Top Stories

 Editorials

 Legals

 Classifieds

 Chaos and Grit

 

Obituaries


3-27-20

Patricia Jean "Trish" Poylio of Moose Lake passed away on February 19, 2020 at Solvay Hospice House in Duluth, after a brief, but courageous, battle with anaplastic thyroid cancer.
Trish was seventy-two years of age, having been born in Soudan on October 15, 1947 to Harold and Theodora Poylio. She spent her girlhood years in Soudan, attended the local schools and graduated from Tower-Soudan High School in 1965.
After high school graduation, Trish continued her education at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, where she first earned a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing and Physical Education and later, a Master's Degree in Public Health. She began her long and stellar nursing career as an acute care nurse at the old Mount Sinai Hospital in Minneapolis. She continued her work in a variety of nursing roles at Mercy Hospital in Moose Lake, ultimately serving as Director of Nursing for many years.
Trish finished her formal nursing career serving as Director of Behavioral Health at Range Fairview Medical Center in Hibbing. During her years in Hibbing, she was instrumental in the remodeling of the Behavioral Health unit and was especially proud of establishing a program that brought dogs to patients in the unit for therapeutic visits. Teaching and mentoring other staff members were always important functions for Trish. She continued that passion right up to the last days of her life as she interacted with the staff at Solvay House. She was able to fulfill her education and teaching desires through her position on the coaching staff of the Moose Lake High School volleyball teams. It was a role she cherished and held for many years.
Anyone who knew Trish valued her friendship and her amazing skill at communicating with people. When she talked with an individual, she made them feel as though they were the only person on earth and she gave both her heart and her undivided attention to each one. She freely shared knowledge, wisdom and skill achieved through a lifetime of experiences. Trish could and did strike up conversations with anyone. She loved people and made everyone she came in contact with feel special. Her passing will leave a large void in the lives of so many people who were her friends, neighbors, coworkers and family.
Trish often spoke of growing up in Soudan and the significant amount of time spent at the family cabin on Lake Vermilion. Those experiences instilled a marvelous appreciation of nature in her soul. She loved living on Sand Lake, photographing the loons and eagles, taking pontoon rides, and always treating each moment in nature as a gift. She truly lived in the moment and epitomized that philosophy during her courageous three-month battle with the disease that claimed her life.
Trish loved animals and during those final days she looked forward to finally being reunited with her beloved yellow labs, Trekker and Murphy. Sami, her current devoted yellow lab, brought her immense joy and such comfort during those last months. Trish was so proud of Sami and of being a part of the larger RBK family.
She was generous beyond description. She supported countless organizations and animal rescues and selflessly devoted time performing therapy visits with a mini horse named Magic and the rest of Team Magic, including a historic visit to the inpatient Adolescent Behavioral Health unit at FairviewUniversity of Minnesota.
Trish was extremely proud of her Finnish heritage. She was able to make two trips to Finland during her lifetime and was especially thrilled to be able to visit Lapland, where her own family had its roots. She embodied the concept of SISU and lived her entire life in that mode. It was her own personal SISU which carried her through the darkest days of her illness and gave her life such quality and dignity as the end approached.
In the earlier years, she traveled and camped extensively across the United States and was able to experience and appreciate a wide variety of destinations and venues. After retirement, she was embraced and incorporated into the larger Dachshund community as she traveled with her partner to various events and shows across the United States and Canada. Her photography skill at these events were highly requested and greatly cherished.
During her short, but intensive, illness, Trish receive outstanding care from a variety of services, departments and staff at Essentia Health. Care coordination was impressive and the culture surrounding her care was clearly focused on always putting Trish and her needs first. The family is extremely grateful for all of those who interacted and cared for Trish, but there are no words to describe their gratitude for those at Solvay House who provided such skill, compassion and comfort to her during those final days.
Trish was preceded in death by her parents, Harold and Theodora Poylio.
She is survived by her wife, Kathleen Johnson of Duluth; her brother, Harold Poylio and his wife, Carolyn, of Welch, Minnesota and nephews, James Poylio and Matthew Poylio.
A Celebration of Life and a gathering of family and friends was held from 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 25, at the Cremation Society of Minnesota in Duluth.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in Trish's honor may be directed to Animal Allies, 4006 Airport Road, Duluth, Minnesota 55811 or to the Helen Woodward Animal Center, 6461 El Apajo, Rancho Santa Fe, California 92067.
Arrangements were entrusted to the Cremation Society of Minnesota.

3-20-20

Norma Ellen Postudensek of Duluth and Lake Vermilion passed away on Saturday, March 7. She was seventy-nine years of age, having been born in Virginia on July 9,1940 to Julian and Bernice Folkedal.
Norma graduated from Elbow Lake High School in 1958 and continued her education at St. Cloud State College, where she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education. She met her future husband, Jim, at college, and they were married for fifty-seven years.
Norma taught generations of students until her retirement in 1997. She loved being a mother and grandmother. She always greeted and said goodbye to friends and family with a smile and a hug. She enjoyed reading, drinking coffee, tending to her garden and traveling.
Norma was a skilled duplicate bridge player who achieved the level of American Contract Bridge League Life Master.
Survivors include her children, Lynne (Peter) Postu-densek-Hart and Mark (Paula) Postudensek; grandchildren, Stella (Addison Benzshawel) Hart, Roland Hart, Ellen Postudensek, Eddie Postu-densek and Anthony Postu-densek; sisters, Julie Chris-tenson and Doris Caranicas, and other family and friends.
Preceding her in death were her parents, Julian and Bernice Folkedal, and her husband, Jim.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 21, at St. Benedict's Catholic Church in Duluth, with visitation one hour prior to the service.
Arrangements are in charge of the Dougherty Funeral Home.

3-13-20

David F. Bolka of Mobile, Alabama lost his courageous battle with a form of leukemia in the early morning hours of Thursday, March 5, with his son, Stefan, at his side. David, seventy-nine years of age, was born in Ely and spent his boyhood years in Tower-Soudan. He graduated from the TowerSoudan High School with the Class of 1958, and then went on to study at Macalester College in St. Paul. He enlisted in the United States Navy in 1960 and received his Bachelor's and Master's Degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his PhD Degree from Penn State.
David served in the United States Navy for twenty-six years, retiring as a Captain in 1986. He went on to work in the private sector and was the first Director of the Department of Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency after 9/11.
Preceding David in death were his beloved wife, Carol; his father, Frank Bolka; his mother, Viena (Lincoln) Miles, and a number of other family members.
Survivors include his two sons, Christopher Bolka of New Orleans, Louisiana and Stefan Bolka of Portola Valley, California; three grandchildren, Pace, David and McKenna; his sister, Linda Solyntjes and her husband, Gene, of Las Vegas, New Mexico; a brother-in-law, Dr. Carl Soderland and his wife, Diane, of Ipswich, Massachusetts and a number and cousins and countless friends from around the world.
Memorial gatherings for family and friends will be held this summer in Marblehead, Massachusetts and in Tower. A full obituary will be published at a future date, with more details.
Well done, good and faithful servant.

3-6-20

Arleigh Ingle Birk of Hoyt Lakes passed away on Tuesday, February 25, at Essentia Health - Northern Pines in Aurora. He was ninety-nine years old, having passed away two days before his one hundredth birthday anniversary. Arleigh was born in Grafton, North Dakota on February 27, 1920, the son of Leonard and Lisa (Kydland) Birk. At an early age he became a member of the Civilian Conservation Corps Camps and in 1939 he joined the United States Navy. He served in Pearl Harbor on the USS Honolulu. During the bombing of Pearl Harbor, his ship was heavily damaged and Arleigh was then transferred to the USS Denver. He went on to serve in the Philippines, Guadalcanal, Japan and Saipan.
On June 4, 1947, Arleigh married Marion Hove at nuptial ceremonies held in Grafton. He farmed in North Dakota. They moved to Makinen and then to Hoyt Lakes in 1957. He began working for Erie Mining Company and retired from there as a welder in 1982.
In 1968 they purchased Forest Lane Resort on Lake Vermilion, which they owned and operated until 1975, at which time they moved to Palo, returning to Hoyt Lakes in 1988.
Arleigh was an active member of Faith Lutheran Church, the Timothy Robinson Veterans of Foreign Wars Post and American Legion Post 241. He also was a member of the Disabled American Veterans and the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, where he had served as president.
Survivors include his children, Lois (Robert) Dunne of Pennock, Minnesota, Caryl (Dan) Kaler of Burnsville, Bruce (Sandra) Birk of Idaho Falls, Idaho, Brian (Kathie) Birk of Tower and Kathryn (Bruce) Feroe of Hoyt Lakes; grandchildren, Sara (Andrew) George, Matthew Kaler, Lisa (Lee Sherwin) Birk. Phillip (Megan) Birk, Rebecca (Jeremy) Nissila, Carly (Ross) Malo, Heidi (Matt Comnick), Feroe and Erica Birk; great-grandchildren, Frederick Geo-rge, Logan Nissila, Olive Fox and Norah Comnick; his siblings, Keith Birk, Effie Randall and Martha Brown, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Preceding him in death were his parents, Leonard and Lisa Birk; his wife, Marion. and siblings, Iva Bashour, Phillip Birk and Mae Anderson.
Funeral services were held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, March 2, at Faith Lutheran Church in Hoyt Lakes, with Pastor Charles Barnes officiating. Visitation was on Sunday from 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. at Ziemer-MoegleinShatava Funeral Home in Aurora. Visitation continued at the church for one hour prior to the service on Monday. Military honors were accorded by the Aurora/Hoyt Lakes Honor Guard. Inurnment will be in the Hoyt Lakes Memorial Cemetery at a later date.

Charlotte E. Rice of Mountain Iron passed away on Sunday, March 1, in her home.
Charlotte was born in Virginia on December 2, 1943, the daughter of Walter and Mabel (Hedberg) Stockey. She graduated from the Mountain Iron High School.
Charlotte cared for many children in her South Grove home prior to Day Cares. She then worked as the dietary supervisor at the Virginia Regional Medical Center, retiring in 1983. She married Tim Rice in 1983 and became a homemaker. They resided on Lake Vermilion for a number of years. Char enjoyed fishing year around on Lake Vermilion and loved entertaining family and friends.
She was a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Tower.
Survivors include her husband, Timothy Rice of Mountain Iron; four children, Gary (Susan) Rice of Eveleth, Thomas Maki of Mountain Iron, Laura (Jon Elllegard) Maki of Mountain Iron and Lisa Wessman of Cumberland, Wisconsin; six grandchildren, Brandon Maki, Cassie Maki, Nikki Maki, Kyie Petrie, Jersey Oie and Alicia Wessman; several great-grandchildren; one sister, Carol (Bruce) Kuhre of Athens, Ohio and one brother, Walter "Butch" (Evie) Stockey of Virginia, as well as a number of nieces and nephews.
Preceding her in death were her parents, Walter and Mabel Stockey, and a grandson, Michael Wessman.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 5, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Tower, with Pastor Liz Cheney officiating. Pianist will be MaryBeth Reller, who also will sing "Just a Closer Walk With Thee," "You Have Come Down to the Lakeshore" and "Amazing Grace." Visitation will be at the church for one hour prior to the service.
Arrangements are entrusted to the Landmark Funeral Home in Virginia.

Regina Elizabeth Johnson of Ely passed away peacefully at Carefree Assisted Living in Ely on Friday, February 28. She was ninety-four years old, having been born in Virginia on February 8, 1926, the daughter of Swedish immigrant parents Ernest and Anna (Nordstrom) Johnson. She was a graduate of Virginia High School and attended the University of Minnesota, where she earned a Bachelor's Degree in Home Economics. After teaching in southern Minnesota and North St. Paul, she accepted a teaching position at Ely Memorial High School in 1951. She retired in 1984, after a total of thirtyseven years in education. A highlight of her time in Ely included working with the University of Minnesota School of Architecture to re-design and update the Ely High School Home Economics Department. It became a state of the art facility and a model for other high schools to follow. Regina worked with many student organizations supporting and mentoring hundreds of students during her stellar career in education.
Regina worked on many committees at Ledgerock Community Church. Originally, the church gathered as the Ely Baptist Church in the home of Bob Sharp. Along with many others, Regina worked diligently to grow the church. Those efforts, along with their devotion to serving the Lord, helped Ledgerock become a dynamic and strong pillar of the Ely community.
Regina enjoyed collecting and reading cookbooks and amassed a cookbook library of over 250 volumes in her heyday. She played the piano and flute, enjoyed reading, knitting and traveled extensively to Europe and Scandinavia during her summers.
Regina is survived by her sister, Catherine, of Bellingham, Washington, nieces and nephews and extended family and friends.
She was preceded in death by nine brothers, Gustave, Sune, Russell, Alvin, Vernor, Howard, Grant, Peter and Sheldon, and one sister, Florence (Ulicsni).
A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, June 20, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. at Ledgerock Community Church in Ely. A gathering time for family and friends will begin at the church one hour prior to the service. Inurnment will take place in Greenwood Cemetery in Virginia.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Bauman's Vermilion Funeral Home in Tower. To share condolences online, please see: www.bauman funeral home .com

2-21-20

Jean Adair Bystrom Holappa, formerly of Tower and Virginia, passed away on Monday, January 13, at Good Samaritan Society Nursing Home in Blackduck, Minnesota. Jean was one hundred years of age.
Memorial services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 29, at St. James Presbyterian Church in Tower, with Pastor Doug Workman officiating. Visitation will be at the church for one hour prior to the service. Spring burial will be in Lakeview Cemetery in Tower.
Arrangements are with Landmark Funeral Home in Virginia.

Dorothy Eleanor Nelimark Bruno of Birchwood, Wisconsin passed away peacefully on January 27 at the age of one hundred years and five months. She was born on August 20, 1919 at the Nelimark Homestead. Those fortunate enough to know Dorothy can attest to her compassionate generosity, ambition, independence and delightful sense of humor. Now that she is reunited with her beloved husband, siblings and family, heaven will be filled with love and laughter.
Dorothy devoted her life to caring for her husband, Rosmyn Bruno, daughters, family and friends. After graduating from the Embarrass High School, she owned and operated a hamburger shop and the bus depot in Tower, was a nurse at the Soudan Hospital, served as a butcher at Olson's Store in Tower during World War II and worked at Grand View Resort on Lake Vermilion. After moving back to Embarrass, Dorothy served as PTA president, Hope Lutheran Church Council member, Altar Guild chairman and Sunday School superintendent. She also served on the local election boards, was a member of the women's club and volunteered with the Girl Scouts.
Dorothy never learned to ride a bicycle and was deathly afraid of snakes. She was famous for her cardamom biscuits, said to be the best this side of Finland.
Survivors include her daughters and sons-in-law, Ann and Vern Voss of Bemidji, Minnesota, Dianne and Tom Barkley of Birchwood, Wisconsin, Kristina and Ron Hocevar of Eveleth, Minnesota and Judith and Bill DeCamp of Auburn, California; grandchildren, Daniel Voss, Mary Voss, David Voss, Jennifer Voss, Lisa Robinson, Tim Robinson, William Barkley, Cindy Rohr, Douglas Voss, Alison Voss, Michael Tomonovich, Thomas Barkley and Jill Kyzer; nine greatgrandchildren and one great-great-grandson.
Dorothy was preceded in death by her husband of sixty-seven years, Rosmyn Bruno; daughter, Mary Elizabeth; parents, Erick and Kristina Nelimark; grandchildren, Amy Michelle Tomonovich and Peter Tomonovich; four sisters and six brothers.
A Celebration of Dorothy's Life was held at Hope Lutheran Church in Embarrass on Saturday, February 15, at 11:00 a.m., with visitation one hour prior to the service. Luncheon followed at the Embarrass Town Hall.
Dorothy will be buried beside her husband in the Embarrass Cemetery. Arrangements were in charge of the Spooner Funeral Home in Spooner, Wisconsin. Online condolences may be left for Dorothy's family at www.bratley-nelsonchapels .com

The Rev. Donald E. Wolf, eighty-nine years of age, entered into the presence of his Lord on Friday, January 10, and heard Him say, "Well done, good and faithful servant."
Donald was born in Port Huron, Michigan on May 1, 1930, the son of Mabel (Stuessy) and Quinton Wolf. He actively participated in his church, Griswold St. Baptist from a young age and felt that played a large role in his call to Christian Ministry. He graduated from Port Huron High School in 1947 and enrolled in Northwestern College in Minneapolis while Billy Graham was president there and graduated in 1951. Don met Ellen Grano of Tower, a fellow student, and they were married on September 8, 1951. He then entered Northwestern Seminary and graduated in 1954 with a Bachelor of Divinity Degree. He later enrolled in a post graduate program at Calvin Seminary and graduated in 1977 with a Master of Theology Degree. He pastored churches in Hubbard, Ohio and in Iron River, Escanaba, Muskegon and Lansing, Michigan. His congregation in Lansing was young adults and thus he began meeting Internationals and sensed a need for ministering to them. In 1985 he and Ellen decided to devote their remaining years to this ministry, interacting with hundreds of internationals from many countries.
Don and Ellen have two loving daughters - Donalyn Kestner and Linea Nicholls. The family enjoyed traveling and visited many places in the United States and Mexico. Northern Minnesota, Ellen's home, was always a summer destination to be with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Their daughters have been supportive of their father's ministry, often sacrificing time with him because of his commitments.
One of their great memories is a trip to Romania and Hungary with their father. Don went to Romania every fall and spring for fifteen years to teach at Caransabes Bible Institute. He had a passion for the Word of God and teaching. Don discovered skiing in Iron River in his late twenties. He and Donalyn enjoyed downhill skiing together until he was in his mid seventies.
But there definitely was a lighter side to Don. Anyone who conversed with him quickly caught his sense of humor and ready wit. He loved puns!
Don is survived by his beloved wife, Ellen; two daughters, Donalyn Kestner and Linea Nicholls; three grandsons, Ryan, Gabriel and Caleb; ten nieces and nephews and many cousins, as well as a brother and sister-in-law.
Hie parents and one sister, Evelyn Robocker, preceded him in death.
A Memorial Service was held at Trinity Church in Lansing at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, January 17. Memorial contributions can be made in Don's memory to Samaritan's Purse or City Rescue Mission of Lansing.

2-14-20

Peter Arne Anderson of Tower passed away on Monday, February 10, in Essentia St. Mary's Hospital in Duluth, following a brief illness. He was born in Soudan on October 29, 1959, to Albert and Irene Anderson.
Peter was the seventh of nine children. He is survived by his siblings, Susan Kotzian and her husband, Keith; Robert Anderson and his wife, Shirley; Dawn Nilsen and her husband, Fred; Janis Swanson and her husband, Doug; Jack Anderson, Alan Anderson and his wife, Stacie, and Dana Anderson and his wife, Michelle. He also is survived by many nieces and nephews and special friends, Shelley Rosett and John Morin, residents of the Vermilion Senior Living community, where Peter also resided.
Preceding Peter in death were his parents, Albert and Irene Anderson, and his sister, Carol LaTour.
Peter was baptized and confirmed at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Soudan. He graduated from Tower-Soudan High School and was employed at Northern Insulation in Tower until his health problems made it too difficult.
Peter will be missed by family and friends throughout the Tower-Soudan area. A private family graveside service will be held in the spring at Lakeview Cemetery in Tower.

Marilyn Kivela, of Biwabik, fifty-two years of age, passed away on Wednesday, February 5, at Essentia Health St. Mary's in Duluth.
Marilyn was born on August 18, 1967 in Virginia, the daughter of Reynold and Mary (Kervinen) Kivela. She graduated from Roosevelt High School. Marilyn worked as a waitress at the Royal Café and at Old Mexico.
She is survived by her daughter, Amber Lammi of Virginia; father, Reynold Kivela of Virginia; grandson, Clinton Seguin, Jr.; brother, Steven Kivela and his wife, Becky, of Tower; significant other, Bryan Holm, and a number of nieces, nephews and cousins.
Preceding her in death were her mother, Mary; sister, Jackie, and infant brother, James.
Marilyn enjoyed shopping and especially loved being a grandma. Investigation Discovery was one of her favorite channels.
Private family services will be held at a later date.
Arrangements are in charge of the Range Funeral Home in Virginia. To sign the online guest book or to send condolences, please visit www.rangefuneral homes.com

Roberta Ruth (Mattila) Stepan, formerly of Ely, passed away on Tuesday, January 7, at Corinth Rehabilitation Suites on the Parkway in Corinth, Texas. She was eighty years of age, having been born in Ely, Minnesota on August 9, 1939. She was the oldest daughter of the late Robert John Mattila and the late Betty Ruth (Purdy) Mattila.
Berta grew up in Ely, about fifteen miles from the Canadian border. Her father worked in the iron mines and her mother worked in the ticket office of the Ely Theatre. In her early years they lived in a small two-bedroom apartment where her mother would fill a washtub with hot water in front of the fire for everyone to take a bath. They lived through the blackouts of World War II, a polio epidemic, and the collapse of the mining tunnels under Shagawa Lake.
Berta enjoyed watching the pontoon planes from her Grandma Purdy's home on Shagawa Lake, camping as a Girl Scout on Fenske Lake and being a member of the Job's Daughters, a branch of the Masons and Eastern Stars. In high school she was a member of the Water Babes synchronized swim club and the Future Homemakers of America.
She dated her future husband, Ed Stepan, as a junior in high school, when he was a high school senior in nearby Tower-Soudan. She graduated in 1957 with a class of 121 students. On September 5, 1959, she married Edward Anthony Stepan, who preceded her in death on July 30, 1995. After she got married, she worked as a stenographer until her daughters were born, Lori Ruth in 1962 and Barbara Jo in 1964. They resided in Minneapolis until 1966 when they bought a house in Roseville, Minnesota and she worked for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
After her daughters were grown, she and Ed moved to Slidell, Louisiana, across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans. She worked at Gilsbar, Inc. and greatly enjoyed the festivals, parades, seafood, boating and warm weather there for many years. After a stroke in 2018 she moved to Texas to be closer to her family.
She is survived by two daughters, Lori Ruth Stepan and Barbara Jo (Stepan) Bunnell and her husband, Dean; four grandchildren, Nicole Miller and her husband, John, Jasper Van Der Sluys, Christien Van Der Sluys and his wife, Felix, and Nicolaas Van Der Sluys. She is also survived by her great-grandson, Tyler Miller; her sister, Nancy (Mattila Lakner) Sterbenk and her husband, Ted, and her brother, Jack Mattila and his wife, Joanne.
Private services will be held in Minnesota during the summer of 2020. Condolences may be made online on Facebook, or cards may be sent to Barb Bunnell at 130 Midway Circle, Lewisville, Texas 75057. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in her memory to the American Stroke Association at www.stroke.org

2-7-20

Roberta Ruth (Mattila) Stepan, formerly of Ely, passed away on Tuesday, January 7, at Corinth Rehabilitation Suites on the Parkway in Corinth, Texas. She was eighty years of age, having been born in Ely, Minnesota on August 9, 1939. She was the oldest daughter of the late Robert John Mattila and the late Betty Ruth (Purdy) Mattila.
Berta grew up in Ely, about fifteen miles from the Canadian border. Her father worked in the iron mines and her mother worked in the ticket office of the Ely Theatre. In her early years they lived in a small two-bedroom apartment where her mother would fill a washtub with hot water in front of the fire for everyone to take a bath. They lived through the blackouts of World War II, a polio epidemic, and the collapse of the mining tunnels under Shagawa Lake.
Berta enjoyed watching the pontoon planes from her Grandma Purdy's home on Shagawa Lake, camping as a Girl Scout on Fenske Lake and being a member of the Job's Daughters, a branch of the Masons and Eastern Stars. In high school she was a member of the Water Babes synchronized swim club and the Future Homemakers of America.
She dated her future husband, Ed Stepan, as a junior in high school, when he was a high school senior in nearby Tower-Soudan. She graduated in 1957 with a class of 121 students. On September 5, 1959, she married Edward Anthony Stepan, who preceded her in death on July 30, 1995. After she got married, she worked as a stenographer until her daughters were born, Lori Ruth in 1962 and Barbara Jo in 1964. They resided in Minneapolis until 1966 when they bought a house in Roseville, Minnesota and she worked for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
After her daughters were grown, she and Ed moved to Slidell, Louisiana, across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans. She worked at Gilsbar, Inc. and greatly enjoyed the festivals, parades, seafood, boating and warm weather there for many years. After a stroke in 2018 she moved to Texas to be closer to her family.
She is survived by two daughters, Lori Ruth Stepan and Barbara Jo (Stepan) Bunnell and her husband, Dean; four grandchildren, Nicole Miller and her husband, John, Jasper Van Der Sluys, Christien Van Der Sluys and her husband Felix, and Nicolaas Van Der Sluys. She is also survived by her great-grandson, Tyler Miller; her sister, Nancy (Mattila Lakner) Sterbenk and her husband, Ted, and her brother, Jack Mattila and his wife, Joanne.
Private services will be held in Minnesota during the summer of 2020. Condolences may be made online on Facebook, or cards may be sent to Barb Bunnell at 130 Midway Circle, Lewisville, Texas 75057. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in her memory to the American Stroke Association at www.stroke.org

Cynthia Eileen (Schuster) Aune of Cook passed away on Monday, January 27. She was sixty-two years of age. Cynthia was born in Cook to Henry and Marion (Lumbar) Schuster on August 22, 1957. She attended school in Orr and then attended Loman High School, graduating in 1975.
Soon after graduating, she met and married William Steinbach. They were blessed with two sons, Richard and James. The family lived in International Falls for a time before Cynthia's path led her in a different direction. She attended college in Hibbing and earned her Certified Nursing Assistant certificate, after which she worked for several nursing homes in the Hibbing area. She also worked at the Vermilion Hotel in Cook and for Bois Forte as an Indian Child Welfare Advocate.
Cynthia liked to stay busy in her free time; she loved going out to the "shack on the farm" during hunting season. She also was an avid and successful fisherwoman. She was very patient while fishing and would often out-fish her family. Her family teasingly nicknamed her "Butch Furtman" after a famous angler. Cynthia also enjoyed her day trips to the Casino.
She was an easygoing soul who loved to joke around and have fun. She had a kind heart and was a very giving, generous person. Even though she did not have much, she would do anything she could to help someone in need. She loved her family with all her heart, a family that included her dog Daisy, whom she called "the love of her life."
Cynthia was preceded in death by her parents, Henry and Marion Schuster; her beloved son, Richard Steinbach, and her dog, Daisy.
She is survived by her son, James Steinbach; her brother, Bruce Schuster; a sister, Rox-anne Weatherton; granddaughters, Cassandra and Madison, and a great-grandson, Jaxson.
A Memorial Service will be held on Friday, February 7, at 11:00 a.m. at Mlaker Funeral Home in Cook. Visitation will begin one hour prior to the service.
To leave an online condolence, visit www.mlakerfuneral home.com

1-31-20

Alice Lorraine Taylor of Tower, eighty-five years of age, passed away on Thursday, January 23, in Essentia Health Virginia Care Center. Alice was born on January 31, 1934 in Van Etten, New York, the daughter of Henry and Karin (Roikka) Tuomi. The family moved to rural Tower when Alice was a child. She grew up in Tower, attended the local schools and graduated from Tower-Soudan High School. She continued her education at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota, where she earned a degree in education. Alice was an instructor in the Albert Lea, Minnesota Schools, taught United States military children on bases in Germany and England and was an instructor in the Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania schools from 1966 to 2004.
She was united in marriage to Robert Taylor on July 1, 1966. The couple moved to Tower in 2004.
Alice was an active, dedicated member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Tower, participated in their Bible studies and served on the Immanuel Church Council. She cherished time spent at their cabin on Lake Vermilion, and enjoyed gardening and her flower beds. She was a good listener and possessed an extreme amount of SISU.
Alice is survived by her sisters, Arliss Olson of Britt, Karin Von Sien of Duluth and Kay Hanson and her husband, Richard, of Tower, and a number of nieces, nephews and extended family and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Henry and Karin Tuomi; her husband, Robert Taylor; brothers-in-law, Harold Olson and Robert Von Sien, and a niece, Lisa Von Sien.
A Memorial Service was held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, January 28, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Tower, with Pastor Liz Cheney officiating. A gathering time of family and friends began at the church one hour prior to the service. Pianist was MaryBeth Reller. Hymns were "When Peace Like A River," "On Eagles Wings," "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee" and "Finlandia."
Spring inurnment will take place in Lakeview Cemetery in Tower.
Assistance to the family was entrusted to Bauman's Vermilion Funeral Home in Tower. To share condolences online, please see www.baumanfuneralhome .com
Alice was a soft-spoken, sincere, kind, thoughtful person, who endeared herself to everyone she met. Everyone who knew her has special memories of her that they will cherish and she will be sadly missed and ever remembered with affection.

1-24-20

Due to the inclement weather last Saturday, the Memorial Service for Jean Adair Bystrom Holappa was canceled. It will be rescheduled for a later date, which will be announced in "The Tower News" obituary column.
Arrangements are in charge of the Landmark Funeral Home in Virginia.

Terese Jean (Zollar) Moraski of Hoyt Lakes, Minnesota was born in Soudan on October 25, 1935 and passed away peacefully, surrounded by her loving family, on Monday, January 20, in Forest Lake, Minnesota. She was eighty-four years of age. As she often said, "I lived a wonderful life." Terese died gracefully, following a cancer diagnosis three months ago. She looked forward to her eternal life with her husband, Jack, in heaven.
Terese was the ninth of eleven children of Anton and Julia Zollar and grew up in Soudan. She adored all of her siblings and parents, who were proud of their Slovenian heritage. She attended the Tower-Soudan Schools and was a loyal Golden Eagles fan from the Class of 1953. Her grandchildren enjoyed hearing stories of her life growing up with her siblings. She worked as a cashier at Gornick's Grocery Store in Tower, and delivered groceries all over Soudan, and then worked at the State Bank of Tower from 1954-1960. In the summer of 1960 on Lake Vermilion, Terese was introduced to John "Jack" Moraski and they were married on May 6, 1961.
Terese and Jack resided in Hoyt Lakes for almost sixty years. Their four daughters Lizette Jean Moscatelli, Margaret Ann Dahl, Jane Marie Matson and Jean Ann Hastings, were raised in Hoyt Lakes. Terese often referred to that era as the best years of her life - raising her four daughters with Jack, attending their Girl Scout events, band and choir concerts, swimming, basketball, volleyball, softball and track events across northern Minnesota. Not wanting to miss a single event, often her dinner was popcorn while cheering for her four daughters during basketball, softball and swim meets.
Terese was very involved in the community. She worked at the Hoyt Lakes bank for thirty-five years. Her fun-loving personality led to her planning many of the bank's parties, where she would direct skits and play polkas on her accordion.
Terese was a very active parishioner at Queen of Peace Catholic Church. She was president of the Women's Catholic Council, headed four successful church bazaars, organized numerous funeral dinners, taught Catechism, was a member of the church choir and would worship with her family in the second pew on the right at Saturday evening Mass. Her Roman Catholic faith continued to sustain her throughout her life, and she remained strong, courageous and hopeful during her last few months.
She was a member of the Timothy Robinson Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary and the American Legion Women's Auxiliary.
Terese loved people and had a generous, giving heart. She made many trips to the post office, sending numerous birthday cards to family and friends. She was always thoughtful and would acknowledge with accolades her grandchildren's academic, sports or club achievements and for every birthday she would write a poem about that grandchild. She was an enthusiastic, thoughtful woman who was never without a smile and could recall a face at any time. She loved and cherished her family and enjoyed doting on her grandchildren and sons-in-law. She was an avid Minnesota sports fan and enjoyed cheering for all the Minnesota teams: Vikings, Twins, Timberwolves, Wild and Lynx and especially the Minnesota State Maverick Hockey team, coached by her son-in-law, Mike Hastings.
Terese enjoyed her years of employment at Gornick's Grocery Store, State Bank of Tower, Hoyt Lakes Bank and seven years as a cashier in the vault at Fortune Bay Resort Casino, where she enjoyed seeing many of her friends from the Tower-Soudan area. At Fortune Bay, Terese was fondly referred to as "Mother Teresa," because she showed compassion and cared for so many of her fellow employees.
Terese's legacy of kindness, generosity, enthusiasm for life lives on in each of her daughters and grandchildren. Her motto was "If you are healthy, you are rich.!" Her father instilled in her the sentiment that "I want my children to have a better life than I did and I want my grandchildren to have the best!" She too held this close and ensured her children and grandchildren always had the best life possible. She would often tell her daughters, "You only have each other." She took pride in that fact that her daughters all loved and took care of each other and their days together were always full of laughter.
She is survived by her four daughters, Lizette Moscatelli and her husband, Gari, of Forest Lake, Minnesota, Marge Dahl and her husband, LTC Michael Dahl, United States Marine Corps, retired, of Madison, Alabama, CDR Jane Moraski Matson, United States Navy, retired, and LCDR Peter Matson, United States Navy, retired, of Mahtomedi, Minnesota and Jean Ann Hastings, and her husband, Mike, of Elysian, Minnesota; one sister, Marcella Rooney of Duluth; brother-in-law, Bill Moraski and his wife, Virginia; nine grandchildren, Tia Moscatelli and Tess Moscatelli, of Forest Lake, Minnesota, Ryan Dahl and Lise Dahl of Madison, Alabama, John "Jack" Matson, Nicholas Matson and Isabella Matson of Mahtomedi, Minnesota and Hannah Hastings and Hudson Hastings of Elysian, Minnesota; Terese's best friend for over sixty years, Julie Osborne, and many dear nieces, nephews and godchildren.
Terese was preceded in death by her husband, John "Jack" Walter Moraski; her parents, Anton and Julia Zollar; siblings, Bernard Zollar, Dorothy Zollar, Ruth Gottlieb, Gertrude Vesel, Joseph Zollar, Robert Zollar, Rose Zollar, twin brother, Jack Zollar, and Edward Zollar; grandchildren, Tate Moscatelli, Matthew Dahl and Tessa Dahl.
Terese wanted to extend a special thank you to her dear friends and neighbors for caring for her so she could stay in her own home, especially Julie Osborne, her dear friend and guardian angel on Earth who took her to Mass, brought her meals and groceries and mailed all her cards and letters; Dr. Chris Whiting, her "wonderful doctor," Bill Moraski, her personal computer tech; her kindhearted neighbors, Don and Marjorie Markwardt, Karen and Ed Baker and Kenny and Janet Olson, who took care of her yard, shoveled her driveway and were always there when needed.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Our Lady of Hope (formerly Queen of Peace) Catholic Church (319 Kennedy Memorial Drive) in Hoyt Lakes at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 25. Visitation will be held at the church at 9:00 a.m. before Mass. Inurnment will be at a later date at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery - Little Falls at Camp Ripley on the Mississippi River next to her husband, John "Jack" Moraski, United States Navy, retired.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the family to go toward the Matthew Dahl Memorial Field, named after her grandson.

1-17-20

Jean Adair Bystrom Holappa, 100 years of age, formerly of Tower and Virginia, passed away on Monday, January 13, 2020 at Good Samaritan Society Nursing Home in Blackduck, Minnesota.
Memorial services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 18, 2020 at St. James Presbyterian Church in Tower, with Pastor Doug Workman officiating. Visitation will be for one hour prior to the service at the church. Spring burial will be in Lakeview Cemetery in Tower.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Landmark Funeral Home of Virginia.

1-3-20

William Henry "Bill" Caron of Virginia passed away on Wednesday, December 18, at Essentia Health in Virginia. He was ninety-five years of age, having been born in Eveleth on May 24, 1924, the son of Henry and Katherine (McKinnon) Caron. He graduated from Cherry High School. He went on to earn his Master's Degree from Colorado State, University of Southern California, and Harvard. He was a Fulbright Scholar.
Bill enlisted in the United States Army in 1943 and received his honorable discharge in 1946.
On August 9, 1947, he was united in marriage to Dorothy Froehlingsdorf at nuptial rites held in Virginia. The couple resided in St. Cloud, Minnesota, Greeley, Colorado, Los Angeles, California and Lexington, Massachusetts, returning to Virginia in 1950. Bill worked for the Virginia Public Schools, St. Francis School District and ended his career working for the State of Minnesota Department of Education.
Bill was a member of the Elks, the Elks Dance Club and the American Legion.
Survivors include his wife, Dorothy; children, Renee Pearson, and her husband, Robert, of Lake Vermilion, Tower; Tom Caron of Irving, Texas and Elizabeth Wetzel and her husband, Gary, of Parrish, Florida; brother-in-law, Joe Froehlings-dorf and his wife, Sue, and several nieces and nephews.
Preceding him in death were his parents, Henry and Katherine Caron; a stillborn infant son; a son, William J. Caron, and brothers, Ronald Caron and Leo Caron.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, December 23, at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Virginia, with visitation for one hour prior to the Mass. The Rev. Father Brandon Moravitz was the celebrant. Military Honors were accorded by the Virginia Honor Guard.
Arrangements were with the Range Funeral Home in Virginia.
Bill enjoyed polka dancing, reading and was an avid student of history. He also enjoyed spending time at the family cabin on Lake Vermilion. He will be sadly missed, but he left countless wonderful memories for family and friends to cherish.

Travis J. Blomquist, thirty-three years of age, of Isanti went home to Heaven on December 23 at his home, after a courageous battle with Neuroendocrine Cancer. His family was by his side.
Travis Jon Blomquist was born on February 11, 1986 in Fridley, Minnesota to Joy and Jon Blomquist. He attended school in Spring Lake Park and then in Tower, graduating in 2004. Travis enjoyed swimming, fishing, detailing cars and talking trucks. His happy place was Lake Vermilion and his truck. He loved his family, his Lord and his dogs. Travis was a kind man with a generous heart. His battle with cancer started on March 15, 2019. Travis fought an amazing battle with faith, grace and dignity, leaving his mark on the people who surrounded him. He is now pain-free and watching over us all.
Travis is survived by his mother Joy (Phil) Bodine; his father, Jon Blomquist; a sister, Alycia Blomquist; grandparents, Don and Jane Johnson, Howard and Lorna Blomquist and Barb Bodine; aunts, uncles, cousins, and other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his grandfather, Philip Bodine.
A memorial gathering to celebrate his life will be held on Saturday, January 4, from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Strike Life Tributes in Cambridge. The family thanks everyone for their support during the journey. We could not have done it without ALL of you. Great Love, Team Travis.
Online condolences can be made to StrikeLifeTributes.com

June Ruth Jeanette passed away on December 26 in Columbus, Ohio at the age of ninety-one. Born June Ruth Hendrickson in Soudan on June 1, 1928, she graduated from Tower-Soudan High School in 1946. She attended the University of Minnesota Duluth and earned her degree in Elementary Education.
Ruth taught kindergarten and Head Start in the Duluth Public Schools for many yeaers.
She was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary Post 137, was active in the Owls Auxiliary and Cooties Auxiliary Pup Tent #5 in Duluth. She was a member of Dove of Peace Lutheran Church in Tucson, Arizona until November, 2018 and was a member of Messiah Lutheran Church in Reynoldsburg, Ohio until her death.
Ruth was always an early riser and one could find her each morning, reading the newspaper and enjoying a cup of coffee. She loved to travel to Hawaii and took many cruises around the world with her husband, Joseph.
Ruth married Harold Hendrickson on October 1, 1949. He passed away in 1995. She married Joseph Edward Jeanette on July 12, 1997 at ceremonies held in Duluth, Minnesota.
She is survived by her husband, Joseph, and four children, Susan Avery and her husband, Mark, Howard Hen-drickson and his wife, Lee, Mark Hendrickson and Tracy (Greg) Oswald; a sister, Dorothy Aronen; five stepchildren, many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins.
Preceding her in death were her parents, Mabel N. Lee and Arthur H. Hendrickson, as well as her sisters, Peggy Palmershein, Carol Schmid and Jane Shoden.
A Memorial Service will be held in Duluth in June of this year.
Ruth loved to bake bread, cook and entertain friends and family. She was an excellent seamstress and had an amazing sense of style. Reading books to her many grandchildren was one of her favorite pastimes.

11-29-19

Gayle D. Lilya of Virginia, formerly of Tower, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, November 19, at Essentia Health - St. Mary's in Duluth, with her family at her side. She was eighty-two years of age, having been born in Tower on September 6, 1937, the daughter of Roy and Irene (Mickelson) Sjoberg. She attended the local schools and graduated from Tower-Soudan High School.
Gayle was employed at the Tower Dress Shop following her high school graduation. She was united in marriage to William J. Lilya on June 2, 1962 at ceremonies held at St. Martin's Catholic Church in Tower.
Gayle enjoyed her role as a homemaker. She also was employed at Fingerhut for some time. She was a member of St. James Presbyterian Church in Tower. Gayle enjoyed spending time with her family and always had a delicious home-cooked meal waiting for them. She also enjoyed spending time at their cabin on Lake Vermilion.
Gayle is survived by her husband, Bill; two sons, Scott Lilya and his wife, Amy, of Chaska, Minnesota and Michael Lilya and his wife, Stacy, of Blaine, Minnesota; one sister, Joy Raudio of Mound, Minnesota; five grandchildren, Molly Lilya, Andrea Lilya, Joseph Lilya, Lindsay Lilya and Landon Lilya, and extended family and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Roy and Irene Sjoberg; two brothers, Roy Sjoberg and Terry Sjoberg, and special friends, Sandy Moraski and Mary Kilpela.
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, December 7, at St. James Presbyterian Church in Tower, with Pastor Doug Workman officiating. Visitation will be for one hour prior to the Memorial Service. Inurnment will be at a later date in Lakeview Cemetery in Tower.
Services to the family are entrusted to Bauman's Vermilion Funeral Home of Tower. To express condolences onllne, please see: www.baumanfun eralhome.com
Gayle's life centered around her family. She was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother and a loyal friend. She endeared herself to everyone she met and will be deeply missed and remembered with affection by all who knew her.

Linda S. Rankila of Tower, formerly of Embarrass and Virginia, passed away on Tuesday, November 19, at Vermilion Senior Living in Tower. She was ninety-nine years old, having been born on August 14, 1920 in Virginia, the daughter of Anselm and Ilna Elizabeth (Haikio) Huhta.
Linda left school to help the family and received her GED at the age of fifty. She worked as a nursing assistant at the Virginia Regional Hospital.
Linda, always known as "Auntie Dada," never forgot a birthday of her nieces and nephews. She loved her sauna, knitting, baking and making quilts and enjoyed family gatherings, picking berries at the age of ninety and going on a "girls only" outing to Arizona with her nieces at eighty years of age.
Survivors include nieces and nephews: Sarah Young and her husband, Charles, of Duluth, Faye Sundeen of Sun City West, Arizona, Amy Berglund of Lake Vermilion, Soudan, Lori Tomsich and her husband, Tim, of Soudan, Thomas Sundeen and his wife, Jayne, of Soudan and Linda "Mindy" Sandstrom of Virginia and several great-nieces and great-nephews and great-great-nieces and great-great nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Anselm and Ilna Huhta; her husband, Reuben Rankila; two brothers, Reino Huhta and Arvo Huhta, and one sister, Lila Sundeen, as well as Reuben's family and a wide circle of friends.
Linda had "SISU." Some people live long and live well and sad is the day we have to say goodbye. Nakemiin Auntie Dada.
Per Linda's request, there will be no formal services. Burial will be in Greenwood Cemetery in Virginia.
Arrangements are in charge of the Landmark Funeral Home in Virginia.

11-22-19

Bonnie Joy Adams of Ely, formerly of Virginia, Duluth and Wright, Minnesota and Litchfield, Arizona, passed away on Saturday, November 9, at Essentia Health - St. Mary's in Duluth. She was sixty-three years of age, having been born in Virginia on August 28, 1956, the daughter of Merle and Beverly (Hanson) Adams. She was a 1974 graduate of Virginia High School and went on to receive her Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) degree from Eveleth VoTech.
Bonnie worked as a Business Support Analyst for the Federal Reserve through Sato/Carlson Wagonlit. She was also employed as a nurse for several years at St. Mary's in Duluth. She attended the Heritage Trail Bible Church.
Bonnie was a member of the Eagles Nest Lake Association and Eagles Nest Fireflies. She enjoyed spending time with her family and friends, swimming, reading and games.
Bonnie is survived by her special sibling and friend, DeAnn Schatz of Ely; siblings, Cheryl J. Adams of Chisholm, Kathleen Sande and her husband, Henry, of Virginia, James Adams and his wife, Evie, of Niles, Michigan, Kenneth Adams and his wife, Marie, of Toney, Alabama, Linda Pend-graft and her husband, Chuck, of Council Bluffs, Iowa, Patty Briardy and her husband, Paul, of Grand Junction, Colorado and Dennis Johnson of Omaha, Nebraska; and a number of nieces and nephews and many extended family members and friends.
Preceding her in death were her parents, Fred and Beverly Spiker and Merle and Lena Adams; brothers, Gary Adams and Jeff Johnson and an infant sister, Sally Adams.
A Memorial Service was held on Saturday, November 16, at 10:00 a.m. at the Bauman Vermilion Funeral Home Chapel in Tower, with Michael Wefel officiating. MaryBeth Reller was the pianist.
Family services were provided by Bauman's Vermilion Funeral Home in Tower.

Robert L. "Bob" Bodine of Virginia passed away on Sunday, November 10, at Essentia Health Northern Pines Nursing Home in Aurora. He was eighty years of age, having been born in Soudan on February 25, 1939, the son of Bernard and Lempi (Kultala) Bodine. He grew up in Soudan and graduated from Tower-Soudan High School in 1957. Bob was in the Tower-Soudan High School Band and the Soudan Band. He graduated from Ely Junior College and Stout State University in Menomonie, Wisconsin.
Bob was united in marriage to Paulette R. Nikkinen on April 9,1960 at nuptial ceremonies held in Ely. They resided in Ely, Tower and Babbitt and he had been a Virginia resident since 1996.
He was a member of Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Virginia and a former member of United Steelworkers Union Local 4108 of Aurora. Bob worked as a lab technician at Erie Mining Company in Aurora, in the office of Reserve Mining Company in Babbitt and retired in 2001 as a heavy equipment operator for LTV Mining in Aurora, after thirty-seven years of service.
Bob and Paulette loved spending time at their cabin on Lake Vermilion.
Bob is survived by his children, Lori Ekman and her husband, Steve, of Bass Lake, rural Gilbert, Debbie Bodine of Virginia and Mark Bodine and his wife, Mary, of Babbitt; six grandchildren, Kristina Peyla and her husband, Sean, Erika Ekman, Andrew Ekman, Sa-mantha Ekman, Kelly Norton and her husband, Jonathan, and Kari Bodine; two great-grandchildren, Ariah Peyla and Nolan Peyla; a sister-in-law, Elizabeth Nikkinen, and a number of nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Bernard and Lempi Bodine; his wife, Paulette Bodine; four sisters and one brother and his faithful dog, Finn.
A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, November 29, at the Landmark Funeral Home Chapel in Virginia, with Deacon Kari Olson officiating. Visitation will be for one hour prior to the service.