Major Richard J. “Dick” Hedloff (Retired)

Major Richard J. “Dick” Hedloff (Retired)
Dick passed away at the LaLoma Care Center in Litchfield Park, Arizona on Wednesday, 21 April 2021.
Dick was born in Ely on 17 July 1929 to Archie & Ellen (Anderson) Hedloff, the youngest of three boys. He attended Ely schools until at the age of 15, then followed in the footsteps of his brothers and enlisted in the Marine Corps on 20 June 1945. He rose to the rank of Gunnery Sergeant, then took a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant. He retired at the rank of Major after 22 years in the Corps on 1 February 1967. His last duty station was Yuma, AZ Marine Air Station.
He remained there for another 18 years working as a civilian with the department of the Navy as Management Analyst in the Special Assistants Department on various military projects. He then retired a second time on 1 October 1989 after 40 plus years of service to his country.


Steve Phifer, former Ely resident

Steve Phifer, former Ely resident, died peacefully at home with his First Mate/Wife Judy and Cisco, his brown dog, by his side.
To say that fishing was Steve’s passion would be an understatement. Every vacation, despite his best effort not to, had fishing involved. His favorite places to fish included One Pine Lake, Lake Superior, and Zihuantenjo Mexico. Fishing for the elusive marlin at the Bat Islands in Costa Rica, and Tarpon fishing in San Juan Puerto Rico were highlights of his fishing adventures.
Steve was a talented musician who in his prime provided many a night’s worth of entertainment as a member of The Jack Daniels Band. He was happy to dust off his mouth harps and join the band a couple times during their recent reunion tour.


Eli "Butch" Kopperud

Eli James Kopperud (Butch), 97, of Ely, chose to move on Tuesday, April 27, 2021, at Boundary Waters Care Center in Ely, after a lifetime of teaching people how to be kind and happy. His gentle humor was intact even as the horrors of Parkinson’s ravaged his body and mind.
He was born in Brush Prairie, WA, to Linda (Mathiason) and Eimer Kopperud on October 23rd, 1923 and moved as a baby back to Walnut Grove, MN, where his parents had previously settled after emigrating from Norway.
He grew up a farmer, attending a one room school house until 8th grade, using horses to farm the land and lamenting the fact he had to wear shoes when summer ended. After graduating from high school in 1941, he tended the home farm until one of his older brothers returned from WWII before the government allowed him to join the Navy, where he served as a Seabee.


Todd Richard Przybylski, 54

Todd Richard Przybylski, 54, of Thief River Falls, MN passed away after a 3 year battle with brain cancer on Sunday April 25th 2021, at the Thief River Care Center. His loving family was by his side.

The Memorial Service to celebrate Todd’s life will be at 1:00 PM on Friday, April 30, 2021 at Johnson Funeral Service in Thief River Falls, MN with visitation one hour prior to the service.

Todd was born August 15th 1966 to Nick and Carol Przybylski in Winton, MN. He was the youngest of seven siblings. He graduated from Ely Memorial High School in 1985. Todd later joined the U.S. Air Force and served from November of 1987 – May of 1991.


Pauline Mae (Shervold) Johnson

Pauline Mae (Shervold) Johnson, age 77, from Babbitt, MN and formerly of Thief River Falls, MN, passed away peacefully on Thursday, March 18, 2021 at Essentia-St. Mary’s in Duluth, MN with her husband David and daughter Delaine by her side.
Funeral Services will be held at 10:30 AM on Saturday, May 1, 2021 at Evangelical Free Church in Thief River Falls, MN, with Pastor Pastor Kevin MacLean officiating. Burial will take place at Greenwood Cemetery after the funeral.
A visitation will be held from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM, with a 7:00 PM prayer service on Friday, April 30, 2021 at Johnson Funeral Service. Visitation will also take place one hour prior to the funeral service on Saturday at the church.


Estelle Eileen Harri

Estelle Eileen Harri, age 90, died at home April 9, 2021. Born Estelle Eileen Kollin, in Breitung Township (Soudan). Estelle is survived by her sons Gene (Cecilia), Mike (Mary), Charles, and Andy (Heather). Grandsons Mikey and Lenny Harri. She was preceded in death by her husband Milton and daughter Holly.
A private family burial in Ely Cemetery will be at a later time.


Wood Walter Phares

Wood Walter Phares, or Woody as he chose to be called later in life, decided to shuffle off this mortal coil and go “Off to see the Wizard” (Which was one of his favorite expressions when-ever he would leave us) on November 8th 2020.
Born in the month of December in Cincinnati OH, he left this world just shy of his 77th birthday. Tallahassee FL was his journey’s end, the sun and ocean always called him back. Always doing things on his own terms, this final journey was no exception.
Wood graduated from Rollins College and from there entered the US Army. He served in Berlin at the Wall, where he, as he would like to say, was “watching the spooks.” While Wood was not very sentimentally attached to objects, and a fairly law-abiding citizen, pieces of the original Wall were found as his family sorted through his things.


Wayne L. Murphy, 91, of Ely

Wayne LaVerne Murphy, age 91, passed away with his loving family by his side on April 14th, 2021 at the Ely Bloomenson Community Hospital in Ely, MN.
Wayne was born on November 6th, 1929 in Christie, Wisconsin to Fred and Leota (Howard) Murphy. Wayne proudly served his country during the Korean War in the Army Airborne Division as a paratrooper. He later served many years in the Army Reserves. Wayne married the love of his life, best friend and soulmate, Augusta Meta Cornwell, on May 21st, 1955.


Nancy A. Flynn

Nancy A. Flynn passed away peacefully at The Hummingbird of Meadowlands Minnesota on April 14th 2021. She was 79 years old. Nancy A. Flynn was born on December 16th, 1941 in Ely, Minnesota to the late Frank and Agnes (Shustarich) Tomsich.
Nancy grew up in Ely, Minnesota and attended Ely Jr. College and is a United States Navy Veteran. She later went on to Eveleth Area Technical School.
Nancy enjoyed photography, classical music and never met a stranger. With her love of all the animals in the world, Nancy contributed funds to many world organizations as well as the local APA’s. Nancy was of the Catholic Faith.


Darell Bartell, 85, of Babbitt

Darrell Eldon Bartell, age 85 of Babbitt, MN, passed away peacefully with family by his side on Saturday April 10, 2021.

Darrell was born to Norma (Rowe) and Eldon Bartell on October 27, 1935 in Remer, Minnesota. He was united in marriage to Barbara Miller on October 28, 1951. Darrell worked for Reserve Mining Company for 31 years until he retired. He also worked part time for Phil Clark Cabinetry and remodeled cabins at the Escape Resort in Babbitt.

After retirement Darrell began relief woodcarving. He made several pictures, clocks, bird houses, whirly gigs and wooden toys for his grandchildren. Darrell loved playing the harmonica and going to jams in Arizona. He and Barbara were snowbirds and resided in Yuma, Arizona for 29 years.

Darrell was preceded in death by his parents, Norma and Eldon Bartell, sister Vivian Bennett and grandson Shawn Parker Bartell.


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