Obituaries

Wed
02
Jul

Ione M. Ptacek, 75, of Babbitt dies

Ione M. Ptacek, 75, of Babbitt died Saturday, June 28, 2014, at Essentia Health St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth.
She passed away unexpectedly, following a heart attack at her home in Babbitt. She had earlier enjoyed a dish of vanilla ice cream with her devoted husband, Harold.
Ione was born breech in the Budd Hospital of Roseau, Minn., on July 10, 1938, delivered by her grandmother, Marie Budd. She was the first child born to Ruby Amanda (Meyer) and Stanton Juell Budd.
She grew up in Roseau, where she attended school, graduating from Roseau High School in 1956. She then attended Bemidji State Teachers College where she received her Bachelor of Science Degree in education.
Ione was united in marriage to Harold Ptacek at the English Lutheran Church in Roseau on Aug. 27, 1960.
She taught fourth grade for two years in Virginia before moving to Babbitt in 1967, where they have since resided.

Wed
02
Jul

Patricia Anne Gillespie dies

Patricia Anne Gillespie died peacefully on Pentecost Sunday, June 8, 2014. Born on Palm Sunday, April 2, 1950, to Hardy and Dru Gillespie, then of Ann Arbor, MI, she lived most of her life in Neptune Beach, FL; Swarthmore, PA; and central and northern Minnesota.
A passionately curious learner throughout her life, Pat was shaped by both formal and informal education. She was a top student and standout athlete at Fletcher High School, Neptune Beach, FL (Class of 1968), and a proud alumna of Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA (Class of 1972).
Her undergraduate degree in zoology was inspired by and contributed to her lifelong commitment to animal welfare, which she took to such remarkable lengths as building an addition onto her house to shelter her beloved blind raccoon, Tippet.

Fri
27
Jun

Jim Dale Vickery, 63, of Ely dies

James dale Huot-Vickery, 63, of Ely, author, woodsman, national park ranger and Quetico-Superior canoe guide, died peacefully Friday morning, June 27, 2014, in Essentia St. Mary’s Medical Center, Duluth, MN, surrounded by family and friends. Jim was born at Thief River Falls, MN on March 27, 1951 to Ella Mae Huot-Vickery and James McAllen Vickery. He lived his early years in Red Lake Falls and Crookston, MN, attending elementary school at St. Joseph’s in Red Lake Falls and the Cathedral Grade School, Cathedral High School, and Mt. St. Benedict High School in Crookston, where he played both football and hockey and graduated in 1969. He then went to Collegeville, MN, and earned his Bachelor’s Degree at St. John’s University, in 1973.

Fri
27
Jun

Julia Marie Mavetz, 89, dies

Julia Marie (Chimzar) Mavetz, 89, of Minneapolis, formerly of Ely, beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and sister, passed away peacefully and gracefully into eternity with her loving family by her side on June 26, 2014 after a courageous battle with cancer.
She was born at home on February 6, 1925 in Ely, Minnesota. Her birth almost went without doctor assistance due to a big snowstorm.  She lived her entire life in Ely until she was 87, when she moved to Catholic Eldercare at MainStreet Lodge in Minneapolis to be closer to her children.
After high school, she worked at Veranth’s Lumber Company and Oliver Mining Company as a secretary where she typed 110 words per minute with zero errors on a manual typewriter! She was very intelligent, had perfect grammar, spelling and lovely penmanship.   She was extremely proud of her Slovenian heritage and cooked many foods to celebrate her roots.

Fri
27
Jun

SSGT James T. Swanson, 70, dies

SSGT James T. Swanson, 70, dies. Beloved father and brother of New Port Richey, Florida: formerly of Cook, Tower/Soudan and Ely, Minnesota, entered into eternal rest on April 22, 2014, one day short of his 71st birthday. He was born April 23, 1943 in Duluth, Minnesota to Jesse L. Swanson Sr. and Barbara Joy Hopkins-Swanson.
He is survived by three sons: James (Debra) Swanson Jr., of Aliso Viejo, California; Michael Swanson of New Port Richey, Florida; David Swanson of Colorado Springs, Colorado; former wife and mother of his sons: Maria Dee Swanson of Colorado Springs, Colorado; brother; Jesse L. (Virginia) Swanson Jr., of St. Petersburg, Florida; sisters: Judith Lamb of Miami, Florida; and Jane Regenhardt of Lutz, Florida; sister-in-law: Sandy Swanson of Island Park, Idaho; his very good friend Don Fredricks of Mt. Carroll, IL and numerous nieces and nephews.

Wed
25
Jun

Alice Marie (Hanson) Hoaglin, 89, of Babbitt, dies

Alice Marie (Hanson) Hoaglin, 89, of Babbitt, died Saturday, June 21, 2014, at Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth.
She was born in Cromwell, Minn., to Joseph and Sena Burnside. Alice was raised in Hawley, Minn., and graduated from Moorhead State Teachers College. She married Donald Hanson in 1948, lived in Cass Lake, Minn., and Babbitt, and raised seven children. After her husband died, she returned to school and graduated from Bemidji State University. She married John Hoaglin in 1993 and lived in Babbitt and Mesa, Ariz.
Alice was a homemaker, teacher, and day care provider.

Tue
17
Jun

Donald “Don” J. Durbin, 80, dies

Donald “Don” J. Durbin, 80, of Cloquet passed away peacefully Friday, June 13, 2014 in Cloquet Community Memorial Hospital from complications with Mesothelioma.  He was born in 1934 in Motley to John and Etta Durbin.
Don attended school in Motley and worked on the family farm.  He worked as an iron worker on the Iron Range and surrounding area for 58 years and was the owner/operator of Don’s Welding Shop in Winton, MN.  Don was a long term resident of Winton, MN prior to moving to Cloquet.
He was preceded in death by his parents; beloved son, Jerry; granddaughter, Whitney Durbin; sons-in-law, Jerry Lee and David VanVickle; brother-in-law, Delmer Reger; the mother of his children Julia “Judy” Durbin, and Betty’s sons, Tim and David Hilton.

Tue
17
Jun

Berna Seliskar, 85, of Ely, dies

Berna L Seliskar, 85, of Ely died suddenly on Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at Ely Bloomenson Community Hospital surrounded by her loving family.
She was born May 24, 1929 in Ely to Tynie and Otto Tjader. She attended Ely schools, graduating with salutatorian honors. She married August Seliskar Jr on April 5, 1948. Together they owned and operated the family-built business, Pine Point Lodge on White Iron Lake while raising their family. The coffee pot was always on at Berna’s home. She always welcomed visits from many friends and especially enjoyed and loved her family. She loved berry picking, gardening, knitting, raking and always shared the fruits of her labor. She was a charter member of a Sewing Club for more than 60 years which started over a cup of coffee with a group of friends and expanded over the years.

Thu
12
Jun

Catherine (Moroni) O’Brien, 76, dies

Catherine (Moroni) O’Brien, 76, beloved of Pat, went to God’s Glory on June 10, 2014. She was born November 1, 1937 to Peter and Frances Moroni and grew up in Ely. She graduated from The College of St. Catherine (now St. Catherine’s University). She married Patrick O’Brien to whom she was married for 53 years. She was pre-deceased by Patrick as well as her parents.
She is survived by her children Peggy Prall (Rob), Amy Turnquist (Rob), Mitzi Larson (Randy), Patrick O’Brien (Anne), Peter O’Brien (Diane), Andrew O’Brien (Francie), Joseph O’Brien (Heather) and Matthew O’Brien (Kristi) as well as sister Mary Carolyn Farrell (Ken), Barbara Johnson (Fred) and Christine Moroni and brother Peter G. Moroni. She and Patrick had 33 grandchildren and one great granddaughter. She worked with her husband in their business, Actuarial Consulting Services for 32 years.

Thu
12
Jun

Eloise M. Wiermaa, 75, dies

Eloise M. Wiermaa, 75, of Ely, died Tuesday, June 10, 2014, at Carefree Assisted Living in Babbitt.
She was born on May 31, 1939, in McKinley Township in Wisconsin to Wayne and Helen (Herrick) Myers and grew up there and graduated from the Chippewa Falls High School.
On April 11, 1959, she married Donald Wiermaa of Ely in Chippewa Falls, Wis., and they had resided in Ely since their wedding.
Eloise worked as a cook at Vertin’s Cafe in Ely and enjoyed making ceramics, baking, and her specialty was baking blueberry pies and pasties. She especially enjoyed spending time with family and friends.
She was a member of Grace Lutheran Church of Ely; served on the church council and sang in the church choir; Eastern Star; Mother’s Auxiliary for youth activities and was a member of the Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital Auxiliary.

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