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.
John was a 1949 graduate of Ely Memorial High School. His favorite memories of high school were of playing basketball, football and meeting Rosemary Bishoff. After graduating high school, he worked at Zenith Underground Mine until he was drafted into the Army. He served in the U.S. Army from 1951 to 1953, which included six months at Yucca Flats, Nevada working with the Atomic Energy Commission. In November, 1953, he married the love of his life, Rosemary. Five years later, they moved to the country where he enjoyed raising livestock and farming. John spent the majority of his work life employed as a Maintenance Mechanic at Reserve Mining Company in Babbitt until its closure in 1986. He then worked at Ely High School as a part-time custodian. John had a lifelong passion for logging, cutting firewood for the family home and others. In his spare time, he enjoyed building furniture in his woodworking shop for family/friends and playing with his model trains. He loved his time in the woods and often said that is where he felt closest to God.
In the ’70s, he was a member of the Ely Sled Dog Association as the family loved the dogs and the sport. Throughout his life, he was a member of Babbitt American Legion, St. Anthony’s Catholic Church and American Fraternal Union.
John was a loving husband, father, grandfather and friend to all. He was a story teller and thoroughly enjoyed meeting new people to tell his stories.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 63 years, Rosemary; children John (Sherry), Geri (Brian) Saari, Terry (Lisa), David (Diane), Deb Atwood and daughter-in-law, Sandy Vesel; 9 grandchildren and 9 step grandchildren, 3 great grandchildren and 16 step great grandchildren, many nieces and nephews and extended family, all whom he loved dearly.
John was preceded in death by son, Mickey, a still born daughter, his parents, six siblings and son-in-law, Tom Atwood.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, January 21st, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Ely with visitation being held one hour prior to the service at the church. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.