Obituaries

Fri
14
Jun

George Nyman, of Ely

George H. Nyman, 88, of Ely, passed away on Friday, May 31, 2019 at the Boundary Waters Care Center in Ely. George was born on December 29, 1930 in Ely to Arthur and Lillian (Norha) Nyman
George had a love for physics, chemistry, and technology in general. His love of physics and chemistry led him to obtain his teaching degree in these areas and later he earned his Master’s Degree. George was a high school teacher in the Forest Lake School District for 15 years. During this time, his passion for golf led him to be the varsity golf coach. Following his teaching career, George became a Horace Mann insurance agent and moved his family to Grand Rapids, MN in 1968.

Fri
14
Jun

Lois May Sanford (nee) Purdy, age 96

Lois May Sanford (nee) Purdy, age 96, born in Ely, Minnesota on February 10, 1923, passed away peacefully in her home in Bloomington, Minnesota on Sunday, May 26, 2019, surrounded by her loving family. Preceded in death by her parents, John & Julia Betsy Purdy; Sisters Betty Mattila, Faith Purdy and brother Jack Purdy, all of Ely, Mn; husband, Warren (Bob); daughter and son-in-law Lynn and Tom Cedergren. She is survived by daughter, Janis Sanford Wiegand of Burnsville; son, Dale Sanford of Minneapolis; several grand children and great grandchildren.

Fri
14
Jun

Bonnie Jo Christensen, of Ely, dies

Bonnie Jo Christensen of Ely, Minnesota, passed away at her home on June 11, 2019. She was born in Ortonville, Minnesota, on October 30, 1950, graduated from Aurora-Hoyt Lakes High School (Mesabi East) in 1968, and received her Bachelors of Science from the University of Minnesota, Duluth, in 1972.
Bonnie loved children and taught elementary education for over 30 years, first in Blue Earth, Minnesota, and then at several sites within school district 2142.
Bonnie is survived by her daughters, Kayla Christensen and Bethany Christensen-Kunz; her sisters, Judy (Tom) Lehtinen, Vicki (Jerry) Baumann, and Jan Shambow; and her brother, Jim Paul. She is also survived by five grandchildren, Bryn, Brentley, Evan, Jordyn, and Tristan. She is preceded in death by her parents, Fred and Alice (Thompson) Paul.
Her funeral will be held at Grace Lutheran Church in Ely on Wednesday, June 19, 2019, at 2 p.m. with visitation one hour prior to the service.

Fri
14
Jun

Helen Kolberg dies on June 10

Helen Kolberg passed away on June 10, 2019, with her loving family by her side, after a short illness. She was born on the 4th of July, 1930, in Ely, Minnesota. Her parents, Jacob and Anna Maki, were both immigrants from Finland. She truly enjoyed her birthday every year with marching bands and picnics!
She graduated from Ely High School in 1948, and enrolled in nursing school at St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth, MN. She graduated from there, in 1951, and began her nursing career.
During her nursing school summer break in 1950, while working as a cabin girl at a fly-in resort in the Minnesota Boundary Waters area, she met her husband Anton (Spike) Kolberg, who was working there as a fishing guide. They married in 1951 and spent 54 years together.

Mon
10
Jun

Karen M. Oreskovich, 75, of Ely, dies

Karen M. Oreskovich, 75, of Ely, passed away at her home on Saturday, June 8, 2019. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.

Mon
10
Jun

Eloise V. Smith, 89, of Babbitt, died

E. VIRGINIA Smith, 89, of Babbitt, passed away on Monday, June 10, 2019 at the Boundary Waters Care Center in Ely.
She was born in Bagley, MN on March 19, 1930. Virginia loved school as a child and loved reading, crossword puzzles and crocheting.
Virginia started working at age 13 and finally retired at age 74. She married Henry L. Smith on June 26, 1948.
She was preceded in death by her husband Henry, son Lane Allen, grandson Matthew; parents Hilda and Elmer Torkkola; daughter-in-laws Merry and Donna, son-in-laws Mike and Dave; five brothers and one sister.

Mon
10
Jun

Joanne E. Zahn, 84, of Ely, dies

Joanne Zahn was ushered into glory on Saturday, June 8, 2019, during her stay at the Solvay Hospice House in Duluth, Minnesota, with her faithful husband Dick by her side.
Joanne was born to Melvin and Hazel Carlson on July 7, 1934, in Fahlun Township, Kandiyohi County, Minnesota. She graduated from Atwater High School in 1952. She was working for Title Insurance Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during this time she met her husband Dick on a blind date. They were married at Atwater Lutheran Church on July 27, 1957.
Over the next sixty-two years they enjoyed many adventures together as a military family. Their first home was in Newport Rhode Island until Dick was transferred to the USS Hull DD-945 destroyer in San Diego, California. They moved several times, from the Great Lakes and back to the west coast until 1968 when Dick’s final duty station was Joplin, Missouri.

Sun
09
Jun

Robert G Cooper II, 71, dies

Robert G Cooper II passed away on May 12, 2019 in Ely. He was born October 15, 1947, in Indiana and made a living in construction. When he moved to Ely in the summer of 2001, he settled here to enjoy nature and pursue his passion for photography. In his latter years, he lived a more solitary life, but always had friends who cared for him and will miss him. His confession of faith in Jesus carried him through the health issues he faced, and that relationship with Jesus gave him comfort and a hope in this life, and in the life to come.

Thu
06
Jun

William (Bill) Ojala, 84, of Baxter dies

William (Bill) Ojala, 84, of Baxter passed away on Friday, May 31, 2019 at Senior Class Care in Pequot Lakes. Bill was born April 20, 1935 in Ely, MN to Esther (Riikola) and Taito Ojala. Upon graduation from Ely High School, he attended Ely Junior College and received his Associate in Science degree in 1955. He went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in 1960 at University of Duluth and then a Master of Science Degree at Bemidji State College in 1965. He married Sena Kor in June of 1958. They lived in Bemidj where he taught High School Biology for 13 years. In 1971 he moved his family to Brainerd where he was employed as a job counselor at Rural MN~CEP until his retirement. He enjoyed walks in the woods, reading and music. He could tell you the name of any tree, plant, or bird that he saw.

Thu
06
Jun

Mary Lobe, 93, dies

Mary Lobe, 93, of South St. Paul, MN, although most of her life was spent in Ely, MN.
She passed away June 3, 2019 at Woodlyn Heights Senior Living, Inver Grove Heights. Mary was born in Ely, MN on April 15, 1926 to Leopold and Frances Kuzma. She is survived by son, Frank (Jeanne LeRoy) of Faribault, MN; daughters, Cynthia (Jay) of Lakeland, MN and Patricia of South St. Paul, MN; grandchildren: Andrew, Demoray (Tom), Leslie and Daryl (Crystal); great-grandchildren: Ashley, Jessica, Justin, Steven and Joseph; brother, Peter Lilek of Ely, MN and Frances Anthonsen of Cottage Grove, MN. She was preceded in death by her father and mother, Leopold and Frances (nee Lilek) Kuzma and son, Robert. A Gathering of Family and Friends will be held from 4-7 PM Monday, June 10, at Roberts Funeral Home, 8108 Barbara Ave., Inver Grove Heights, MN. Interment at the Ely Cemetery, Ely, MN, will be held at a later date.

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