Verna Mae Thomas Spalj, 91, of Crosby, MN dies

Verna Mae Thomas Spalj, 91, of Crosby, MN passed away on June 21, 2017. Preceded in death by husband, George T Spalj. Survived by daughter, Kaye (Tim) Igo and son, Greg (Colleen) Spalj; five grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. Brother, Don Thomas, Sisters-in-Law: Natalie Spalj and Nancy Spalj; many nieces and nephews. Verna loved her family, singing, dancing, golf, and winters in AZ.
A Memorial Mass will be 11 a,m, Friday, July 7 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church of Crosby with visitation at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions preferred to brain tumor research – Humor to Fight the Tumor Foundation. Many thanks to the staff at CRMC for their care of Verna for over 19 years. Arrangements are with the Koop Funeral Home in Crosby.


Stan Starkman, 87, of Ely, dies

Stan Starkman, 87, of Ely, passed away on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 at Carefree Assisted Living in Ely. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.


Betty L. Hagedorn, 80, of Ely, dies

Betty L. Hagedorn, 80, of Ely, passed away on Monday, June 26, 2017 at her residence.
She worked and retired from Shopko. She enjoyed fishing, camping and bowling. Betty like to listen to country music; she enjoyed traveling and being around family.
Betty is preceded in death by her husband Ronald, daughter Kim, and her mother and father, Kathryn and Howard Hague.
She is survived by her children: Randy (Cindy) of Green Bay, WI, Rick (Robyn Myers) of Ely, and Tracy (Bob) Amitrano of Ely; grandchilden: Heath, Heather, April, Angie, Cody, Ronnie, Austin, David, Nicole, Christina; numerous great-grandchildren, brothers and sister.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, June 30, 2017 at Kerntz Funeral Home in Ely at 11:00 A.M. with visitation being held one hour prior to the service at the funeral home. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home.


June C. Lescinskas, 74, of Ely, dies

June Carol Lescinskas, 75, of Ely, MN passed away peacefully on her birthday Wednesday, June 21, 2017 in the comfort of her home with family by her side.
June is survived by her daughter Joanne (Scott)Holmes (Husband Scott Holmes); her son Vince (Jen) Dean; her sister Dorothea Lescinskas-Ulbrich (husband Glen Ulbrich); grandchildren: Angela Dean (Jordan) Wagner and sons Bryce and Ethan; Andrea (Neil) Lepisto and sons: Riley, Trenton, Iver and daughters: Adrianna, Senja, Bella) Ryan Bagnal (Alyzè Boraas) Mia, Zac and Max Dean; mother Gina DiMaggio and Mini Vinny along with many more who absolutely adored her.


Matilda M. Novosel, 92, of Ely, dies

Matilda M. Novosel, 92, of Ely, passed away on Monday, June 12, 2017 at the Ely Bloomenson Community Hospital. She was born to Joseph and Frances (Leskovich) Gregorich on March 12, 1925 in Ely, MN.
She was a graduate from Ely Memorial High School in 1943. She was a member of St. Anthony's Catholic Church, Women's Life Insurance, SNPJ Lodge, Silver and Gold Club.
She married Joseph Frank Novosel Sr. on June 24, 1949.
She was a homemaker and enjoyed knitting, cooking, watching old movies, sharing jokes and dancing in her younger days.
Matilda was preceded in death by her husband Joseph on June 25, 1985, her parents, Joseph and Frances Gregorich, brothers Frank, Anthony and Edward; sisters Frances Zabrajsek, Mary Starkovich, Rose Karashec and Sophie Zavadnick, nephews Albin Karashec, Gerald Karashec and Edward Gregorich; niece Theresa Stefanich.
She is survived by her son Joseph Frank Novosel Jr. and numerous nieces and nephews.


Bernard “Sugar” Kuzma, age 87, dies

Bernard “Sugar” Kuzma, age 87, passed away peacefully with his loving family by his side on Wednesday, June 7, 2017 at the Boundary Waters Care Center in Ely.

Sugar was born, the youngest of nine children, to Anton and Katherine (Mehelcic) Kuzma on October 28, 1929. He graduated from Ely Memorial High School and entered the U.S. Army in 1951 and served his country proudly as a forward observer during the Korean Conflict until his honorable discharge in 1953.

In 1954, Sugar married LaVerne “Tootsie” Starkman and together they raised three children in Ely. Sugar started his mining career at the Pioneer Mine in Ely and continued working at Reserve Mining Company and later Cyprus/Northshore Mining as a member of the “bull gang” repairing heavy equipment until his retirement in 1992.
Sugar was a member of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church and the VFW.


Frederick M. Janezich, 91, of Ely, dies

FREDERICK M. JANEZICH, 91, passed away June 10, 2017 at Boundary Waters Care Center, Ely MN. Fred was born April 3, 1926 to Louis and Ana (Matelic) Janezich in Ely. He graduated from Ely Memorial High School and from Ely Junior College. He was a U.S. Army Veteran of World War II having served in Germany. Some of his favorite activities were hunting deer, moose and small game, reading, woodworking, making various wines and cooking delicious Slovenian cuisine.
Preceding Fred in death are his parents, a very young sister Annie and his brother Louis.
Surviving Fred is a sister, Leona Janezich, and many cousins and special friends.
Funeral Services are pending. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.



BRIAN LEWIS ARNOLD, 49, died June 3, 2017 at St. Mary’s Medical Center Duluth MN, after a brief illness.
Born december 28, 1967 in Fort Frances Ontario Canada to Ivan and Rosalie Arnold. He lived in Ely MN till moving to International Falls two years ago. He held many jobs but his heart belonged to the Morse/ Fall Lake Fire and Rescue Department.


Philip A. “Phil” Hogan, 85, dies

Philip A. “Phil” Hogan, 85, passed away peacefully on June 2, 2017. Born December 25, 1931.
Phil grew up in Michigan graduating from Ludington HS and from the University of Michigan. After serving in the Army, he moved with his wife and family to the Twin Cities working 30 years at Honeywell. Phil and Jan then moved to Ely where he built a lovely home in the North Woods on the edge of the BWCA.
Phil was preceded in death by his parents Lila and Frank. He is survived by wife Janet (Gast), son Mike (Anna), son James, daughter Terri Copps (Rip), and grandchildren Matthew, Emilie Purvine (Sam), Laura, Joe, Paul, Andrew, Jim and Katie.


Judith L. Vollom, of Ely, dies

Judith L. Vollom, of Ely, passed away May 22, 2017 surrounded by her family at the Babbitt Carefree Living Center. She was born on August 20, 1944 to Gaylord and Ellen Bailey. Judy graduated from St. Paul Central High school and college from Vermilion Community College and Bemidji State University with a degree in American Indian studies and Ojibwe language. Judy taught the Ojibwe language at Vermilion and Mesabi Community Colleges and authored the book Ojibwemowin which was nominated for the 1995 Northern Minnesota Book Award. She had a passion for the Ojibwe language and culture that was shown through her teaching. Judy also owned and operated a greenhouse and floral business in Ely. Judy loved spending time with her 12 grandchildren baking, crafting, gardening and loving them dearly. Judy was married to Douglas Vollom August 3rd, 1963 and they enjoyed 54 years together. She was a loving wife, mother and grandmother who will be dearly missed.


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