Obituaries

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.

Tue
04
Jun

John A. “Chocs” Zbasnik, 100, dies

John A. “Chocs” Zbasnik, 100, passed away on Sunday, June 2, 2019 at the Ely Bloomenson Community Hospital. John was born in Ely, Mn., one of six children to Frank and Mary Zbasnik. John was a lifelong resident of Ely and a life time member of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus. John attended Ely schools and at the age of 17 joined the CC Camps. He worked in the Pioneer Mine until WWII broke out and was drafted into the Army in 1942. He spent two years at Minter Field, Ca. and two years in Germany. After the war ended in 1946 he returned to Pioneer Mine for 26 years. When Pioneer Mine closed in 1967 he went to work at Minntac for four years and then Reserve Mining for another 9.5 years. John’s family and his faith were most important to him. He really enjoyed time with his grandsons and great grandchildren. He also enjoyed hunting, fishing, blueberry picking and driving up the Fernberg road.

Tue
04
Jun

Gloria Starkman, 83, dies

Gloria Starkman, 83, passed away on January 5, 2019 in Austin, TX. She was born on March 31, 1935, to Violet (Maki) Lassey and Charles Lassey in Ely, MN. She was a graduate of the Ely schools where she had been active in dramatics, cheer leading, and the Drum and Bugle Corps. Gloria also attended St. Cloud State College. In 1956 she was married to Russell Starkman in Ely. They lived in a number of places throughout the country while Russell was a USAF pilot. They retired in Austin, TX where Gloria was as a certified interior decorator. Gloria and Russell maintained a summer home on White Iron Lake.
Russell and Gloria had two sons, Robert and Gregory. Gloria was a member of Triumphant Life Lutheran Church and the Order of the Eastern Star.

Mon
03
Jun

Patricia Gruba, 83, of Sauk Rapids, MN dies

Patricia Gruba, 83, of Sauk Rapids, MN passed away May 31, 2019 at the Good Shepherd Community under the care of St. Croix Hospice.
Patricia Frances Gruba was born March 14, 1936 in Gilman, Minnesota to Charles and Mary (Sodowski) Lepinski. Some of Patricia’s fondest memories of her childhood were times spent helping her dad on the family farm and riding her horse. She married John Gruba on October 17, 1953 at SS. Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Gilman. She was a traditional homemaker who gardened, canned, and took great pride in her family home. Together the couple raised three sons. In her younger years, Pat volunteered at the St. Cloud Hospital, caring for newborns in the nursery.

Fri
31
May

George H. Nyman, 88, of Ely, dies

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
31
May

Betty Jane (Thomas) Page, 83, memorial set for Sunday, , June 9

The Celebration of Life will be held at Amici's Event Center from 2to 3:30 PM

Thu
30
May

Lori T. Kuhar, 58, of Maplewood, MN dies

Lori T. Kuhar, 58, of Maplewood, MN died April 10, 2019. She was born on May 24, 1960 in Winton. She was preceded in death by her parents, Lawrence and Esther Kuhar.
She is survived by siblings: Carol (Ray) Oates, Jayne Kuhar and Frank (Cindy) Kuhar, nephews, nieces and cousins. Funeral mass will be held June 4, 2019 at 11 a.m. at St. Michaels Church, Stillwater, MN. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home

Tue
21
May

Virginia Schneider, 90, dies

Virginia Schneider, 90, passed away Friday, May 10, 2019 surrounded by friends and family in Virginia, Minnesota.She was born April 21, 1929 in Wilmette, Illinois as the second of five siblings. Around the age of 20, she met her husband James Schneider to whom she was married for over 60 years.
In her early years, she worked as a switch board operator and a manager at Hackney’s for 23 years before moving to Ely, Minnesota in 1976. She and her skilled siblings built an incredible home on the lake where hundreds of family members visited over the subsequent years, earning many titles including; camp counselor, bottle washer, and pecan roll maker. When not hosting family, she volunteered at the hospital, participated in the sewing club, and developed programs for seniors.

Tue
21
May

Joseph P. Pryatel, 79, of Babbitt, dies

Joseph P. Pryatel, 79, of Babbitt, passed away on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 at his residence. Per Joe’s request there will be no services. Arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.

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