Mary Ellen Karakash

Mary Ellen Karakash, 76, of Mt. Iron, died on March 6, 2022 from COVID.
Mary was born June 6, 1945 in Ames, Iowa to Kenneth and Ila Wells and this is where she remained until she finished high school. In an act of rebellion, she moved to Minnesota where her sister lived to go to college at Bemidji State University. With her degree, that included many attempts at math credits to pass just enough to earn the degree, she became an English teacher which necessitated a move eventually to Ely. She taught both in Babbitt and Ely, the main focus of her teaching career was junior high English/literature. She recognized the limitations for junior high students to actually absorb this information and was realist about her contribution to their education. During the economic downturn in the 80’s she moved into a job teaching adult basic education to people wanting to get their GED’s and she stayed there until she became the first coordinator of Minntac’s Career Development Program. It was from here that she would eventually retire.
It was while she was living in Ely that she met Louie. Their courtship lasted about six weeks, and they married after a Vikings game with the wedding party being the only people in attendance at the wedding. Their daughter Kate was born around 11 months later.
Mary had a variety of hobbies and interests that included quilting and sewing, playing piano, guitar and church organ. She always enjoyed the pets around her through her life. Mary was also an activist taking a great interest in education, feminism, poverty, civil rights and health care. She believed in the need to protect and help our vulnerable neighbors so we all get better as a society.
She is survived by numerous friends and family members.