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 Chaos and Grit




Warren Aldrich Carlson of Kugler Township, Tower, passed away peacefully on Saturday, March 9, at St. Raphael's Health and Rehabilitation Center in Eveleth. He was eighty-six years of age.
Warren was born at home in Tower on March 6, 1933, the son of Waldemar and Anna (Hendrickson) Carlson. He grew up in Tower, where he attended school. He worked for Tomahawk Timber Company of Ely for one year before being drafted into the United States Army during the Korean Conflict Era. He was stationed in Germany, where he served as a signal message clerk from 1953 to 1955. He was awarded the Army Occupation Medal and the National Defense Service Medal. Following his honorable discharge, he worked for Foley Construction in the construction of the Erie Mining Company facilities.
Warren was united in marriage to Alice Karkinen in 1957 at nuptial rites held in Biwabik. They established their home in Tower. He worked for Reserve Mining Company in Babbitt as a heavy equipment operator for thirty years. Following its closing, he worked for Cyprus Mining Company and Northshore Mining Company, both of Babbitt, retiring in 1998.
Warren was a supervisor for Kugler Township for twenty-nine years. He was the longest serving supervisor ever to hold that position. He was often referred to as "the mayor of Kugler" by friends and family.
Warren was a proud veteran. Being a member of the Tower American Legion for thirty-nine years, he enjoyed marching in the parades and assisting with the many Legion pancake feeds.
Warren was a past member of the Steelworkers of America Local #4757 of Babbitt and Nelson-Jackson Post #245 of the American Legion of Tower.
He is surived by his children, Connie Maki and her husband Mark, of Buhl, Jon Carlson of Soudan, Cindy Macdiarmid and her husband, Ken, of McGregor, Michael Carlson and his wife, Cara, of Tower and Eric Carlson of Tower; nine grandchildren, Sheila, Amber, Shannon, Jared, Brennan, Brooke, Marty, Michael and Ava; ten great-grandchildren; one brother, Roy Carlson of Ely, and a number of nieces, nephews and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Waldemar and Anna Carlson; his daughter, Terri Carlson; a granddaughter, Kris Jankowski; one brother, Donald Carlson; five sisters, Doris Limmer, Shirley Starkovich, Vivian Mazerio, Joan Salo and Clarice "Sissy" Starkovich, and the mother of his children, Alice Carlson.
A Celebration of Life for Warren wil be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, March 15, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Tower, with Pastor Liz Cheney officiating. Musician will be MaryBeth Reller, who will provide both the vocal and instrumental music. She will sing "In the Garden," "The Old Rugged Cross" and "Amazing Grace." Warren's grandchildren and great-grandchildren will serve as honorary pallbearers. Friends and family will gather at the church for one hour prior to the service. Military honors will be accorded by the Virginia Servicemen's Honor Guard. Burial will be in Lakeview Cemetery in Tower at a later date.
Arrangements and assistance to the family have been entrusted to the Landmark Funeral Home of Virginia.
Warren was an avid hunter, snowmobiler and four-wheeler. He liked to spend time with his family, enjoyed gardening and picking berries. His favorite holiday was Christmas. He loved the decorating, the Christmas lights, the music, the goodies, but most of all he loved having his family and friends over and everyone was always warmly welcomed. He also looked forward to the Fourth of July and assisting with making the "Kugler float," which was always hilarious and always one of the highlights of the Fourth of July parade.
He will be greatly missed and remembered with affection by all who knew him.

Neil Russell Mayo of Cloquet passed away on Thursday, March 7, in his home, after a hard-fought, difficult battle with cancer. He was thirty-seven years old, having been born in Virginia on July 21, 1981, the son of Thomas and Katherine Mayo. Neil was a 1999 graduate of Tower-Soudan High School and graduated from Hibbing Community College in 2004, with a Business Degree.
Neil was employed at Northern Communities Credit Union for twelve years. He was a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Tower and was the drummer for the Dirty Apes Band. Neil loved spending time at the cabin on Duffy Island on Lake Vermilion.
Neil is survived by his wife, Bethany; three children, Hendrix, Aili and Charlie; his parents, Tom and Katy Mayo; two brothers, Aaron Mayo and his wife, Becky, and Thomas Mayo, Jr.; mothers- and fathers-in-law, Debra Kucer and her husband, Bill, and Dennis Johnson and his wife, Kristi; aunts, uncles, eleven nieces and nephews, numerous extended family and friends, including his Northern Communities Credit Union family and his beloved cat, Colonel.
Preceding him in death were a brother, Richard James Mayo, and his grandparents, Archie and Babs Larsen and Thomas and Bertha Mayo.
The family would like to thank the doctors, nurses and staff of Essentia Oncology, Mayo Clinic and Caring Edge Hospice for the excellent and compassionate care given to Neil.
Visitation will be on Wednesday, March 13, from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. at the Atkins-Northland Funeral Home, 801-14th Street in Cloquet. Visitation will continue on Thursday, March 14, from twelve o'clock noon until the 1:00 p.m. funeral service in Our Savior's Lutheran Church, 12 and Doddridge in Cloquet.
In a fitting eulogy to Neil, a grieving friend this week observed, "Neil has always been the trusting, open, deeply accepting and gentle friend we all now miss. There really were never any holes torn larger in the hearts of Tower-Soudan than the one we experienced together this past week.
"Neil was known across the Arrowhead and was a friend to everyone he knew. The instantaneous outpouring of positive memories about Neil on the internet, from his friends across the country as each learned of his passing, is astounding. Everyone whoever met Neil knew he was a special friend and an inspiration.
"He was core to our Tower-Soudan community and remains so today. Neil remained involved in our community even after he moved to Cloquet, married Bethany and established his beautiful family there. He kept in touch with everyone. He loved his family, his friends and life. There was never anything he did not want to experience - travel, sports, music, movies and games - he lived life well.
"As inspiring as Neil always was, once he was diagnosed with cancer, everyone admired how he met his challenge head-on, with enthusiasm, commitment, fortitude and faith. He never wavered. He never placed himself ahead of all the people he loved.
"Just knowing Neil was a lesson on how to properly conduct your own life - strive to live a life filled with grace, courage and love."


Joan Margaret Schrek of Biwabik passed away on Tuesday, February 12, at Essentia Health - Virginia. She was eighty-seven years of age, having been born in Biwabik on April 5, 1931, to Victor and Erdine (Nordstrom) Urick. Joan worked as a secretary and business agent for the Horace Mann High School in Biwabik.
She was a member of the Community United Church of Christ and enjoyed traveling, reading and knitting. Her greatest joys in life were her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as other family members and friends.
Joan is survived by her children, Kathleen Panichi and her husband, Joe, of Buyck, Jeannine (Greg Judnick) Carlson of Virginia, David White and his wife, Judy, of San Antonio, Texas, Susan Aker and her husband, Steve, of Biwabik, James White and his wife, Carla, of South St. Paul and Steven Bradach and his wife, Kathy, of Biwabik; grandchildren, Kaylie Wie-ner and her husband, Jesse, Ryan Carlson and his wife, Marie, Rachel White, Joel White, Amy LaMotte and her husband, Kevin, Steve Aker, Jesse White and his wife, Brydee, Samantha White, Maggie White, Jason Eavenson and his wife, Brett, Tessa Larson and her husband, Justin, and Hannah Bradach; eleven great-grandchildren; one brother, John Urick and his wife, Pat, of Tower, and nephews.
Preceding her in death were her parents, Victor and Erdine Urick, and her husband, Robert Schreck.
A Memorial Service for Joan will be held on Monday, March 11, at 11:00 a.m. at Community United Church of Christ, with Pastor John Szarke as the officiant. Friends may gather one hour prior to the service. Inurnment will be in the Lakeside Cemetery in Biwabik. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Community United Church of Christ or the Lakeside Cemetery Association.
Arrangements and assistance to the family are in charge of the Ziemer Moeglein-Shatava Funeral Home in Gilbert.


Vaughn Herhusky, sixty-four years of age, passed away on Tuesday, February 19, at Essentia Health St. Mary's in Duluth.
Vaughn Floyd Herhusky was born on March 4, 1954 in Lakehurst, New Jersey at the United States Naval Air Station Dispensary. He graduated from Tower-Soudan High School in 1972. Vaughn worked as a registered nurse at the Virginia Regional Medical Center, and then worked at Virginia Surplus for many years before accepting the position of manager of the retail sporting goods at Lucky Seven. He was the former treasurer of Muskies, Inc.
Vaughn enjoyed spending time with his family, especially his grandkids. He was an avid fisherman and hunter who loved and appreciated the outdoors. He also was a musician who enjoyed a wide variety of music and played the drums.
Survivors include his son, Shawn Herhusky and his wife, Jaime; a daughter, Samantha Little and her husband, Jason; his longtime partner, Karen Tveit; a stepdaughter, Tanya Tveit; a stepson, Derek Tveit and his wife, Leah; his grandkids, Eloise Herhusky, Avery Little, Savanna Little, Tyler Tveit, Christian Tveit and Emma Tveit.
He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Genevieve Herhusky, and his stepmother, Clara Herhusky.
A Memorial Service will be held at the Range Funeral Home in Virginia at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 2, with Pastor Rod Tuomi as the officiant. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. To sign the online guest book or to send condolences, please visit


Orvis B. Sunsdahl of Soudan, eighty years of age, passed away on Friday, February 15, in Tower. Orvis was born on the family farm in Highlanding Township on May 28, 1938, the son of Emanuel and Frances Hruby Sunsdahl.
Orvis spent his early years in Goodridge, Minnesota, then moved to Calumet, Minnesota, where he spent several years before moving to Soudan, where he has resided ever since. He attended the Tower-Soudan Schools, graduating from Tower-Soudan High School in 1957.
He was united in marriage to Agnes "Penny" Pechek at nuptial ceremonies held at St. Martin's Catholic Church in Tower on August 16, 1958.
Orvis worked as a production truck driver for Reserve Mining Company in Babbitt for twenty-seven years. After the closing of Reserve, he managed the Tower Auto Parts Store in Tower for fifteen years before retiring.
Orvis was an active member of the Tower Lions Club for many years. He also was a union steward for the United Steelworkers of America Local 4757 of Babbitt.
He is survived by Penny Sunsdahl of Soudan, his wife of over sixty years; three daughters, Robin Burgess of Tower, Cindy Torma and her husband, Dale, of Gilbert and Debbie Hintz and her husband, Derrick, of Byron, Minnesota; six grandchildren, Keith Torma, Jeannie Little and her husband, Daron, Adam (Ashley Moravitz) Burgess, Daniel Burgess, Matthew Hintz and Maddeson Hintz; great-granddaughter, Makenzie Little; two sisters, Elsie Latawiec of New Brighton, Minnesota and Marilyn Harle of Sister Bay, Wisconsin; one brother, Emanuel Sunsdahl and his wife, Judy, of Soudan; a brother-in-law, Melvin Verbout of Fargo, North Dakota and a number of nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Emanuel and Frances Sunsdahl; a daughter, Michelle; a sister, Irene Verbout and a son-in-law, Gary Burgess.
A Celebration of Life for Orvis will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 2, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Tower, with Pastor Liz Cheney officiating. A gathering of family and friends will be held at the church for one hour prior to the service. MaryBeth Reller will be the musician for the service, providing both the instrumental and vocal music. She will sing "In The Garden," "Amazing Grace" and "How Great Thou Art." Orvis' grandchildren and greatgranddaughter will serve as honorary casketbearers. Spring burial will be in Lakeview Cemetery in Tower.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Landmark Funeral Home in Virginia.
Orvis was an avid hunter, fisherman and trapper. He was a great mechanic who could fix anything. The more difficult the repairs, the more he enjoyed the challenge. He liked to tinker and always had some project going. He was always willing to help anyone. Orvis especially loved spending time with his family. He will be greatly missed, not only by his family, but also by a wide circle of friends to whom he had endeared himself. Friendly, generous and outgoing, he made friends wherever he went

Janet Mae Lennartson of St. Paul passed away on Sunday, January 20. She was eighty-five years of age. Janet was born in St. Paul on May 25, 1933, the daughter of Harold V. and Alice Lennartson. The family moved to Tower around 1938 when Mr. Lennartson established the Minnesota Box and Lumber Company and established the family residence in Tower. Many years later, they moved to a home on Fectos Point on Lake Vermilion.
Janet moved to St. Paul with her mother in 1991, to be near to her sister, Lois. When her mother was ninety-two years of age, she entered a nursing home and Janet went to live with her sister, Lois, for about twenty years until she was moved to New Harmony Care Center for a short time until her death from congestive heart failure.
Janet endeared herself to everyone she met, and she always enjoyed everyone. She is a person whom everyone will remember with affection, and that fact was expressed in over fifty messages on Lois' iPad following Janet's passing. Everyone who knew her has special stories to recall of their times with Janet.
At the Lake, Janet loved getting up very early to see the sunrise and she loved watching the sunsets. She had her routine of walking to visit all of the neighbors and having a cup of coffee with them. She had many stories to tell of meeting bears and other animals on her walks. She enjoyed time on the lake in her row boat and she enjoyed fishing. She also enjoyed picking wild blueberries.
There are just too many stories to tell. She spent so much time with the Peil family, who lived just a couple of cabins away, that they made her an honorary Peil. Her pets were miniature poodles. Mitzi - when Mitzi died, she had another - Pixie, which she took everywhere with her, even in her bicycle basket.
In St. Paul, she and Lois lived by Lake Phalen and Janet enjoyed walking to the lake. In their apartment, she would be on her balcony to watch the sunsets. She loved going to the park to attend concerts and summer church. She walked to church, to her dental appointments and to the beauty shop, so she did a great deal of walking, as she had done "up North" and continued visiting with all her neighbors. Later in life she attended adult day care and would go with her sister to the neighborhood coffee shop to "hang out."
Janet had a good long life and enriched the lives of many. She faced life with a cheerful, uncomplaining disposition and left a positive impression on everyone.
Janet is survived by her sister, Lois Rayburne of St. Paul; a brother, John W. Lennartson and his wife, Virginia, of Laurel, Montana and nieces and nephews.
Preceding her in death were her parents, Harold V. and Alice Lennartson, and one brother, Harold V. Lennartson, Jr.
A memorial service was held on Wednesday, February 6, at 1:00 p.m. at Janet's church - Eastside Community Lutheran Church in St. Paul. Her brother, John, was able to get there for the service and to spend time visiting with Lois. Interment will be in Union Cemetery at a later date.
Everyone who knew Janet has special, precious memories of her which they will cherish.


Kay E. Salo (Hochstetler) passed away on Friday, February 8, at Essentia Health Virginia Care Center. She was seventy-six years of age.
Kay was born in Soudan on May 2, 1942. She lived in Tower and Buhl for most of her life.
She had numerous special friends, including Kenny Paulson, Jane of her State Street Apartment family, "adopted" daughter, Katie Petrosky, and numerous others.
Survivors include her sister, Viola Salo and husband, Don; sister-in-law, Diane Salo; brother-in-law, Willie Salo; daughter, Lisa Neari, and husband, Paul; sons, Jon Salo and his wife, Kari, and Michael "Bucko" Salo; stepbrothers, Ronnie Hill and Raymond Hill; grandchildren; great-grandchildren; nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her mother, Henna Thompson; stepfather, Emil Hill; sister, Jean Thompson; ex-husband, Casey Salo; son Randy Salo, and grandson, Casey Martin.
A funeral service was held at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 12, at the Pike Apostolic Lutheran Church, with visitation on Monday, February 11, at the Range Funeral Home from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. and continuing at the church one hour prior to the service.
Arrangements are in charge of the Range Funeral Home in Virginia. To sign the online guest book or to send condolences, please visit www.range
Kay loved Jesus. She enjoyed cooking, her many fat cats and little dogs. She was always available for her family and friends, especially her grandchildren, whom she loved dearly. She had a propensity for making friends wherever she was. One could find her chatting in doctors' offices, in elevators and grocery lines, always with a friendly greeting for everyone. She will be sadly missed and remembered with affection by all who knew her.

Eugene Morris Johnson of Amery, Wisconsin passed away on Tuesday, February 5, at his home. He was eighty-one years of age, having been born at home in Tower on February 26, 1937, the son of Walter and Teresa Johnson. He attended the Embarrass Public Schools and graduated from high school in 1955.
Gene earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Minnesota-Duluth in 1959 and his Masters of Arts Degree from the University of Minnesota-Duluth in 1963. He was united in marriage to Wanda Pederson in 1959. The newlyweds established their home in Amery. Gene began his career as an educator in the Amery Public Schools in September of 1959 and retired from teaching in May of 1990.
He loved the outdoors and appreciated the environment - trees, plants, birds and animals. He especially enjoyed working in his yard, gardens and shrub/flower beds, planting and giving away flowers, especially dahlias and gladiolus. Gene devoted time to managing his woods and conservation plots, planting trees and wild flowers and cutting firewood. He enjoyed fishing local lakes and Lake Vermilion and camping and fishing trips to Canada and traveling in his campers. He also enjoyed visiting with and spending time with family ad friends.
He is survived by his loving wife, Wanda; their three children, Craig Johnson of Fairmont, Minnesota, Paul Johnson of Menomonie, Wisconsin and Sarah Crane and her husband, Mark, of Nashua, New Hampshire; a grandson, Matthew Kobernick and his wife, Kara, of Nashua, New Hampshire; two brothers, Larry Johnson and his wife, Debbie, of Two Harbors, Minnesota and Reinhold Johnson and his wife, Pat, of Tower; a sister-in-law, Evelyn Johnson of Aurora, as well as other family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Teresa Johnson and brothers, Albert Johnson, Walter Johnson, Jr. and Richard Johnson.
Funeral services were held on Saturday, February 9, at 2:00 p.m. at the First Lutheran Church in Amery, with visitation for one hour prior to the services. A private family interment will take place at a later date at the Amery Cemetery.
To sign an online guestbook and view a video tribute, visit
Eugene will be sadly missed and remembered with affection by his family and a wide circle of friends. The Williamson-White Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Amery was in charge of arrangements.


James Harold "Mac" Ma-comber, a longtime resident of Tower, passed away on Wednesday, January 30. in the Lakewood Care Center in Staples, Minnesota. He was ninety-six years of age, having been born in Farragut, Iowa on June 8, 1922, the son of James Alonza and Olga (Hall) Macomber. The family moved frequently while "Mac" was growing up, residing in a number of towns in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota.
Following graduation from high school, "Mac" continued his education, attending and graduating from college. He graduated from college with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in three and one-half years at the age of twenty.
He served in the United States Army during World War II.
"Mac" accepted a position as an Industrial Arts Teacher in the Tower-Soudan High School, retiring after forty years. He married June Johnson, also a teacher in the Tower-Soudan Schools, on June 13, 1946 at ceremonies held in Tower.
"Mac" was an active member and an elder of St. James Presbyterian Church, a longtime member and a Past Commander of Nelson-Jackson American Legion Post #245 of Tower, a Past Master and Secretary of Vermillion Masonic Lodge #197, AF & AM, a member of the Duluth Valley of the Scottish Rite and a member of Loyal Chapter of the Order of Eastern Star.
Surviving are two sons, William Macomber of Tower and Thomas Macomber and his wife, Jeanne, of Craig, Colorado; a son-in-law, Paul Lofquist of Tower; four grandchildren, Cade Lofquist and his wife, Brianna, Nathan Macomber, Erika Macomber and Alyssa Macomber.
Preceding him in death were his parents, James and Olga Macomber; his wife, June; one daughter, Judy Lofquist, and one son, James Robert Macomber.
A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 13, at St. James Presbyterian Church, with Pastor Doug Workman officiating. A gathering time for family and friends will begin at the church one hour prior to the service. Spring inurnment will take place in Lakeview Cemetery in Tower.
Family services are being provided by Bauman's Vermilion Funeral Home of Tower. To share condolences online, please see: www.baumanfuneralhome .com
"Mac" enjoyed carving, was an avid reader and enjoyed puttering around the house, doing handyman projects. He was a skilled craftsman and woodworker, creating a number of beautiful pieces, including the communion table, baptismal font, lectern and pulpit at St. James Presbyterian Church.
He was a soft-spoken, friendly, personable man, always ready to "lend a hand" whenever needed. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

It is with great sadness that the family of Beverlee Renee Ranta Lofquist-Hinsa announces her passing on Monday, February 4, at the age of 85, at the Diamond Willow facility in Mountain Iron. A private family memorial service will be held at a later date. Arrangements are with Range Funeral Home in Virginia. To sign the online guest book or to send condolences, please visit www.rangefuneral
Beverlee was born on August 8, 1933 in Duluth. She graduated from Roosevelt High School in Virginia in 1951, and then completed X-ray training at St. Luke's Hospital in Duluth. In addition to working as an X-ray technician at the Eveleth and Virginia Hospitals and for Dr. Siegal at his office in Virginia, Beverlee also worked at a variety of other jobs throughout the years, including The Card Shop, Plaza Hardware, as a hearing tester for a hearing aid company and at Iver Johnson's Lumber Company. She was also active in the Order of Eastern Star and the Ladies of Kaleva.
Beverlee married Duane Charles Lofquist on February 26, 1954. They raised four children at their home in Midway and at their cabin on Isle of Pines, Lake Vermilion. In 1977, they sold both homes and moved year 'round to their place on Birch Point, Lake Vermilion. Beverlee always considered herself a "lake person," and a feisty red-headed Finlander who was proud of her Finnish heritage. She was a wonderful cook who enjoyed trying new recipes. She enjoyed boating, fishing for walleyes (and cooking them), but could never partake of that delicacy, as she was deathly allergic to them. She loved to make jelly and bake, especially when the berries and rhubarb were ripe in Northern Minnesota. She also enjoyed sewing, knitting and later, painting. Beverlee had a great sense of humor and enjoyed playing cards and other games with family and friends.
Duane died suddenly of a heart attack on December 21, 1991. On May 6, 1995, Beverlee married Lawrence Hinsa. They resided at Lake Vermilion and in Harlingen, Texas for many years. Time spent in Texas continued to expand until they became permanent residents there, no longer just Winter Texans or snowbirds. They still came north some summers and for special family events.
In October 2018, due to failing health Beverlee moved back up north where she resided with her daughter, Patti Burnett, in Virginia and at Diamond Willow.
Beverlee is lovingly missed by her husband, Lawrence Hinsa of New Hope, Minnesota; children, Patti Burnett and her husband, John, of Virginia, Pam of Tower, Perry Lofquist and his wife, Elizabeth, of Ramsey, Minnesota and Paul Lofquist and his wife, Barb, of Tower; one sister, Marsha Maki, and her husband, Ernie, of Virginia; nine grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Beverlee was preceded in death by her husband, Duane Charles Lofquist, and her parents, Maybelle (Mema) Oja Ranta and Harold "Red" Ranta and her granddaughter, Katy Burnett.

Paul Richard Crego II of Hibbing passed away on Saturday, January 19, at the age of fifty-eight years.
He was born in Virginia on August 24, 1960, the son of Paul and Rose Marie (Musakka) Crego. He graduated from the Orr High School in 1978, after which he served in the United States Navy. He then attended Hibbing Technical College for building maintenance.
Paul loved the outdoors, especially camping, fishing and hunting. He enjoyed riding dirt bikes, motorcycles and bicycles, refinishing old furniture, woodworking and spending time with family and friends.
Survivors include his mother, Rose Marie Musakka of Chisholm; his son, Paul Crego III, and his wife, Michelle, of Hibbing; grandchildren, Alara Crego and Costanzo Crego, both of Hibbing; a daughter, Tiana Crego of Spokane, Washington; three brothers, David Crego and his wife, Sherry, Patrick Crego and Dole Crego and his wife, Karen, all of Soudan, and a number of nieces, nephews and cousins.
Preceding Paul in death were his grandparents, his father, Paul Crego, and one brother, Rod Crego.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, February 8, at 11:00 a.m. at Mlaker Funeral Home in Cook, with visitation at the funeral home one hour prior to the service. Honorary pallbearers will be Paul Crego III, Albert Markwardt, David Crego, Patrick Crego, Dole Crego and Dole Crego II.
Military honors will be accorded by the Cook Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1757 Honor Guard and the Orr American Legion Post 480 Honor Guard. A luncheon will be held at the Cook Veterans of Foreign Wars in Cook immediately following the service.
Burial will take place at a later date.
To leave an online condolence, visit www.mlakerfuneralhome .com


Doris E. Milbridge of Virginia passed away on Friday, January 18, at Essentia Health Virginia Care Center. She was eighty-nine years of age. Doris made her home in rural Tower for many years.
Services will be held at a later date. Arrangements are pending with Range Funeral Home in Virginia.

Thomas R. Poderzay, Sr. of Soudan entered into eternal rest on Tuesday, January 22. He was ninety-one years of age, having been born in Soudan on July 13, 1927, the son of Anton and Caroline Poderzay. He spent almost his entire life in Soudan, attended the local schools and graduated from Tower-Soudan High School. He enlisted in the United States Army in December of 1945 during World War II and re-enlisted in the United States Army during the Korean War.
Tom was united in marriage to the love of his life, Dolores, on November 15, 1955 at ceremonies held in Neckar-weihingen, Germany while he was serving in the United States Armed Forces. After returning to the United States, the couple resided in Fort Polk, Louisiana for a short time before settling in Soudan in 1957.
Tom retired after working for Erie Mining Company for thirty years.
Tom was a member of St. Martin's Catholic Church in Tower and the K.S.K.J. Lodge. He enjoyed playing accordion with his brothers and sisters, doing crossword puzzles, watching game shows and spending time with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He is survived by his children, Dolores "Toots" Sandnas and her husband, Terry, Tom and Bernie (Russo) Poderzay and Robert and Tina Poderzay; grandchildren, Laura Aune, April Glass, Jesse Glass, Erin Bryson, Bill Bryson, Jacob Sandnas, Christina Poderzay, Donald Poderzay, Brennan Poderzay, Ashley Poderzay and Jordan Poderzay; great-grandchildren, Kate Cheney, Luke Cheney, Sawyer Glass, Laurin Glass, Libby Glass, Vera Bryson, Audrey Bryson, and sister and brother-in-law, Theresa and Frank Galaski, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents, Anton and Caroline Poderzay; four brothers, Robert Poderzay, Leonard Poderzay, Joe Poderzay and Tony Poderzay; two sisters, Caroline Akins and Pauline Trucano, and Dolores, his loving wife of fifty-four years.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Schwinghamer, the staff of Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital, Boundary Waters Care Center, the staff of Vermilion Senior Living and the Essentia Health East Range Hospice team for all the compassionate care Tom received.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, January 30, at St. Martin's Catholic Church in Tower, with The Rev. Father Nick Nelson as the celebrant. Visitation will be at the church for one hour prior to the service. Burial will be in Lakeview Cemetery in Tower.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Mlaker Funeral Home in Tower. To leave an online condolence, visit www.m
Tom and his siblings were a very popular musical accordion group in a widespread area of Tower-Soudan. They were much sought after for decades for wedding receptions, dances and numerous other gatherings and drew large, appreciative crowds whenever they appeared.
A friendly, easy-going man, Tom will be fondly remembered and keenly missed by everyone who knew him.

John Francis Stepan of Bellevue, Washington passed away peacefully in his sleep on Monday, December 24. He was eighty-five years of age, having been born in Soudan on May 23, 1933, the fifth son of Martin L. and Katherine A. (Vesel) Stepan. John spent his early childhood years in Soudan and attended the Tower-Soudan Schools until the family moved to Duluth in 1949. He attended Duluth Central High School for two years, when two very eventful things occurred. He and his Duluth Central teammates won the 1950 state basketball tournament and he met his lifelong sweetheart and future wife, Barbara Lee Peterson. Both graduated from Central in 1951.
John continued his education at St. Cloud State Teachers College in St. Cloud, Minnesota. In 1953, at the end of the Korean War, John entered the United States Army. Following basic training, he was stationed in Sendai, Japan from 1954 to 1956. Returning to Duluth upon his military discharge, John married Barbara on September 8, 1956 before a large gathering of family and friends. They honeymooned by touring the countryside both above and below the United States - Canadian border as they drove west to Seattle, Washington. Seattle University had offered John an athletic scholarship to play basketball. He completed his college education there while also being part of a Seattle University basketball squad that played (but lost) in the 1958 NCAA Men's National Basketball Championship at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky.
The couple had planned to return to Duluth after college. However, they had fallen in love with the Pacific Northwest, so they remained in Seattle. They both began working for well-established Seattle companies and, in due course, raised three boys. Many episodes of "My Three Sons" ensued.
John is survived by those three sons, Steven John Stepan and his wife, Nadine, Martin Beldon Stepan and Robert John Stepan and his wife, Maureen; three grandsons, John Joseph "JJ" Stepan, seventeen years of age, Chase Robert Stepan, nine years old, and Owen Pavlovich Stepan, eight years old, all in the Settle area; his sister, Mary Greving and her husband, Leonard, of Crystal, Minnesota, and numerous nieces and nephews across the United States.
Preceding him in death were his wife, Barbara, who passed away in May, 2016; his parents, Martin and Katherine Stepan; six brothers, Martin Stepan, Joseph Stepan, Frank Stepan, Paul Stepan, Jacob Stepan and Aloys Stepan, and one sister, Katherine Ann.
John and Barb made the decision long before they began having health problems that their sons would wait until both had passed away before holding any type of memorial service. Such a service then would be held for both of them, as they had lived - TOGETHER.
This memorial service is being scheduled with the Overlake Christian Church in Redmond, Washington for March or early April, 2019. It will be a celebration of their lives together by family, friends and neighbors they loved!


The Rev. Roger Edward Carlson, a resident of Cottage-wood Homes in Rochester, Minnesota, entered into his heavenly home on Wednesday, December 26, after a multi-year battle with Lewy Body Dementia.
Roger was born on September 3, 1928 in Jamestown, New York, the son of Gustav and Ella (Carlson) Carlson. He attended the public schools of Jamestown, New York. Following high school graduation, he continued his education at Augustana College and Seminary in Rock Island, Illinois.
Roger was united in marriage to Lois Sjovall on June 4, 1955.
Roger was ordained into the Lutheran Ministry on June 19, 1955. He served parishes in Hudson, Wisconsin and Afton, Babbitt, Zumbrota, Goodhue, Trimont, Kansas Lake and Soudan, as well as serving part-time in parishes in Orr, Ely and Vermilion Lake Township. He also served as Red Cross Disaster Chairman, President of the Eagles Nest Lakes Association and Assistant Administrator of Parkside Homes in Soudan.
Always a wordsmith, Roger was fascinated with verbal expression, vocabulary and grammatical construction. He tackled the daily New York Times crossword puzzle for over fifty years. Roger took a great deal of pride in the family cabin at Eagles Nest Lake, where he constructed a large log addition, using only hand tools. Restoration of a 1950 DeSoto Club Coupe provided years of enjoyment, together with developing lasting friendships with fellow antique car club members in St. James and Ely, Minnesota.
Memorials are preferred to the Lewy Dementia Association ( Roger bequeathed his body to Mayo Clinic for medical research.
A Memorial Service will be held at a later date.
In addition to his beloved wife, Lois, Roger is survived by four children, Camille Martin of Gilbert, Arizona, Craig Carlson of Vadnais Heights, Minnesota, Brian Carlson of Rochester, Minnesota and Curtis Carlson of Shoreview, Minnesota; seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, and nieces and nephews in Minnesota, New York and Ohio.
Preceding him in death were his parents, Gustav and Ella Carlson; and two sisters, Rita Johnson and Edna Strobeck.
A friendly, personable, compassionate man, Roger will be sincerely missed and lovingly remembered.


Madge "Maggie" Matz
On Sunday evening, December 16, 2018, surrounded by her children, Madge "Maggie" Matz passed away peacefully at her home in Arbor Vitae, Wisconsin. She was eighty-four years of age, having been born in Green Bay, Wisconsin on May 20, 1934, the daughter of Albert and Mildred Riebe. When Madge was young, her parents relocated to Minocqua, Wisconsin, where she graduated from High School in 1952.
Maggie worked many years as an accountant at Bob Matz Motors, and then finished her career at Howard Young Medical Center, working in patient accounting, retiring when she was seventy-four years of age.
Maggie was an avid bowler, crossword puzzle player and "Jeopardy" fan. She truly loved her Green Bay Packers, often requiring a welfare check from her family after a game. She loved her family, friends and neighbors, her Shih Tzu "Mei Ling," all her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and grand "pets." She will be best remembered for her keen sense of humor, her generosity, her fun-loving personality and her excitement when her numbers came up as winners. She loved to travel with family and zip-lined at the age of seventy.
Those left to honor her memory and her sense of humor include her sister, JoAnne Connell, of Lake Vermilion, Tower; her children, Deborah Karow and her husband, Philip, Robin Stippich and her husband, Robert, Wendy Hunter and her husband, Todd, and Robert Matz and his wife, Linda; seven grandchildren, Nathan Karow and his wife, Kristine, Carrie Newmoyer and her husband, Dave, Jennifer Seifert and her husband, Matt, Gregory Hunter, Jordan Hunter, Ethan Matz and Tori Matz, and four great-grandchildren.
Maggie was preceded in death by the father of her four children, Robert S. Matz, Sr., her beloved brothers-in-law, Barry L. Matz and Gerald Connell, and her parents, Albert and Mildred Riebe.
A special thank you and sincere appreciation to Maggie's close friends and Ascension Home Hospice that helped the family keep Maggie home and allowed her to pass in comfort.
Thanks and appreciation, also, to Maggie's caregivers at the Howard Young Medical Center and Marshfield Clinic Minocqua Center for the loving care they provided during the recent past. Special thanks, too, to Dr. Mark Rassier for his sincere, special care of Maggie.
A Memorial Gathering was held from 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m. on Friday, December 21, at Bolger Funeral Home, Minocqua Chapel, followed by a Memorial Service at 2:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Ascension Home Hospice. These individuals made a very sad time as comforting as possible.
"The World is not conclusion, a Sequel stands beyond, invisible as music, but positive as sound." - Anonymous
Maggie will be keenly missed and remembered with affection by all who knew her. She leaves countless wonderful memories for friends and family to cherish.


Robert "Bob" Louis "Turtle" Stevens of Lake Vermilion, Tower, and Virginia passed away on Friday, December 21, with his family by his side. He was sixty-seven years of age and had fought a long, difficult battle with neuroendocrine cancer for three and one-half years.
Bob was born in Minneapolis on February 28, 1951, the son of Ray and Bernice (Hennum) Stevens. When he was still a toddler, the family moved to Biwabik, where Bob attended school and graduated from Biwabik High School with the Class of 1969. Bob continued his education, attending college in Menominee, Wisconsin, but left in 1973 to work in the mines and in electrical construction.
In June, 1976 Bob met his soulmate and the love of his life, Elizabeth Padgett of Cloquet, at the Tower Root Beer Stand. Following a six-month whirlwind romance, Bob and Liz were married at nuptial ceremonies held in Cloquet on December 18, 1976. They just celebrated forty-two years of marriage. Bob and Liz had three children, Zebulon, Sarah and Hannah, and currently are raising two of their grandchildren, Luna and Anish.
The newlyweds established their home in Soudan, then built a basement home in Pike-Sandy Township, then moved to Hudson, Wisconsin and eventually relocated back on the Iron Range, settling in Virginia in 1993. After spending the summers of his youth growing up on Lake Vermilion, it was Bob's dream to have his kids and grandkids love "The Lake" as much as he did, so in 1987, the couple bought their first cabin on "The Lake." "The Lake" was his sanctuary and his happy place that he loved the most all of his life.
Bob had been an instructor in Electrical Controls and Maintenance at Mesabi Range College since the Fall of 1993. After being hired to teach, Bob completed his degree at the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menominee on what he referred to as "the twenty-five-year plan." He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Vocational Education from Stout, a Master of Science Degree in Electronics and Computer Technology from Indiana State University and an Automated Systems Diploma from the Eveleth Area Vocational Technical Institute. He was very proud of the fact that he was able to return to the Range teaching in the program from which he graduated in the early 80s. He enjoyed going to his job every day, and never considered it work. He got great satisfaction from teaching, always leaving his students with a story relating to the lesson at hand.
He was a jack-of-all-trades, who could do anything - from building and remodeling homes to car repairs to beautiful oil paintings. It was Bob's Grandpa Hennum, his father, Ray, and his teacher, Dan Saarela from high school shop class, who were responsible for his love of woodworking. Bob also was a rock collector; everywhere he went he took home rocks to add to his collection or to use in some ongoing building project.
He loved to deer hunt at the shack, duck hunt the Vermilion River, fish wherever they were biting on Lake Vermilion, sail on his sailboat and enjoy campfires by the Lake. He was first and foremost a family man, always placing his family above all else, whether it was taking them on numerous adventures or just being there for them. Some of his happiest times were spent telling folktale stories to his kids or grandkids or playing games with them.
He will be missed and cherished by his wife, Liz; son, Zebulon and his children, Luna and Anish of Virginia; daughter, Sarah Knudson and her husband, Keith, and their children, Bo, Alden, Chase, Everett, Liam, Cash, Isla, Carys and Tyce, of Wuori Township; daughter, Hannah Haugen and her husband, Bjørn Åge, and their children, Helén, Philip and Louis, of Tranby, Norway; his father, Ray Stevens and his wife, Carolyn, of Lake Vermilion, Tower; siblings, Don Ste-vens and his wife, Della, of Circle Pines, Minnesota, JoAnne Lewis and her husband, Jim "Louie" of Steamboat Springs, Colorado and Dick Stevens and his wife, Eva, of Mound, Minnesota; his father-in-law, Doug Padgett of Lake Vermilion, Tower, and many other dear relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Bernice Stevens, and both sets of grandparents. "He was a unique and special man who will live forever in our hearts," a family member observed.
A Celebration of Life was held on Thursday, January 3, at 2:00 p.m. at the Bauman-Cron Funeral Home Chapel in Virginia. Visitation was held on Wednesday, January 2, from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. and again for one hour prior to the Thursday service.
Arrangements and assistance to the family were provided by the Bauman-Cron Funeral Home in Virginia. To share condolences online, please see:
Bob will be sadly missed and remembered with affection by all who knew him, but he left countless wonderful memories for friends and family to cherish.

Ray A. Girard of Britt, eighty-six years of age, passed away on Wednesday, December 26, at his home.
Ray was born on November 18, 1932 in Parkville, the son of Ali and Dorothy (Hammond) Girard, and had been a Britt resident for many years. He was a United States Army veteran and worked for LTV Steel as a locomotive engineer, retiring after many years of service.
Survivors include three daughters, Sandra Girard of Eveleth, Bonnie Spolarich and her husband, George, of Britt and Barbara (Skip McCormick) Gibson of Britt; two grandsons, three great-grandsons; one sister, Nora Esselstrom of Texas, formerly of Lake Vermilion, Tower, and one brother, William Girard and his wife, Diane, of Anchorage, Alaska. He was preceded in death by his parents, Ali and Dorothy Girard, and his wife, Marjorie, who passed away in 2014.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Sand Lake Shuffle.
There will be no formal funeral, as per Ray's request.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Landmark Funeral Home in Virginia.

Thelma Louise Kortkamp, a longtime resident of Duluth, passed away on Sunday, December 2, at North Shore Estates in West Duluth, where she had resided for the past five years. She was 102 years of age, having been born on November 2, 1916 in Heron Lake, Minnesota, the daughter of Scott and Alma Potter. She was a graduate of Morgan Park High School and Duluth Business College.
Thelma was employed most of her life in various office management positions for regional companies, such as The Duluth Clinic; WIRL Radio in Peoria, Illinois; Young & Rubican Advertising Agency in Chicago, Illinois; WNGY Radio in Minneapolis; WTCN Television in Minneapolis; Knox Reeves Advertising Company in Minneapolis; the Congdon Corporation in Duluth and the Tower-Soudan Chamber of Commerce in Tower, Minnesota.
Thelma was a charter member of the National Secretary's Association and a member of Our Savior's Lutheran Church.
She moved to Tower, Minnesota when she married her late husband, Ivan Kortkamp, in 1973. When he passed away in 1982, she returned to West Duluth, where she lived most of the rest of her life. She wintered in Ocala, Florida for several years with a close friend, Susie Rodgers. In Duluth, Margie Beattie of Superior, Wisconsin was her closest friend and care provider for many decades. At least twice a week,Thelma and Margie would meet at various restaurants in Duluth-Superior for lunch or dinner. Even at the age of 102, Thelma would ride the Stride bus just to get out and about.
Thelma is survived by nephews, Charles Anderson and his wife, Beverly, of Rochester, Minnesota, Thomas Hedlund of Seattle, Washington, Scott Anderson of Ocala, Florida, and stepson, Mark Kortkamp and his wife, Elaine. Survivors also include several cousins, nieces and nephews.
Preceding her in death were her parents, Scott and Alma Potter; her husband, Ivan Kor-tkamp, and two sisters, Lois Hedlund and Melva Anderson.
Thelma often expressed gratitude for the kind and caring staff at North Shore Estates. Her closest "special" friends were Susie and Margie. She regarded them as "the daughters she never had."
A private burial is planned in Spooner, Wisconsin. Memorials may be sent to St. Luke's Hospice Duluth, 220 North Sixth Avenue East, Duluth, Minnesota 55805.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Williams Lobermeier Boettcher Funeral Home in Duluth.