Obituaries

Tue
29
Dec

Janet Helen Hogan

Janet Helen Hogan passed away peacefully at Gracewood Senior Living on December 27, 2020.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Phil, her sister Lynn, and her parents Joseph Gast and Helen Vos.
She was born in Detroit, Michigan on March 3, 1932 and went to the University of Michigan where she completed a degree in education. She and Phil moved to Vadnais Heights, MN where they raised their family and she worked at three different school districts in the Twin Cities teaching special needs children. She completed her Master’s Degree in Special Education.
They retired to Ely, MN where they built their Swiss Alps style home in the North woods. They spent 30 years in Ely, making many loving friends and connections there. Janet is remembered fondly for her inquisitive nature, her love of coffee and conversation at the Front Porch, her support of the Wolf and Bear Centers in Ely, their many travels around the world, and her continuing quest for knowledge.

Mon
28
Dec

Rocklyn A. Gaither, 75

Rocklyn Anthony (Rocky) Gaither, 75, slipped away on December 28, 2020 at his home.
He was born in Ely, MN and spent his younger life as a military dependent. He had adventures in Germany, Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana.
Rocky joined the Air Force after high school graduation, spending his time in Spain and Italy. When he got out, after his four years, he came back to Ely to go to Vermilion College. He met his wife Nancy here and after they got married, he re-enlisted into the Air Force and stayed for 23 years. He retired to Ely in 1992 so he could do all the fishing and hunting he wanted. He went back to Vermilion for accounting classes, worked at the Ely Hospital and finally spent 13 years at the Minnesota Revenue Office. He retired from there in 2013.
He was preceded in death by all his grandparents, father Roy Gaither, mother Dorothy (Wattunen) Gaither, brother Roy, his uncles, Roy, Nick, Ed, RL, Glenn and Duane, Aunts Dolly, Irja, Mary and Judy.

Mon
28
Dec

Irene May Johnson, 90

Irene May Johnson, 90, of Ely, MN, died Dec. 19, 2020. She was a resident of assisted living for a year when she contracted coronavirus, and died after a short illness.
She was born in Hibbing, MN to Impi Sofia (Koivisto) and Verner Isaac Peterson. She graduated Hibbing HS in 1947. She attended Hibbing Junior College. She married Roger W. Johnson in 1949. They celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in 2019.
Irene is survived by her daughters, Susan Johnson (Daniel Arnold), Becky Johnson, and Jody Johnson (David Paluch). Other close family members are Darrel and Rosemary Johnson, Lowell Johnson, Kimberly Haug, and Cathy Bogolub. She is also survived by 7 grandchildren, and one great granddaughter.

Sun
27
Dec

Corley, Jean Bernadette (Ryan)

Corley, Jean Bernadette (Ryan)
10/4/41 - 12/24/20
Jean B. Corley, age 79, of Burnsville, passed peacefully in the presence of her loving family, on Thursday, December 24, 2020. Survived by her husband of 58 years, John (Jack) Leo Corley, seven children. Bernadette Troge (Gary), Steven, Christine, Rebecca Sago (Frank), Matthew (Elisa), Margaret Horejsi (Michael), Joseph (Stacie), 16 grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.
Jean, beloved wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother, was born to James & Margaret (Popesh) Ryan in Ely. Grandparents Michael & Margaret (Sever) Popesh, Ely, and James & Barbara (Taylor) Ryan of rural Aitkin MN. Preceded in death by parents, grandparents, brother James, sister Mary Corley, brothers-in-law Frank Weisinger, Leonard Fox, sister-in-law-Karen Ryan and daughter-in-law-Raquel (Steve)

Sun
27
Dec

Barb Vinson, 85, of Ely

Barbara Helena Vinson 85, of Ely died suddenly in her home December 25, 2020.
Barbara was born in Indianapolis, Indiana Oct. 8, 1935 to Robert Elmer and Merna Kay Vinson.
After graduating from high school Barbara attended Art Institute of Indianapolis where she majored in studio art design and music. She had a deep desire to sing opera so moved to New York City in 1963 to pursue her study of opera. Barbara had a beautiful opera voice.
While in New York City she was employed in several very responsible job settings the last of which was in the medical field at Mount Sinai Hospital.
Having developed a desire for a more quiet lifestyle and upon reading a book authored by Sigurd Olson she was inspired to visit Ely, Minnesota. This was followed by her move to Winton, Minnesota in 1997.
Barbara absolutely fell in love with Ely and Winton.

Sun
27
Dec

Judith "Judy" Espointour, 91, of Winton

Judith "Judy" Espointour, 91, of Winton, passed away on Friday, December 25, 2020 at the Cook Care Center. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.

Thu
24
Dec

Stanley J. Bezek Jr.

Stanley J. Bezek Jr., MD, of Ely, Minn., and Oro Valley, Ariz., (formerly of Virginia, Minn.), passed away on Dec. 10, 2020, at home, with family by his side after two years of treatment for pancreatic cancer.
He was a goliath in the eyes of those who knew and loved him and his legacy will sustain his memory. Stan, although born in Saint Paul, Minn., on Feb. 22, 1947, was a true Iron Ranger at heart and moved to Virginia’s “South Side” as a baby. He attended Horace Mann Elementary then Roosevelt High School, graduating as co-valedictorian in 1965. After graduating from St. John’s University in three years, he graduated from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. He completed his Family Medicine residency at Cleveland Metro General Hospital and the University of Colorado Medical Center. He became board certified in Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine.

Tue
22
Dec

Devon Marie Richter

Devon Marie Richter passed away unexpectedly on December 12, 2020 at Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park, MN.
Devon was born on March 27, 1978 in Ely, MN to Sue Mauser and Art Richter. She graduated from Ely Memorial High School in 1996, attended Vermillion Community College and completed her 4 year degree through St. Cloud State. She knew her career direction early on in life, working with special needs people, she excelled at her job and loved what she did.
She will be remembered for her big heart, compassion for others, bubbly personality, infectious smile and her curly hair – just to name a few. When she smiled she lit up a room and was loved by everyone who knew her, a big loss will be felt by all.
Devon is survived by her mother Sue Mauser, father Art (Patty) Richter, brother Brand (Shannon), her three fur babies Rusty, Kimba and Theo, many uncles, aunts and cousins.

Mon
21
Dec

Irene Johnson, 90

Irene Johnson, 90, passed away on Saturday, December 19, 2020 at Carefree Assisted Living in Aurora. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.

Fri
18
Dec

Barbara Lassila, 84

Barbara Lois (Nelson) Lassila, passed away peacefully on Thursday, December 17, 2020 at CareFree Living in Babbitt, MN. Per Barbara’s wishes there will be no funeral services held. A private Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.
Barbara was born August 12, 1936 in Roseau, Mn, the daughter of Lloyd Harry and Marguerite Freda (Bell) Nelson.
Barbara attended school in Roseau, Ely and graduated from Embarrass High School in 1955.
She was a Hair Stylist for many years, sidelining Belly Dance classes, Bookkeeper and a Secretary for HUD. Her real passion was Antiquing. She owned and managed two stores, The Mountain High Antiques in Prescott Valley, AZ, and the Red Door Antiques in Junction City KS.
Barb was known as the Linen Lady in Kansas for her creativity and love of embroidery. She was a member of Daughters of the American Revolution and past member of the Red Hat Ladies.

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