Obituaries

Tue
15
Jul

Albin Kotchevar, 91 of Westland, Michigan, formerly of Ely, dies

Albin Kotchevar, 91 of Westland, Michigan, formerly of Ely, MN passed away Thursday, November 14, 2013 at Garden City Hospital, in Garden City, Michigan. He was born July 23, 1922 in Ely, Minnesota to Frances and Anton Kotchevar. Albin was raised and educated in Ely schools, graduating in 1940 from Ely Memorial High School.
He worked in the mine until he enlisted in the United States Navy in 1942. He served on the USS Leyte in the Pacific until he was honorably discharged in 1948. After the war, Albin became engaged to former classmate Rose Lanfranchi. Albin and Rose were married in Detroit, Michigan on April 30, 1949. He worked as an engineer for General Motors until his retirement in 1980.
Albin is survived by daughters Rose Ann (Micheal) McHugh of Bloomfield Hills, MI and Jeanne (Scott) Fuller of Livonia, MI; five grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

Tue
15
Jul

Gregory E. Schulze, 53, dies

Gregory E. Schulze, 53, passed away on Saturday June 14, 2014 at the Peace of Mind Group Home in Duluth, Minnesota. He was born in St. Paul, Minnesota and graduated from Mounds View High School. Greg was a creative artist and avid Rock and Roll fan and will be remembered for his kindness, generosity and willingness to assist others, particularly with his family’s former business at Timber Wolf Lodge on Bear Island Lake and current business with Schulze Excavating in Ely, Minnesota.
Greg is survived by his brother Jeff (Lori) Schulze, nieces Savannah Schulze, Ali Schulze, Laura Schulze and nephew Cody Schulze.
Greg was preceded in death by his parents Warren and Margaret Schulze, Grandfather Warren and beloved Grandmother Frieda Schulze.

Tue
15
Jul

Frances Jean (Loushin) Grahek, 90, of Ely, dies

Frances Jean Loushin Grahek, 90, passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, July 10, 2015 in Ely Bloomenson Community Hospital. She was the youngest of nine children, born on October 29, 1923 in Ely.
She married Steve A. Grahek on Dec. 30, 1950 and she lived most of her life in Ely as a mother and homemaker. She enjoyed caring for her family as well as cooking, reading novels, working crossword puzzles and, of course, baking - especially her homemade apple potica which has been been sent all across the U.S.A.
Frances so loved animals and nature. No matter what the weather you could always see her walking her furry best companion, her dog Teddy. She often called these walks her “serenity” time where she was often praying and reflecting on her life.
She also loved to dance to her favorite polka songs. On weekends you could see Fran and Steve cutting the rug at Dee’s Bar, gliding along the floor as one.

Tue
15
Jul

Suzanne Helen (Suzie) Swanson, 52, of Babbitt dies

Suzanne Helen (Suzie) Swanson, 52, of Babbitt went to be with her Lord on July 14, 2014.  She was born September 20, 1961 to Helen and the late Lester Swanson. She attended Bible School and was confirmed and baptized in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Babbitt.
Suzanne graduated from John F Kennedy High School in 1981. She worked  at the Ely hospital as a kitchen helper and retired from the Benville Carquest after 28 years of service.  She loved Peach her dog, Oreo her cat, feeding the deer and birds. She especially enjoyed her trips to Alaska, fishing with her brothers and family reunions.  
Suzanne’s memory was unbelievable as she could recall most peoples birthdays, anniversaries and children’s names etc...
She spent the past two years in a group home in Virginia, which was such a comfortable and loving home with caring staff and manager.
Suzanne was preceded in death her father, Lester Swanson in 1992 (Suzanne was his pride and joy).

Tue
15
Jul

Lana Alene Simon, 84, dies

Lana Alene Simon, 84, passed away June 28, 2014 at Memorial Hospital - Bakersfield, CA. 

She was a 45-year resident of Ely and with her husband Leo was active in numerous bowling leagues, craft groups and her church. She loved the outdoors and gardening, traveling and spending time with her grandchildren.
She is survived by her husband of 65 years, her son Jim living in Atlanta, Georgia, two grandchildren and one great grandchild. Lana was one of 13 children and is survived by six siblings. Services and internment for her were held at Greenlawn Funeral Home-Bakersfield.
 

Thu
10
Jul

Andy Paynter, 33, of Ely, dies

Andrew Warren Paynter, 33, of Ely, MN passed away at Boundary Waters Care Center on Wednesday, July 9, 2014.
Andy was born in Virginia, MN on Feb. 24, 1981 to Mark Paynter and Joanne Johnson. Andy attended Ely Memorial High School where he enjoyed playing hockey. He graduated in 1999. Andy also attended Lake Superior College.
Andy enjoyed being outdoors doing what he loved, fishing, hunting and snowmobiling and spending time with his friends.
He was preceded in death by his mother Joanne Johnson, paternal grandfather Warren Paynter and maternal grandfather Edward Leick.
He is survived by father Mark Paynter; two children: Aiden and Easton Paynter; sister Ashley (Augie) Sandberg; nieces and nephews: Kali, Chase, Brecken and Saylor; and many other close family members and friends.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, July 17 at Kerntz Funeral Home. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.

Tue
08
Jul

Robert “Bob” Ronald Sampson, 67, of Ely, dies

Robert “Bob” Ronald Sampson, 67, of Ely, passed away peacefully on July 4, 2014 at St. Raphael’s Health and Rehab in Eveleth, MN.  He was born in Ely, MN to Robert and Agnes (Puzel) Sampson.  He grew up in Ely and graduated from Ely Memorial High School.  Bob served in the United States Army then went on to work at Reserve Mining Company and the City of Tallahassee, FL until his return to Ely.  Bob was a member of LedgeRock Community Church.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Agnes; his siblings: Joanne Korpi, Dorothy Kurth, Richard Sampson, Rudy Jandry and Chuck Sampson.  
Bob is survived by his children: Carrie Brusseau of Knoxville, TN, Sara Harper and Robert Sampson and their mother, Nancy, all of Tallahassee, FL; siblings Albin Jandry of Ely and Veronica Johnson of Hoyt Lakes and six grandchildren.
 

Mon
07
Jul

Rose M. Bujarski, 83, of Babbitt, dies

Rose M. Bujarski, 83, of Babbitt, passed away at her home surrounded by her family on Saturday, July 5, 2014.
Rose was born on January 29th, 1931 in Gilman, MN to Peter and Martha Broda.
She was united in marriage to Clemence (Bud) Bujarski on August 29th, 1950 and they moved to Babbitt.  She was a member of St. Pius X Catholic Church.
Rose was preceded in death by her husband, Bud; son, Kenneth; parents, Peter & Martha; sisters, Helen Kowalsky, Evelyn Pohl, Betty Zulawski, Dorothy LaFore, Lucille Moulzolf, and Suzie Swisher.
Rose is survived by her children, Duane (Sandra) of Hibbing, MN and Nadine McGowan (Terry Holm) of Babbitt; grandchildren Eric and Lisa Bujarski, Nicholas Matonich, and Sydney McGowan; sister Jeanette Gruba, and brothers Emil and Richard Broda.

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.

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