Obituaries

Thu
02
Apr

Robert “Bob” Baier, Sr., 95, of Ely

Robert “Bob” Baier, Sr., 95, of Ely, passed away Tuesday, March 31, 2020, at Boundary Waters Care Center in Ely.
Bob was born on October 15, 1924 in Austin, Minnesota to Gust and Olga (Price) Baier. His father passed away when Bob was 9 years old so he began to work early in life. He worked on farms and the CC Camps prior to getting a job with the Hormel Corp. processing Spam.
He married Harriet “Elyce” Swatosh on November 15, 1942.
Bob served in the U.S. Navy during World War II on the USS South Dakota, which later became Battleship X. Upon returning stateside he went back to work for Hormel Corp and also owned the Dew Drop Inn hamburger stand in Brownsdale.

Tue
24
Mar

Richard W. Ivansek,87, of Babbitt

Richard W. Ivansek,87, of Babbitt, a proud U.S. Navy veteran, passed away on Sunday, March 23, 2020 at the Ely Bloomenson Community Hospital in Ely. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.

Mon
23
Mar

Rudolph F. Semeja, 88

Rudolph F. Semeja, 88, died Friday March 6th at Morningside of Chesterfield, Springfield, MO.
He was born on November 11, 1931 in Gilbert, MN and graduated from Gilbert High School in 1949.
Rudy graduated from Gustavus Adolphus in 1953. He started his teaching and coaching career at high schools in Meadowlands and Babbitt for 15 years. He then moved to Vermilion Community College for 22 years. Rudy was also active in sports officiating, the Ely school board, Blandin Leadership Program, Ely Joint Powers Board, Iron Range Resources Partnership for Citizens Board, co-chairman of the Hwy 169 Task Force Committee, Northeast Service Cooperative Board and the St. Louis County Health and Human Services Board. He was elected into the first National Junior College Football Hall of Fame in 1995.

Mon
23
Mar

Kay Diane Yuzna (Paddock)

YUZNA (Paddock), Kay Diane passed away comfortably Friday morning, March 20, 2020 at University of MN Hospital. Born, Kay Diane Paddock on November 20, 1944 in South Mpls. She was the second daughter of Thelma Haugen and Earl Paddock. She is survived by her husband of 52 years, Ray Yuzna; daughters, Rebecka Yuzna and Kristina Wertheimer (Alex); elder sister, Penelope Krieger (Chuck) and their daughters, Kristin Capurso and Karen Krieger and their families. Kay graduated from Roosevelt H.S. in 1962 and went on to achieve a degree in Nursing from St. Olaf College in 1966. Kay married Ray Yuzna on August 30, 1967 at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church. She worked as a nurse for 22 years at the University of MN hospital then worked several years for Health Risk Management as a consulting nurse and unit manager. Kay also lived for two years in Tembagapura, New Guinea where she volunteered in their nursing program.

Thu
19
Mar

Dennis Roger Johnson, 86

Dennis Roger Johnson, 86, passed away March 14, 2020, in St. Luke's Hospital, Duluth, Minnesota. Dennis was born in Tower, Minnesota on January 30, 1934. He was the son of Harvey and Constance (Hall) Johnson He graduated from Ely High School in 1952. He married Renee Coombe on February 7, 1953. Dennis and Renee had 3 sons: Keith (deceased in 2013), Mike, and Rich. He spent four years in the Air Force, and upon his return, he attended Ely Junior College where he graduated in 1958. He then furthered his education at the University of Minnesota, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree in 1960. Dennis worked as a Design Engineer and Project Manager for various companies from 1960-1999.

Thu
19
Mar

LaVerne “Tootsie” Kuzma, 87

LaVerne “Tootsie” Kuzma, 87, passed away peacefully with her loving family by her side on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 at Carefree Living in Ely.
Tootsie was born to Charles and Lillian (Rajamaki) Starkman on December 2, 1932. She graduated from Ely Memorial High School and attended Ely Junior College. In 1954, Tootsie married Bernard “Sugar” Kuzma and together they raised three children in Ely.
Tootsie was a member of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, VFW Post 2717 Auxiliary, Ely Bloomenson Hospital Auxiliary; Ely Business Women’s and was a founding member of the Mothers Auxiliary for Youth Activities.

Sun
08
Mar

Rudolph Semeja, age 88

Rudolph Semeja, age 88 of Springfield, MO died Friday, March 6, 2020 at Morning side at Chesterfield.

Rudy will be cremated and burial will be at a later date in Minnesota under the direction of Walnut Lawn Funeral Home Ltd. DeGraffenreid-Wood Crematory.

Sat
07
Mar

Jerry Alexander Carlson

Jerry Alexander Carlson was born on May 26, 1934, in Ely, Minnesota. He was the son of Oscar and Helen (Sikala) Carlson. Jerry was baptized and later confirmed in his faith at First Lutheran Church in Ely. Jerry was a graduate of the Ely High School Class of 1952, Gustavus Adolphus College and later attended post graduate school at the Minnesota State University, Mankato. Following college Jerry served in the United States Army for two years.

On June 9, 1962, Jerry was united in marriage to Malene Torgerson at Trinity Lutheran Church in Moorhead, Minnesota. This marriage was blessed with two sons, Jon and Daniel. They have resided in Hutchinson for over 57 years.

Jerry was employed as a Physical Education teacher at the Hutchinson School District #423 and retired in 1993. He was a very involved and successful boys swimming and diving coach for 47 years and also coached boys and girls tennis for over 20 years.

Thu
05
Mar

Regina Elizabeth Johnson, age 94 of Ely

Regina Elizabeth Johnson, age 94 of Ely passed away peacefully at Carefree Assisted Living in Ely on Friday, February 28, 2020. She was born February 8, 1926 in Virginia, Minnesota, the daughter of Swedish immigrant parents Ernest and Anna (Nordstrom) Johnson. She was a graduate of Virginia High School and attended the University of Minnesota where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Home Economics. After teaching in southern Minnesota and North St. Paul, she began teaching at Ely Memorial High School in 1951. Regina retired in 1984 after a total of 37 years in Education. A highlight of her time in Ely included working with the University of Minnesota School of Architecture to re-design and update the Ely high school Home Economics department. It became a state of the art facility and a model for other high schools to follow. Regina worked with many student organizations supporting and mentoring hundreds of students during her career in education.

Thu
05
Mar

Thor Nordwall, 98

Thor H. Nordwall, age 98, passed away peacefully on March 4. 2020.
Born on April 7, 1921 in Sweden, Thor emigrated to St. Paul with his mother when he was four, to join his father who had come two years earlier. Thor’s life was long and full of adventure and good times with family and friends. He grew up in St. 1 Paul and joined the Army in 1942, serving in Europe during WWII, most notably as part of a group which set up a communications network for the troops during the U.S. invasion at Normandy, in June, 1944.

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