Obituaries

Thu
26
Sep

James R. Sutherland, 70, of Ely

After a year-long battle with cancer, James Sutherland, 70, passed away on Thursday, September 26, 2019.

James R. Sutherland was born in Superior, Wisconsin to James E. Sutherland and Beverly (Shaw) Sutherland on August 9, 1949. He was a member of the Superior High graduating class of 1967, graduated in 1971 from the University of Wisconsin - Superior with a degree in Elementary Education, and completed his Master’s degree in School Administration in 1979.

Jim began his teaching career in Hartford, WI before moving to Fairchild Elementary where he taught for 10 years and was the principal for the following six years. In 1990, he took the elementary/ middle school principal position at the Fall Creek school district. In 2004, he took the opportunity for an early retirement and built his dream home on Eagles Nest Lake near Ely, Minnesota.

Tue
24
Sep

Theodore R. "Ted" Begstrom, 89

Theodore R. "Ted" Bergstrom, age 89, of Oak Park Heights Passed away September 14th, 2019 from heart complications. He is survived by his wife Theodocia (Teddy); five children, nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild: John & Nancy; Carl with Briana, Haley & Woody; Bill & Bev with Natalie & Drew; Karen (Bergstrom) & David Hewes with Jacob & Ashley with Eddie, Nate & Kara, and Caitlin; Ann (Bergstrom) & Matt Lind with Bjorn. Born August 22, 1930 in Chicago, IL, Ted attended Colorado School of Mines on a football scholarship to pursue a metallurgical engineering degree. While at a college dance he met a woman named Theodocia, who upon learning their common names and mutual values, felt destined to be together for life. They married on June 12, 1954 the day after she graduated, and then served in the Navy until 1957.

Tue
24
Sep

Judith S. “Judy” Ravlin, age 75

Judith S. “Judy” Ravlin, age 75, passed away September 18, 2019.
She was born in Ely, Minnesota on May 12, 1944 to the late Joseph and Angela (Jasper) Godec. Judy retired from Internal Medical Associates and was a member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church.
Judy is survived by her husband of 54 years, Larry Ravlin; children, Renae Thompson (Wade), Phil Ravlin (Marla), Connie Lauvetz (Larry) and Nicole Browning (Mike); siblings, Phyllis Petrick (Robert) and Fred Godec (Charlotte); 11 grandchildren; nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of other family and friends.

Mon
23
Sep

Grover Rhoades Jr., age 90, of Ely

Grover Rhoades Jr., age 90, of Ely passed away on Sept. 20, 2019 of heart failure.
Jr. is survived by his wife JoAnn, daughter Cinda and son-in-law Mike; two granddaughters, one great-granddaughter, four stepchildren, 13 step-grandchildren, and 17 step-great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his first wife, his son-in-law and sister.
Jr. was born on January 17, 1929 in Ohio. He served in the Marines in California and returned to Ohio in 1953 to work on the family farm.
Jr. married JoAnn in 1989 and they had 30 happy years working and enjoying life together.
He was an active man who was deeply involved in his work, that included cutting wood, working at resorts. He enjoyed fishing, gardening, wood working and making furniture.
His family and friends will always remember Jr. as a good man who enjoyed helping other people.

Mon
23
Sep

Virginia Harger, 83, of Ely

VIRGINIA (GINNIE) RUTH HARGER, 83, of Ely, MN, went home to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Monday, September 23, 2019 at Boundary Waters Care Center in Ely.
She was born on August 18, 1936 in Oak Park, Illinois to Larkin and Charlotte Tyler. On April 22, 1955 she married Henry C. Harger in Berkeley, IL. After living most of their lives in Illinois, the two retired to Ely, Minnesota in 1990, where they attended Grace Lutheran Church for 27 years. Ginnie was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She was a prolific quilter, making hundreds of quilts for missions, family members, and others. She also enjoyed crocheting afghans for family and friends. In recent years, after macular degeneration had claimed most of her vision, Ginnie still kept her hands busy crocheting over a hundred and fifty beautiful afghans that she donated to the local nursing homes for distribution to their residents.

Mon
23
Sep

Walter A. Fendt, 87, of Ely

Walter August Fendt, Jr., 87, of rural Ely passed away with family by his side on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019.
Wally was born on Dec. 24, 1931 in Chicago, IL to Walter and Mildred Fendt. Wally is survived by his wife Carolyn of 41 years and children, Tina (Billy) Dehmlow, Tom Smith, Jeff (Trish) Fendt and Monica Arika; grandchildren: Lucas, Leia, Duke, Scott, Nathan, Victor, Kaleb, Benjamin, Jason, Eric, Andrew and Kaitlyn and ten great-grandchildren: Emma, Hannah, Damien, Kayla, Mya, Khloe, Grace, Tovi, Lucas and Dylan; sister and brother-in-law Carol and Joe Nixon. Wally was preceded in death by his parents, infant son Timothy and niece.
Wally graduated from high school in Chicago and attended the Art Institute of Chicago.

Sat
21
Sep

Earl Ahlstrand of Ely

Earl Ahlstrand of Ely passed away at his home September 20, 2019 surrounded by family. Survived by his wife Georgann (Sterner) Ahlstrand, five daughters, Roxanne (Ron) Perttula, Brenda (Gary) Pieper of Pinopolis, South Carolina, Shelly Bach, La-Rae Olson, Lisa (Barry) Burton of Hibbing. Two sisters Dorthy (Eugene) Maki and Betty Mather (Tony) Erner. One brother Bill (Lillian Ahlstrand). Nine Grandchildren and 7 Great grandchildren. Earl was born in Ely to Herman and Gertrude (Bird) Ahlstrand. Preceded in death by his parents, one brother Herman Jr., one grandchild Amber Pasanen, and one great grandchild Austin Driggers.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, September 28, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. at Kerntz Funeral Home with a gathering of family and friends taking place one hour prior to the service. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.

Sat
21
Sep

Erling D. Kirkman, 87, of Ely

Erling D. Kirkman, 87, of Ely passed away peacefully with family by his side on September 21, 2019. Born May 21, 1932 to Roy and Arlette (Nelson) Kirkman in Virginia, MN, Erling married Myrna Mae Martell of Ely in 1952. Together they made their home in Virginia and raised 4 children.

Erling (Kirk) was employed by the Mesabi Daily News for 44 years, after which he and Myrna retired to the family homestead near Ely.

He is survived by children David (JoAnn) Kirkman, Daniel Kirkman, Kristi (Dan) Kure, and Martyn Kirkman, six grandchildren, sisters Diane Kirkman and Darlene Greiner, along with many nieces, nephews and friends.

Erling was preceded in death by infant twin daughters, his parents, a brother, wife Myrna and grandson David W. Kure.

At his request, no formal service will be held. A celebration of his life will be held at a later date.

He is loved and will be missed by many.

Wed
18
Sep

Stanley R. Olson of Big Lake, MN

Stanley R. Olson of Big Lake, MN died on September 15, 2019.
Stanley was born May 9, 1927 to the late Eno and Myrtle Quam Olson in Duluth, MN. Stanley married Phyllis Lorraine Hutchinson on May 23, 1948 in the Goodridge area of Minnesota. He started his working career as a farmer but switched to a self- employed logger in 1949.
Stanley enjoyed woodworking, his saw mill, working on machinery, cutting trees and almost anything related to the logging and timber industry.
Stanley is survived by his wife, Lorraine; sons Allen Olson, Arlen Olson, Neil (Terri) Olson of Ely and daughter Sheryl Olson-Johnson; sister Barbara (Jerry) Fletcher; five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Stanley was preceded in death by his parents, son Randy, brother Kenneth Olson, sister Mabel Paulson and son-law Greg Johnson.

Wed
18
Sep

Hans C. Smith, Ely, Minnesota, age 55.

HANS SMITH (55) Hans was born April 2, 1964 to Paul and Patricia Smith in Medford, Oregon. He died due to an accident while removing a fallen tree from a roof near Eagles Nest Lake during the storm of September 17th.
Hans and his brother Erik grew up in Ely with their youth spent canoeing, x-c skiing the lakes and backpacking various mountains out West. When seventeen Hans worked for several years as a cowboy on ranches in Montana and Nebraska. He worked at various fire jobs on the Superior National Forest before becoming a smokejumper for ten years at Missoula, Montana and West Yellowstone, Montana. Then he transferred to Alaska for several years of fire duties at Tok and McGrath. He finally returned to Ely to open his own business of tree work and also worked at national fire overhead teams in the western states.

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