Obituaries

Fri
10
Apr

Kevin J. Kutsi, 56, of Ely

Kevin J. Kutsi, 56, of Ely and formerly of Hoyt Lakes passed away April 8th 2020 at St Mary’s hospital in Duluth. He was diagnosed with a thyroid cancer a month ago and passed away from complications.

Kevin was born May 11, 1963 in Duluth to Wesley and Connie (Germ) Kutsi. He graduated from Aurora-Hoyt Lakes high school in 1981 and following school, he received an AA degree from Range Technical College. Shortly after graduation, Kevin met life challenges which kept him from pursuing a job using his intelligence.

Kevin enjoyed his Finnish – Bohunk heritage. He was proud that he acquired a HAM radio operator license. He also enjoyed the quest of ripping apart electronics and repairing them. In addition, Kevin had a love for classic cars – especially the “Cougar” line and had a passion to restore one. He loved listening to music his entire life. He acquired a great collection of lp’s, cassettes and cd’s.

Thu
09
Apr

Derek Nathan Klingfus, age 35

Derek Nathan Klingfus, age 35, crossed over from medical complications on Monday, March 30th, 2020 at St Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth, MN.
He was born on June 7, 1984 at St. Olaf Hospital in Austin, MN the son of Deaune (Dehler) and David Klingfus Jr.

Thu
09
Apr

Betty “Betsy” Jean Polyner, 62

Betty Jean “Betsy” Polyner, age 62, passed away peacefully on April 9, 2020 at Essentia St. Mary’s Hospital in Duluth, Mn.
Betsy was born on May 21,1957 to John and Pauline Polyner in Ely, Mn.
She grew up in Ely, Mn. and graduated from Ely Memorial High School in 1975 and Vermilion Community College in 1977. Betsy was employed at the Ely Bloomenson Hospital until 1994. She then moved to Duluth, Minnesota and lived in the Kenwood area from 1995 through 2020.
Betsy was a member of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Ely and St Benedict’s Catholic Church in Kenwood. She was an active member of the Minnesota Multiple Sclerosis chapter in Duluth, Mn. and her Duluth book club.
Betsy was blessed with many close friends and acquaintances. She is known for her positive, kind, happy and courageous spirit..
Betsy was preceded in death by her parents, John and Pauline Polyner.

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.

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