Obituaries

Thu
01
Oct

Paul Arnold Vollom, 71, dies in California

Paul Arnold Vollom, 71, explorer-adventurer, free forward thinker, gemologist-earth agent, inventor-designer, storyteller-screen writer, father passed away unexpectedly September 22, 2015 at his home in Campo, California. His family and friends think of Paul with fondness and memories of adventures. He is missed.
Paul was born in Jamestown, ND September 7, 1944, grew up in Ely, MN and graduated from Ely Memorial High School in 1962. He completed a BS in Physics at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis in 1966 and an MA in Philosophy at the University of Oregon in 1972. In 1978 Paul passed his Gemmology Diploma and was a member of The Gemmological Association of Great Britain for 30 years.

Thu
01
Oct

Douglas D. Drechsler, 79, of Ely, dies

Douglas Dale Drechsler (Decker), 79, Ely, died on Thursday, October 1, 2015 in the Ely Bloomenson Hospital. He was born on January 11, 1936 in Cloquet, Minnesota.
Doug served in the U.S. Army in the 77th Special Forces Group, 4th Armored Division. Educated at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, he was an English teacher and head librarian at the Ely Memorial High School, retiring in 1994. He was an avid outdoorsman and golfer, and a long-time golf coach for the Ely Memorial High School golf team.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Grace (Stueck) Decker and Robert Decker; his brothers, Frederick “Dick” Drechsler and Terry Drechsler; and his sister, Judy Vogen.
He is survived by his wife, Denise Drechsler; his three children: Steven Drechsler (Tracy), Scott Drechsler, and Amy Rutten (Luke); his seven grandchildren: Thaddeus, Zachary, Bailey and Brooke Drechsler, Jonathan Buckingham, and Sadie and Gillian Rutten, and three great grandchildren.

Tue
29
Sep

Joan E. Swanson, 74, of Blaine, MN dies

Joan E. Swanson, 74, of Blaine, MN died Monday, Sept. 21, 2015 in New Brighton, Minnesota. She was preceded in death by parents Isaac and Tordis Caron.
Survived by loving husband Archie; step-children, Therese Swanson, Archie Pierce Swanson; siblings, Marily (Eugene) Isfeld, Waymon (Marge) Caron, Janet (Robert) Ungerman, Joyce (Ron) Robbins, Steven (Patricia) Caron, many nieces and nephews.
Memorial Service Saturday, Oct. 3 at 10 a.m. at the Kozlak-Radulovich Blaine Chapel (107th Ave NE and Hwy 65) with visitation one hour prior. Memorial preferred.

Sun
27
Sep

Dale Olson, 78, of Ely, dies

Dale A. Olson, 78, passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, September 27, 2015 at his residence in Ely.
He was born December 27, 1936 in Thief River Falls, MN to Andy and Petra Olson.
Dale married Beverly (Tyler) on December 5, 1959.
He lived life to the fullest with his family and friends. Dale could fix anything that was broken and loved to hunt and fish with his family.
He enjoyed his working years for Reserve Mining Company, and after that was a truck driver for many years but never retired. He worked for the Township of Morse taking care of township roads. When he was in Florida he was the only one allowed to drive Sue’s Kubota.

Sun
27
Sep

Emery Bulinski, 93, of Ely, dies

Emery S. Bulinski, 93, died peacefully at the Ely Bloomenson Hospital on Sunday, September 27, 2015, in the presence of his loving family, while the surrounding Northwoods were illuminated with the glow of the rare harvest supermoon.
Born in Chicago in 1922, he grew up on Diversey Avenue and helped support his family during the depression by selling newspapers and shining shoes on the Gold Coast. His passion for sports led him to hop the fence at Wrigley Field to watch the Cubs play. He attended Lane Tech High School, where he graduated “shortest” in his class and learned to operate a lathe, initiating a life-long love of machining and later led to his position as a precision machinist at Seren Tool Works and his work on the first US rocket nose cone to successfully re-enter the earth’s atmosphere without burning up.

Fri
25
Sep

Gerald Poshak, 80, of Ely, dies, funeral Wednesday

Gerald “Jerry” M. Poshak, 80, life long resident of Ely, passed away at his home Friday, September 25, 2015 with family at his side. Jerry was born July 31, 1935 to Joseph M. and Effie (Sund) Poshak of Ely.
In 1953, due to birth defects, Jerry underwent experimental heart surgery with Dr. C. Walton Lillehi and Dr. Owen Wagensteen. The surgery saved his life, but he continued a life-long battle due to birth defects. He graduated from Ely High School and Ely Jr. College. He worked and was retired from USFS Job Corps.
He then operated Jerry’s Westside Standard. In 1976 he established Our Own Hardware and later transitioned this to Hardware Hank and Ben Franklin of Ely for 39 years. He underwent another open heart surgery in 2001.
Jerry enjoyed hunting, fishing and working with his boys, Jay and Marc. With family he traveled extensively throughout the U.S. and some foreign countries. He loved to spend time at his cabins on Lake Vermilion.

Wed
23
Sep

Frances M. Shepel, 93, of Ely, dies

Frances Marie (Prosen) Shepel, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother left this world on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015 with her loving family at her bedside.
Fran was a lifelong resident of Ely and member of St. Anthony’s Parish. She was born on April 5, 1922 to Frank and Mary (Skerbenc) Prosen in Ely and was married at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church on June 28, 1941.
Fran was preceded in death by her husband Frank in 2002 after 62 years of a loving marriage; her parents Frank and Mary, sister Mary (Dick) Sustercich and brother Frank (Sinky) Prosen.
Fran will be greatly missed by her children: Barbara (Ron) Omerza of Ely, MN; Larry (Mary Ann) Shepel of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; Janice (Jerry) Skala of Iron, MN and Franklin (Joan) Shepel of Casa Grande, AZ. She is also survived by her seven grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.

Wed
23
Sep

Darrol John Ahlfs, 85, of Ely, dies

Darrol John Ahlfs, 85, of Ely, passed away on Monday, September 21, 2015 on the farm that he loved. He was born October 7, 1929 in Henning, MN to John and Viola (Hanson) Ahlfs.
Darrol was a military veteran serving in the United States Navy as an aviation machinist mate and an airplane engine mechanic from November 1950 until 1954.
After his service time he received additional technical training as an automotive and diesel mechanic to eventually be employed by Reserve Mining Company. During that employment he met and married the love of his life and raised a family in the Ely area, eventually retiring from Reserve.
He was preceded in death by his loving wife Rose Marie (Preblich) Ahlfs and his parents.

Tue
22
Sep

Beatrice (Koski) Hiben, 87, dies

Beatrice (Koski) Hiben, 87, of New Brighton, MN went to be with the Lord on August 27, 2015. She was born in Ely, MN on October 27, 1927 to John and Bertha Koski.A graduate of Ely Memorial High School, she earned her bachelors degree from UMD and went on to graduate studies in South Carolina. In 1956, she married Milan Hiben in Ely. Her father John passed that same year, with her mother Bertha later marrying Eino Starkman.
Bea served as a missionary in Japan and teacher in the Twin Cities. She loved all things Finnish, baking, playing Scrabble and teaching children. She remained active in her church throughout her life. Preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Milan; sister, Betty Cherne; granddaughter, Misty Petschl and great granddaughter, Jazmine Petschl.

Sat
19
Sep

Cindy Zupancich, 57, dies

Cindy Zupancich, 57, died peacefully with her family at her side on September 19, 2015.
Cindy will be missed by so many, especially her sisters Renee (Bob) Lassi, Patti (Dickie Brooks) Zupancich, Cheryl (Roger) Hanson, and Michelle (Albert Stewart) Zupancich, and sister-in-law Mary Zupancich; nephews John Andrew Zupancich and Cory (Missy) Lassi; nieces Bobbi Lassi and Molly Zupancich. Cindy will be missed by her “little peanuts”, great-nephew and niece Colton and Morgan Lassi.
Though Cindy will be greatly missed, there is peace of mind knowing that Cindy is looking down on us with her parents John and Lorraine and her brother John Mike.
To honor Cindy’s request, there will be no formal service.

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