Robert "Bob" Kovall, 99, of Ely, a proud U.S. Army veteran, dies

Robert (Bob) Kovall was born December 5, 1919 to Steve and Margaret (Starcinich) Kovall. He died in the gentle, caring hands of Boundary Waters Care Center and Essentia Hospice on March 25, 2019 in his 100th year of life.
Bob called Ely home his entire life. He was a proud veteran of World War II, serving in the U.S. Army. In 1946 he married Dorothy (Dolly) Senta, with whom he raised five children. Bob took great pride in his work. In 1949 he graduated from Dunwoody Institute where he learned auto mechanics. He worked almost 25 years for Forest Chevrolet before taking a job with Reserve Mining in Babbitt, where he worked until 1982. Even after “retirement” Bob continued to work. For 12 years you could find him working part-time at Holiday, stocking shelves and assisting customers. Bob also gave much time and effort to his community. He served on the Ely Area Credit Union’s board of directors for over four decades. He served three consecutive terms on the Ely City Council from 1964 to 1976. Bob also became a regular volunteer at the nursing home, receiving Ely’s Volunteer of the Year award in 1999 for his care and compassion.
Bob loved to sing. He was a member of St. Anthony’s Church choir for many years and also a member of the Ely Slovenian Chorus. One of his fondest memories was of his trip to Slovenia to sing with his friends in the chorus.
In 2000, Bob received his honorary high school diploma from Ely Memorial High School, sharing that special moment with his granddaughter Megan, who received her diploma with her grandfather.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Steve and Margaret; his wife, Dolly; his son Stevie; his grandson Nathan; his sisters Agnes, Angela, Margaret, Helen, and Alice; his brother Edward; ; and many close friends and relatives.
He is survived by his children Bob (Carol), Patsy, Janice, and Richard; grandchildren: Kari, Jill, Steve, and Dan Kovall, and their mother Kathy; grandchildren: Nick (Judy), Ben (Chrissy), and Megan Gibney, great-grandchildren: Brett, Taylor, Connor and Landon Gibney; brother-in-law Bob (Linda) Senta; as well as numerous nieces and nephews with whom he was close.
In addition to his family missing him so very much, Bob will be missed by many who knew him through the years. He will be especially missed by his neighbors at Pioneer Apartments where he lived since 1989.
Bob’s life and faith will be celebrated with a Funeral Mass at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church on Saturday, March 30 at 11:00 a.m. Visitation will begin at 10:00 a.m. Family arrangements are by Kerntz Funeral Home in Ely.