Obituaries

Thu
26
Jan

Raymond L. Rikhus, 86, of Babbitt, dies

Raymond L. Rikhus, 86, of Babbitt, passed away on Wednesday, January 25, 2017 at his home. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.

Thu
26
Jan

Audrey Rogenes, 87, of Ely, dies

Audrey Flora Louise Rogenes, 87, died Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017 and ent home to her Heavenly Father. Audrey was born Sept. 17, 1929, to Neils Eijner Aurelius and Olga (Skau) Peterson, St. Paul.
Audrey was brought to the Lord in baptism and her faith in God was confirmed in the Lutheran Church, St. Paul.
The family moved to Ely in 1941 where Eijner bought and cleared land to build a house and later eight cabins were built called, (Sunset View Cabins). During the summer they would occasionally visit their relatives in Wisconsin and would return home with a couple of kittens. The highlight of the summer was a visit from them.
Audrey graduated from high school in Ely. She graduated from Lutheran Bible Institute 1955. She was a parish worker and organist in St. Paul. She also worked at St. John’s Hospital.

Mon
23
Jan

Brian R. Nelson, 87, of Ely, dies

Brian R. Nelson, 87, of Ely, passed away on January 7, 2017 in Ely. There will be no services.

Sun
22
Jan

Arlene M. Krunkkala, 87, of Ely, dies

Arlene Marjorie Krunkkala, 87, passed away peacefully on Sunday, January 22, 2017 at Boundary Waters Care Center, Ely, MN. She was born on April 25, 1929 in Ely to Oscar and Elma Levander. Arlene was a lifelong resident of Ely. She graduated from Ely Memorial High School and Ely Junior College. From 1977 until her retirement in 1997, she worked for the Ely Public Library, several years as Head Librarian where she formed many friendships. Arlene was a member of many local organizations including Ely Legion Auxiliary, Ladies of the Kaleva, Ely Winton Historical Society, Ely Businesswomen, and the Rebekahs. She was an active member of the First Lutheran Church and a volunteer for Meals on Wheels. She loved Ely and its residents and was proud of her Finnish heritage. Arlene’s favorite activities were reading mysteries, crossword puzzles and spending time with friends and family.

Tue
17
Jan

Jack D. Johnson, 69, of Ely, dies

Jack D. Johnson, 69, of Ely, passed away on Monday, January 16, 2017 in Ely.
Jack was born on July 12, 1947 in Virginia, MN to Einard and Betty (Branscombe) Johnson. Jack graduated from Ely Memorial High School, worked as an Outward Bound instructor prior to his working at Northshore Mining doing railroad car repair. Jack was an avid outdoorsman, who loved to work with his hands. Jack was a gun collector and a lifetime NRA member.
Jack is survived by his daughters: Jolene Johnson of Los Angeles, CA and Jacquelyn (Ryan) Waara of Coon Rapids,MN, two grandchildren: Greyson and
Jackson Waara and five siblings: Tom of Georgetown, CO, Curt of Ely, Mary of
South Lake Tahoe, CA, Ted of East Grand Forks, MN and Larry of Breckenridge, Co and a niece and nephew and numerous other relatives and friends.
Jack was preceded in death by his parents: Einard and Betty and his brother:

Mon
16
Jan

Audrey Gail (Gornik) Server, 67, of Circle Pines, MN, formerly of Ely, dies

Audrey Gail (Gornik) Server, 67, of Circle Pines, MN, formerly of Ely, passed away peacefully with family by her side at Regions Hospital I St. Paul on Monday, January 16, 2017. A celebration of her life is being planned for a later date. Survived by her husband Allen Server, Circle Pines, MN; sisters Mary Jo (John) Pouchnik, Scottsdale, AZ; Nancy (Doug) McReady, Ely, MN; Karen (Pat) Jankowski, Idaho Falls, ID; brother Bob Gornik, Coon Rapids, MN; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Mon
16
Jan

Margaret Marie Merhar Dugan, Former Elyite, dies

Margaret Marie Merhar Dugan, Former Ely, MN and Detroit native, Marge Merhar Dugan passed away on January 15, 2017, in Livonia, MI. A 1958 graduate of Ely Memorial High School, she was a moral standard, dedicating her life to living with integrity and honor. In high school she was a member of several musical groups including the Dillonaires, a competitive Ely Marching band.
As a 17 year old, she left Ely, MN to join the Matt Goeze Tamburitzans, a traveling musical troupe honoring Slovanic dance and music. She graduated from Marygrove College of Detroit in 1962 with a Bachelor in Music degree. She then taught music in the Detroit public schools for 34 years, mainly at Guyton and Webster schools.

Thu
12
Jan

Jean E. Lonne, 87, of Babbitt, dies

Jean E. Lonne, 87, of Babbitt, passed away on Thursday, January 5, 2017 at Carefree Assisted Living in Babbitt. Jean was born on October 1, 1929 in Northwood, North Dakota to Iver and Martha (Johnson) Olson. She taught in North Dakota rural schools until her marriage to Martin Lonne in Milwaukee, WI on October 4, 1952. After they returned to North Dakota, she was a homemaker who enjoyed baking and listening to music. Visits with her grandchildren and great grandchildren brought a special twinkle to her eyes.
She is survived by her daughter: LuAnn (Jon) Smith, grandchildren: Kari (Ben) Johnson and Lisa (Oscar) Lopez, great grandchildren: Freyja, Lucia and Rio Lopez and Henry, Daphne and Libby Johnson and sister-in-law: Ruth Kensrud.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, and 5 brothers and 5 sisters.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, June 10 at 2 p.m. at Swarstad Chapel in Northwood, North Dakota.

Tue
10
Jan

John Vesel of Ely dies

John Vincent Vesel, 87, of Ely, died peacefully at his home on Monday, January 9, 2017, embraced by the love of his family, after a courageous battle with colon cancer.
John was born May 27, 1929 in Ely to Vincent and Frances Vesel, the youngest of seven children.

Mon
09
Jan

Rudolph Joseph Sterbenk, 89, of Babbitt dies

Rudolph Joseph Sterbenk, 89, of Babbitt passed away Thursday, January 5, 2017 at the Ely Bloomenson Community Hospital.
He was born on December 9, 1927 in Ely, MN to Frank and Francis (Perme) Sterbenk.
Rudy had a long work history: Basswood Lodge at age 15, Veranth Lumber, Pioneer Mine underground, Army ordinance at Camp Hanford, Richland, WA, and 34 years at Reserve Mining Company in Babbitt.
Rudy was a life member of Ely Masonic Lodge, Keystone Chapter No. 20, Royal Arch Masons, Knights Templar, Scottish Rite of Hibbing and Aad Temple Shrine of Hermantown. Rudy was integral in sponsoring over 20 children with handicaps into care at Shriner’s Hospital. He was a charter member and Elder of Woodland Presbyterian Church in Babbitt.
He was a skilled wood worker and wood carver. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, traveling and helping out friends and family. He was a handyman extraordinaire and a skilled storyteller.

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