Obituaries

Thu
16
Jan

Carol Ann Kronfuss

Carol Ann Kronfuss passed away on January 8, 2020 in her as of late, hometown of Aurora, Minnesota.
Born in Town of Deer Creek, Taylor County, Wisconsin, on June 3, 1928, to Adam and Mary (Brunner) Schneider, Carol grew up on the family farm in Stetsonville as the youngest of ten children. Here she learned many valuable life lessons from both her immediate and extended families, let alone many treasured memories. Upon completion of secondary school Carol ventured to the city of Milwaukee where she completed nursing studies.

Fri
10
Jan

Roberta Ruth Stepan, formerly of Ely

Roberta Ruth Stepan, formerly of Ely, August 9, 1939 - January 7, 2020. Roberta R. (Mattila) Stepan, 80, passed away on Tuesday, January 7, 2020, at Corinth Rehabilitation Suites on the Parkway in Corinth, TX. Born August 9, 1939, in Ely, Minnesota; she was the oldest daughter of the late Robert John Mattila and the late Betty Ruth (Purdy) Mattila. On September 5, 1959, she married Edward Anthony Stepan, who preceded her in death on July 30, 1995. Berta grew up in Ely, Minnesota, about 15 miles from the Canadian border. Her father worked in the iron mines and her mother worked in the ticket office of the Ely Theatre. In her early years they lived in a small 2-bedroom apartment where her mother would fill a washtub with hot water in front of the fire for everyone to take a bath. They lived through the black-outs of World War II, a polio epidemic, and the collapse of the mining tunnels under Shagawa Lake.

Thu
09
Jan

Olga Feroni, 97, formerly of Ely

Olga Feroni, 97, died on Thursday, January 9, 2020 at the Waterview Pines facility in Virginia.
Olga was born on July 25, 1922 in Ely, MN to Slovenian immigrants John and Agnes (Zupec) Skraba and was a lifelong resident of Ely until she moved to Virginia in 2005 to be closer to her family. She attended the Ely schools and worked at Tauzell’s store until her marriage to John “Curly” Feroni on August 17, 1946.
She was a devoted wife and mother in addition to working on various craft projects, reading, taking care of the beautiful flowers in her yard, playing cards with her card group, and listening to music. She was a member of the Slovenian Union of America.
Olga is survived by her son Dennis (Mary Lou) of Virginia, her beloved granddaughter Christina (Brien) Lumppio of Saginaw, two great granddaughters Alina and Erika Lumppio, sisters-in-law Myrtle Feroni and Anne Skraba and many nieces and nephews.

Tue
07
Jan

Isabel Ahlgren, 95

Isabel Ahlgren, 95, died in the early hours of Christmas Eve Day, December 24, at her residence in Sun City, Arizona. Isabel and her husband Clifford were the authors of the book, “Lob Trees of the Wilderness” and papers on topics such as “Viability and Fertility of Vacuum Dried Pollen of 5 Needle Pine Species” and “Effects of Prescribed Burning on Soil Microorganisms”. Together, they also developed a rust disease-resistant strain of White Pine.
In retirement, Isabel mastered the art of basket-weaving, eventually teaching and developing her own patterns. She greatly enjoyed visiting Sika, Alaska and learning to add antlers to her baskets.
Isabel was preceded in death by her daughter Molly Ahlgren, her husband Clifford E. Ahlgren, brothers Robert and Joseph Fulton, and parents. Isabel is survived by her son Cliff (Nancy) and grandson Samuel. Isabel enlisted “Research for Life”, of Phoenix, Arizona, in her choice for final arrangements.

Mon
06
Jan

Roger Johnson, 93, of Ely

Roger Wallace Johnson passed away Sat., Jan. 4th, at 93 years. Born in Chisholm, MN in 1926. Served in the US Army 1945-46; stationed in Sendai, Japan. Married Irene May Peterson on Sept. 3, 1949. Graduated U of MN Institute of Technology. Worked for Electromotive, LaGrange, IL; transferred to General Motors Tech Center, Warren, MI as senior manager staff engineer. Retired to Ely in 1981. Supervisor Fall Lake Township Board. Chair Ely Area Ambulance Study Committee. Drafted re-design layout for Ely Golf Course expansion. Sang bass in community choirs, including Grace Lutheran choir where he was a member. He excelled at Finnish dialect and was known for telling ethnic Finnish jokes.
Roger and Irene had 3 children and recently celebrated their 70th Wedding Anniversary. Survived by his wife Irene; brother Darrel (Rosemary); daughters Susan Johnson (Daniel Arnold), Becky Johnson, and Jody Johnson (David Paluch); 7 nieces/nephews, 7 grandchildren and 1 great granddaughter.

Mon
06
Jan

Karen Lynn Close, 77, of Ely

Karen Lynn Close, 77, of Ely, passed away at home on Sunday, January 5, 2020. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.

Sun
05
Jan

Linda Blauert, 76, formerly of Babbitt

Linda Blauert, 76, formerly of Babbitt, passed away on Sunday, January 5, 2020 at the Guardian Angels Care Center in Elk River. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, January 10, 2020 at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Babbitt at 11:00 A.M. with visitation being held one hour prior to the service at the church. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.

Sun
05
Jan

Maria Cecilia Mahl, 77

Maria Cecilia Mahl, 77, passed away surrounded by her family on January 1, 2020 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Duluth, Minnesota.
Cecilia met and married Dick Mahl while she was completing a Bachelor of Science degree in Botany and he was serving in the U.S. Navy in the Philippines. She later earned her Masters degree from Alaska Pacific University.
Cecilia worked in Ely as a laboratory technician for 17 years for the U.S. Forest Service and in 1987 her family relocated to Anchorage, Alaska. She worked for ChemLab and the Department of Interior MInerals Management for 22 years. She and Dick returned to Ely after they retired where she enjoyed the company of terrific friends, playing cards, gardening, fishing and extensive traveling.
Cecilia is survived by her husband Dick, daughters Debbie Peterson and Cherri Forgash; and grandchildren Jennifer Peterson Kerchof (Robert) and Parker Forgash.

Sun
05
Jan

William "Bill" Maki, 75, of Ely

William D. Maki, 75, of Ely, passed away on Saturday, January 4, 2020 after a courageous battle with cancer and other health complications resulting from it. Bill was born to the late Andrew and Ann Maki on January 23, 1944. He married Jean Miklausich on July 3, 1965 and they enjoyed 54 years together.

Bill attended Ely schools, Vermilion Community College, and University of Minnesota-Duluth, where he earned his degree in business. After graduation, Bill taught accounting courses at Vermilion before becoming its business manager. In 1981, he became the chief financial officer of the Arrowhead Community College Region as its director of administrative services. After 30 years of service to higher education in northern Minnesota, he retired in 1997. He loved his family, especially his grandchildren, as well as being outdoors, gardening, doing projects around the house/cabin and Fortune Bay.

Wed
01
Jan

John Chester Ojala, 89, of Ely

John Chester Ojala, 89, of Ely, passed away on January 1, 2020 at his home, Chester was born on February 14, 1930 to Taito and Esther (Riikola) Ojala. He worked in the "bullgang" at Reserve Mining in Babbitt and was married to Kathryn Koski on June 8, 1963.
He was preceded in death by his parents, sisters: Marge and Ardis and brother: Bill.
He's survived by his wife: Kathryn, son: Jon, nieces: Colleen and Cheryl and nephew: Dan.
As per Chester's wishes, there will be no funeral services. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.

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