Mary T. Smuk, 88, of Ely, dies

Our beautiful, feisty, precious and dear mom, Mary Theresa (Lesar) Smuk, 88, died after a brief stay at BWCC in Ely, MN on September 10, 2018.
Mary was born in Ely on January 25, 1930 to Theresa Russ Lesar and Louis Lesar. She graduated from high school in 1948. She met the love of her life, Frank Lawrence (Kungie) Smuk, in Ely and they married on July 19, 1952 after Frank’s honorable service in the US Army and WWII. They had five children and raised them in the Chandler area of town - a lively, fun, safe, and caring neighborhood. She remained a life-long resident of Ely, residing in the same home for over sixty years.
Mary worked at Vertin’s, Montgomery Wards, Trygg Land Office, Barbara Ann Bakery and Catering, Veteran’s Retreat, and lastly at Irresistible Ink – where she worked for fifteen years until the age of 80!
She was a member of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, Ely Business Women, VFW Women’s Auxiliary, American Legion, Slovenian Union of America-Ely Branch, and her fun and friendship Chandler Sewing Club, whose secrets now only reside with Auntie Faye!
Mary loved the outdoors. Camping and picnics were a huge part of every summer. She made birthdays and holidays extra special for her family. She had an infectious smile and made all welcome in her home. Mary loved polkas and would dance to them every chance she could, even at home while listening to WELY Polka Time or bopping to them at the nursing home.
She will be deeply missed and loved forever.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Frank, on July 4th, 1990; her siblings: Olga (Enrico) Mondati, Louis Lesar, Amelia (Rudy) Marolt, Fred (Beatrice) Lesar, Betty Olson, and Johnny Lesar; in-laws Frank (Julia) Smuk, Stan (Rose) Smuk, Vicky (Bernard) Grahek, Bill Smuk, Abbie Smuk; nieces Kathy Smuk and Des Grigsby; and nephews Franklin Smuk, Paul Grahek, and Tim Grahek.
She is survived by her loving children: Michael Smuk, Mary (John) Baltich, Robert (Beth) Smuk, James (Darcie DeGrote) Smuk, and Sandra (Mike) Kinney; grandchildren: Steven (Andrea Nelson) Smuk, Becky (Tyler) Baltich Nelson, Ashley Baltich, Jenna (Jeff) Mickelson, Chad Smuk, Kaitlyn Smuk, Kim Smuk and Wayne Kinney; brother-in-law Ed (Faye) Smuk; sister-in-law Gloria Smuk; many nieces and nephews; and dear friend, Alyce Moravitz.
Mass of Christian burial will be at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Ely, MN on Saturday, September 15, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. with officiant Father Bill Skarich. Interment at the Ely Cemetery. Luncheon to follow at the Winton Community Center.
Special thanks to the kind and gentle care provided by the staff at BWCC. Mary and her family would also like to thank Dr. James Montana for all of the years of wonderful care. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.