Patricia (Smith) Willman North, 77, of Ely, dies

Patricia (Smith) Willman North, 77, of Ely, passed away on Thursday, March 15, 2018 in Side Lake. She was born in Perham, MN on August 20, 1940 to parents: Harry M. and Hester I. (Aldrich) Smith. She attended schools in Eveleth, MN and Moorhead State University
She is survived by sons: Jack (Kirsten) Willman,of Detroit Lakes, MN, Patrick (Lori) O’Toole, Side Lake, MN and Randy Willman of Ely; daughter Sandra Willman of Ely; Sister Dorothy (Duane) Thunstrom of Detroit Lakes, MN; grandchildren: Gerry Willman, Rianen Willman, Nathon Willman, Tony (Kristen) Farley,and Misty Willman.
Preceded in death by her parents: Harry and Hester Smith, son Robert Willman, brother Ted Smith and half brother Milo Meyer.
Patricia was a stay-at-home mom until 1974. From 1974 to 1980 she was employed at the crisis shelter in Virginia. During this time she was a also a vocalist in a country-rock band called” The Outlaws”. In 1976 she entered the state contest for country music which resulted in her winning the award for best female vocalist.
In 1980 she moved to Detroit Lakes, MN where she was a production seamstress at Lakewood Sportswear. Later she worked at “The Village of the Smoky Hills.” She was also self-employed as a massage therapist. In 1990 she moved to Moorhead, MN where she continued her massage therapy business and also operated a silk flower and tree business. She was also a floor supervisor at Archies in Dilworth. In 1999 she moved to Ely where she gained employment at Wintergreen Designs as a production seamstress. She also worked for Kondos Outdoors as a production seamstress and cleaned cabins for Northwind Lodge for 10 summers.
Throughout her life Patricia relocated numerous times. Upon her arrival in Ely she decided that she’d found her permanent home. Her love for Ely was truly known. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.