Obituaries

Fri
01
Dec

Mary Jane Johnson, 67, of Ely, dies

Mary Jane Johnson, 67, of Ely, went to be with the Lord on Wednesday, November 29, 2017, at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth. She was born on February 5, 1950, and was the daughter of John and Ann Benko.
Mary Jane had been a lifelong resident of Ely. She attended the Ely schools, graduating in 1968, and afterward from Ely Junior College. Mary Jane went on to attend the University of Minnesota-Duluth, graduating with a degree in elementary education. In later years, she achieved a Master of Education degree.

Fri
01
Dec

George “Duffy” W. Rhein, 85, of Ely, dies

George “Duffy” W. Rhein, 85, of Ely, passed away Friday, November 24, 2017 at Boundary Waters Care Center in Ely.
George William Rhein was born February 13, 1932 in Ely to George and Alice (Kolstad) Rhein. He was a graduate of Ely High School. Following high school, George attended Ely Junior College and played football while attending. On July 14, 1956, he was united in marriage to Janet Kramer. George enlisted in the U.S. Army and was Military Police in Germany during the Korean Conflict. He was employed at Reserve Mining Co. as a machinist.
George enjoyed family and the outdoors which included fishing, camping, and hunting.
He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Janet; sons:David (Julie), Mike (Pat); daughter: Sandy (Paul); grandchildren: Triston, April (Leo), Katie, Eric, Sara, Tyler (Joselyn); great granddaughter: Isabell; brother: Allen (Betty); sisters-in-law: Francis Kramer, Norma Kramer; several nieces and nephew.

Thu
30
Nov

Marilyn Wilson, 70, of Ely, dies

Marilyn Jean (Tuomela) Wilson, 70, of Ely, passed away on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 at her residence. She was a lifelong resident of Ely and attended Ely schools. She loved camping.
She was preceded in death by her parents and sister Maxine Lassi. She is survived by her children: Dawn Wilson, Scott Wilson, Tami (Tom) Herb; her grandchildren: Justin Runberg, Zach Kainz, Ashlee Kainz; her great-grandchildren: Nora Kainz and Aspyn Kainz and many cousins.
A celebration of Marilyn’s life will be held on Monday, December 4, 2017 at 2:00 P.M. at Kerntz Funeral Home. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.

Tue
28
Nov

Richard Leroy “Dick” Perala, 76, of Lake Vermilion, Tower, dies

Richard Leroy “Dick” Perala, 76, of Lake Vermilion, Tower, died Sunday, November 26, 2017 at his home. Richard was born March 21, 1941 in Duluth to Betty Perala. He grew up in Makinen and Markham and was a 1959 graduate of Aurora-Hoyt Lakes High School. Richard was united in marriage to Judith Papesh on August 1, 1964 in Virginia. He retired in 2001 after 36 years as a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 294 in Hibbing. He split his retirement years between his lake place on Vermilion and the homestead farm in Makinen.

Tue
28
Nov

Ralph Howard Smith, 93 dies

Ralph Howard Smith, 93, went to his heavenly home on November 24, 2017, in Wilmington NC. Ralph was born in Plainfield, IL, to Reva Davis Smith and Ralph Howard Smith Sr. Ralph lived in Ely MN for over three decades before relocating with his wife, Mary, to Wilmington in 2014 to be close to family.
Ralph was predeceased by his daughter Eleanor, in 2017, one brother, three sisters, two step brothers three step sisters and two wives.
Ralph is survived by his wife, Mary Wachter-Smith, son Dale (Debbie) Smith of Conway AK, daughter Kathleen (Virgil) Norris of Sunrise Beach, MO and son-in-law Robert Pedersen of Joliet IL. Also, step daughters, Janet (Bruce) Kavanaugh of Wilmington, Barbara (Gary) Rothe of Springfield NH, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Tue
28
Nov

Edwin William Latva, 88, of Ely, dies

Edwin William Latva, 88, of Ely, passed away on Monday, November 27, 2017 at his home. He was preceded in death by his wife of 60 years Helen and his parents.
He is survived by his children: Luann (Keith) BaDour of Glenwood City, WI, David Latva of Fairbault and Joel (Veronica) Latva of Mantua, OH; four grandchildren; one great-grandchild. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, December 2, 2017 at First Lutheran Church in Ely at 11:00 a.m. with visitation being held one hour prior to the service at the church. Military honors will be provided by the Ely Honor Guard. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.

Sat
25
Nov

Gary L. McDonald, 70, of Babbitt, dies

Gary L. McDonald, 70, of Babbitt, passed away on Tuesday, November 21, 2017 at the Ely Bloomenson Community Hospital. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.

Fri
24
Nov

Damien “Bobo” Hutar, 66, of Ely, dies

Damien Robert “Bobbo” Hutar, 66, of Ely, passed away on Friday, November 24, 2017 after a battle with cancer at the Boundary Waters Care Center in Ely. Bobbo was born on October 14, 1951 in Ely to Bernard and Dorothy (Kobe) Hutar.
Bobbo graduated from Ely Memorial High School in 1970. He enlisted in the United States Army on November 24, 1970. He served in the 101st Airborne Division in the Vietnam War as a crew chief. He was very proud of his service in “Nam” but carried the burden of war with him every day of his life. After returning home, Bobbo had various jobs but none as important to him as his leatherwork.He put his heart and soul into each piece he created. Bobbo was a member of VFW Post 2717, holding various positions throughout the years. His kind and generous heart will never be forgotten and he will be missed dearly by his family and friends.

Thu
23
Nov

Sharron Clasen, 77, of Ely and Little Canada, MN dies

Sharron Clasen, 77, of Ely and Little Canada, MN passed away on Saturday, November 18, 2017 Preceded in death by husband Fred H. and parents George and Vera Dodd of Thunder Bay, Ontario. Survived by children Dodd (Sharon), Christopher (Tanya). Many nieces, nephews, and a million friends.

Sat
18
Nov

Alvin Clyde Lamppa, age 83 of Embarrass, dies

Alvin Clyde Lamppa, age 83 of Embarrass, died Friday, Nov. 17, 2017 at Carefree Living in Babbitt. He was born October 5, 1934 in Embarrass the son of Axel and Minnie (Hill) Lamppa. He was a graduate of Embarrass High School. Alvin was united in marriage to Janet Seppala on August 14, 1954 in Virginia, MN.

Alvin was the owner/operator of Lamppa’s, Inc., and together with his wife, Janet and son, Loren, owned the Cold Spot Bottle Shop. He was a member of Hope Lutheran Church, the Volunteer Fire Department, and bowling leagues in Babbitt and Virginia. He was a sports enthusiast who enjoyed watching his sons and grandsons playing basketball and football. He enjoyed carpentry, fishing, and the cabin life on Birch Lake.

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