of Neillsville, Wisconsin passed away on Monday, September 17, at the Neillsville Memorial Medical Center. He was seventy-four years of age, having been born in Thief River Falls, Minnesota on October 21, 1943 to Hubert and Lila (Peterson) Sunsdahl. He attended schools in Goodridge, Thief River Falls and Aurora and graduated from Tower-Soudan High School in 1961. After spending two years at Mesabi Junior College in Virginia, Minnesota, Harlen enlisted in the United States Army in 1963 and was stationed in Berlin, Germany, where he became a Sergeant in the Military Police. He was honorably discharged in 1966.
Harlen received a Bachelor of Science Degree from Bemidji State University in 1968 and accepted a position to teach physical education and coach footall, basketball and track at Henning, Minnesota. In 1970, he and his wife, Diane, accepted teaching positions in Neillsville. He coached high school football for ten years until 1980 and had many memorable players and teams, including a state championship team in the 1975-76 school year. Harlen received a Master of Science Degree in School Administration from Winona State University in 1980. He was the assistant principal under Henry Lukes until 1985, when he became head principal. He retired early, due to failing health.
Harlen was a member of Calvary Lutheran Church, the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators, the Cloverbelt Coaches Association, served on committees of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Association, and was a member of American Legion Post #73 and Masonic Lodge #163, as well as the Rotary and the Neillsville Men's Club.
For many years, Harlen enjoyed all sports, and deer hunting and fishing, especially on Lake Vermilion in Tower and Nelson Lake at Hayward, Wisconsin. His interests also included watching the Packers/Vikings rivalry, reading world history of the old Chinese and Roman Empires, current events and bird watching. He especially enjoyed his grandchildren.
He is survived by Diane, his wife of fifty-one years; children, Eric Sunsdahl and his wife, Richelle, of Rosemount, Minnesota, Katy Montgomery and her husband, Chris, of Waterville, Minnesota and Lee Sunsdahl and his wife, Jamie, of Tampa, Florida; six grandchildren, Ethan, Hanna, Isabel, Lydia, Aubree and Paislee; two stepgrandsons, Justin and Christian; one sister, Bonnie (Norm) Curran of International Falls, Minnesota; three nieces, Tammie, Gina and Kim, and one nephew, Steve.
Preceding Harlen in death was a son, Ryan, at birth; his parents, Hubert and Lila Sunsdahl, a brother, Steve Sunsdahl, and a sister-in-law, Rita.
Family and friends are welcome to attend a Celebration of Life reception from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 20, at the American Legion in Neillsville.
In lieu of flowers, memorials were suggested as a way to honor Harlen's memory and spirit. He will be sadly missed and forever held dear in the hearts of all who knew him. He made an impact on all who met him.

Marion Louise Korpi, a longtime resident of Soudan, peacefully entered her heavenly home on Friday, September 28, at Arbor Lane in Burnsville, Minnesota, with her family by her side. She was eighty-five years of age, having been born on the farm on October 25, 1932 in Grasston, Minnesota in Kanebec County, the daughter of Lillian and Oscar Wahlstrom. She graduated from Braham High School and continued her education at St. Cloud State University, where she earned a degree in Elementary Education. She worked at a local resort in Wisconsin and provided child care for many families during the summer months to pay her way through college.
Following her graduation from St. Cloud State University, she accepted a position as third grade teacher in the Tower-Soudan Schools, where she worked for three years. Marion then met O. John Korpi, who was a school bus driver for the Tower-Soudan Schools at that time. They were united in marriage on June 27, 1959. Marion accepted a teaching position in Babbitt, where she taught for nine years. She also continued to substitute teach and work as a tutor for Native American students, retiring in 1997.
Marion was an active, faithful member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Soudan and Immanuel Lutheran Church in Tower. She served as Sunday School teacher, junior choir director and member of the Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. She was a devout Christian and loved serving her Lord.
Marion's interest included baking, sewing, cooking, enjoying Lake Vermilion and watching the Vikings and Twins. In elementary school, she was known as "Slugger Wahlstrom" on the softball field. She was active in band, playing the bass drum and tuba. She had a great fashion sense and was always meticulously dressed and well groomed. She loved to entertain her family and friends. Most recently during her stay at Arbor Lane Memory Care, she enjoyed the Art with Heart group, Arbor Lites Choir, Twin games outings, Camp Friendship, McPhail Music, attending church services, weekly Bingo sessions and other activities on the Ebenezer Campus.
Survivors included two daughters, Juliann Berg and her husband, Peter, and Jennifer Fredrickson and her husband, Alan; two grandchildren, Lauren Berg and Samuel Berg. Siblings include Shirley Stilwell, Duane Wahlstrom and his wife, Georgia, Marlyn Wahlstrom and his wife, Muriel, Jerry Wahlstrom (Dianne Pearson), Carl Wahlstrom and his wife, Diana, and Jean Wahlstrom (Marvin Kananen).
A Celebration of Life service will be held at the Ebenezer Ridges Chapel, 13820 Community Drive, Burnsville, Minnesota 55337 at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 13. Visitation will begin at 10:00 a.m. Interment will be in Lakeview Cemetery in Tower at a later date. Memorials to the family are preferred.
Marion was preceded in death by her devoted husband, John; grandparents, Christine and John Olson; her father, Oscar Wahlstrom, and mother, Lillian Wahlstrom, two brothers, Maynard Wahlstrom and Vernon Wahlstrom.
Marion was a caring person, loving mother and grandmother, attentive wife and faithful steward of the Lord. Her bubbly personality and thoughtful ways made her a blessing to her family and friends. She will be deeply missed and remembered with affection by all who knew her.

10-5-18

Frank P. Jamnick of Virginia, a long-time resident of Soudan, passed away on Monday, October 1, at Solvay Hospice House in Duluth, after a valiant battle with cancer. He was sixty-eight years of age.
Frank was born in Soudan to Joseph and Angela Jamnick, the fourth of five children. He attended the Tower-Soudan Schools and graduated from Tower-Soudan High School with the Class of 1968.
Frank was married to Nancy Lakoskey and they were blessed with two daughters, Alesia and Jolene.
He was an avid hunter and fisherman and enjoyed spending time at the shack. He also was a sports fan, who coached his daughters in baseball, basketball and hunter safety.
Survivors include his two daughters, Alesia (Jim Jacob-son) Jamnick and Jolene Jamnick; two sisters, Janet Hill and her husband, William, and Nancy Kallio and her husband, Fred; two brothers, Joseph Jamnick and his wife, Helen, and John (Jeannie Ceglar) Jamnick.
Frank was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Angela Jamnick.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 6, at St. Martin's Catholic Church in Tower, with The Rev. Father Nick Nelson as the celebrant. Pianist and vocal soloist will be Mary Beth Reller. Visitation will be held on Friday, October 5, from 5:00 P.M. - 7:00 P.M. at St. Martin's Catholic Church in Tower and again, one hour prior to the service.
The Mlaker Funeral Home of Cook is in charge of arrangements. To leave an online condolence, visit www.mlakerfun
eralhome.com
Frank was a friendly, outgoing man. He lived a full life and leaves behind many relatives and friends who mourn his passing and who will continue to share the many great stories of his life.

9-28-18

Annie "Irene" Peterson of Virginia passed away on Sunday, September 16, at Edgewood Vista Memory Care in Virginia. She was ninety years of age.
Annie was born on the family farm in Fertile, Minnesota on June 16, 1928, the daughter of Iver and Anna (Dale) Kaste. She graduated from the FertileBeltrami High School in 1947.
Irene married Arthur G. Peterson on November 26, 1949 at nuptial rites held in Fertile, Minnesota. They had been residents of Virginia since 1956.
Annie was a member of Our Savior's Lutheran Church, Harfargar Lodge, American Legion Post #239 Auxiliary and the Northern Club Auxiliary, all of Virginia. Irene was a sales person for Lloyd Currie & Sons.
Survivors include five children, Carolyn Blazewicz and her husband, Frank, of Virginia, Marilyn Perpich and her husband, Jon, of Tower, Michael Peterson and his wife, Kim, of Britt, Mark Peterson and his wife, Anne, and Robert Peterson, both of Virginia; twelve grandchildren, Janelle (Jason Blanchard) Blazewicz, Justin Blazewicz, Ryan (Kristin Cooper) Perpich, Michelle (Noah) Wendorf, James (Beckie Adams) Peterson, Karen (fiancé Kyle Robinson) Peterson, Travis (Shelby) Peterson, Brandon Peterson, Alyssa (Dan) Harris, Tyler (Brittany Anaya-Rodberg) Peterson, Cora Peterson and Jericho Peterson; ten great-grandchildren, Ava Wendorf, Easton Wendorf, Hudson Wendorf, Tanner Peterson, Lucas Robinson, Jacob Peterson, Andrew Peterson, Austin Peterson, Collette Peterson and Silas Bennett; two sisters, Phyllis Nymark and Gladys Bohmer, both of Moorhead; one brother, Orvis Kaste and his wife, Robin, of Moorhead; sister-in-law, Myra Kaste of Fertile, and several nieces and nephews.
Preceding her in death were her parents, Iver and Anna Kaste; her husband, Arthur G. Peterson; an infant daughter at birth; one sister, Opal Gustafson, and one brother, Kenneth Kaste.
Funeral services were held at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 22, at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Virginia, with Pastor Erik Roth officiating. Visitation was at the church for one hour prior to the service. Burial was at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, September 24, at Greenwood Cemetery in Virginia.
Arrangements were entrusted to the Landmark Funeral Home in Virginia.
Annie will be sadly missed and remembered with affecton by all who knew her.

9-21-18

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
homes.com
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: www.baumanfuneralhome.com
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.