Obituaries

Fri
21
Oct

Irvin (Shorty) Sylvester Smith

Irvin (Shorty) Sylvester Smith, 86, passed away peacefully on August 20 surrounded by family.
Shorty was born to Arza and Irene (Jacobs) Smith on 09/08/1935. In a small farm house on Rural Route 1 in Boyne City, MI. It was there that his siblings Thomas, Beverly, and Rodger (Mike) learned the values of hard work, respect, and kindness which carried them through the rest of their lives.
He graduated Boyne City High School in 1953, where he excelled both in academics and athletics. After high school, he entered the United States Army where he served in Germany and completed his enlistment with three Medal of Honors.
Returning to Boyne he went to a local dance where he met the girl of his dreams. She was the lead singer in the band. He told a friend that night, “I’m going to marry that girl”. Which he did. On April 30th, 1956, he and Bettylu McRoberts became husband and wife.

Fri
21
Oct

Linda (Makela) Coan

Linda (Makela) Coan, 59, passed away unexpectedly on Friday, October 14, 2022 in Elizabeth, NJ. She was born March 19, 1963 in Ely.
She is survived by her husband John, mother Frances Kendall, sister Marlene and brother Marley.

Thu
20
Oct

Duane “Punky” Mackie

Duane “Punky” Mackie, 85, of Babbitt, peacefully passed away on Sunday, October 16, 2022, with his loving wife Darlene at his side. He was born on June 21, 1937 to Einard and Tillie Mackie at their home on the old Babbitt townsite on the hill.

Punky was a 1955 graduate of the Embarrass High School. He married Darlene Lepisto in Ely in 1956, had four daughters and was a diesel mechanic at Reserve Mining for 30 years. Punky was a total car enthusiast, building his own dune buggy and owning over 100 cars and trucks throughout his life. He was an avid outdoorsman and loved snowmobiling, snowshoeing, hunting, fishing and put many miles on his bicycle. He spent much of his retirement enjoying peace and solitude at their cabin.

Fri
14
Oct

Paulette Louise Tekavec

Paulette Louise Tekavec, 81, of Ely passed away peacefully on Thursday, October 13th, at the Carefree Living in Babbitt, MN.
She was born October 5, 1941 in Ely, MN to Joseph and Pauline Pishler.
Throughout her life she worked hard to provide all the extra’s for her family and started out at Basswood Lodge as a cleaner, became a ticket seller at the Ely Movie Theater, was a nurse’s aide at Ely Bloomenson Hospital where she loved working in the baby section, a waitress at the iconic Vertins Café, a Cafeteria Aid at the Ely School system, and cleaned rooms at Kosir’s Motel and Motel Ely where it always gave her joy to help and serve others.

Mon
10
Oct

Nancy A. Rodich

Nancy A. Rodich passed away peacefully on October 6, 2022 at Boundary Waters Care Center with her daughter by her side.

Nancy was born on August 7,1942 in Ely to Sulo and Sara Erikkila.

She was preceded in death by her husband Richard M. Rodich and survived by her son Richard D. Rodich (Sandy) and two grand-daughters, her daughter Deborah A. Rodich, and sister Cheryl J. Debeltz.

Nancy was a very loving wife and mother. She had a gift for helping people.

She loved to go for walks and was often seen with her dog, Bo. Nancy will be truly missed.

Sun
09
Oct

William Alexander Mackie

William Alexander Mackie passed away at the age of 88 on Sunday, October 2, 2022 in San Antonio, Texas.

He was born in Duluth, Minnesota on August 26, 1934 and spent his early years in Ely, Minnesota where he graduated from Ely Memorial High School in 1952 and Ely Junior College in 1954. He earned a degree in art from University of Minnesota in Duluth in 1956. After serving a brief apprenticeship at a commercial art studio in Duluth he was drafted into the U.S. Army and stationed at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio as a military artist. Shortly after his honorable discharge from the army in 1959, Bill, as he was known, began a free-lance commercial art business in San Antonio until he retired 36 years later in 1995.

Bill Mackie was preceded in death by his mother Irene on December 10, 1949 and his father William, also affectionately known as Bill, on February 7, 1981.

Sat
08
Oct

Jan Lekatz

Jan Eleanor (Johnson) Lekatz, was born March 26, 1945 in Cook, MN to Janice and Arnold Johnson.
She passed away October 8, 2022 at the Boundary Waters Care Center from complications from hip survery.
Jan graduated from Cook High School in 1963, attended Eveleth Junior College and graduated from Bemidji State University with a degree in Elementary Education. She spent her career teaching third grade at Washington Elementary in Ely, MN.
United in marriage to Frank Lekatz on August 11, 1972 at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Ely, MN. They lived in Ely all their lives.
Survived by husband Frank Lekatz, sisters Diane Treno and Wendy (Russ) Meyer, sister-in-law Louise (Andy) Kainz and brother-in-law John (Mary Ann) Lekatz and numerous nephews and nieces.
Preceded in death by parents Arnold and Janice Johnson, in-laws Frances and John Lekatz, brother Arley Johnson, and beloved dogs.
No service per Jan’s request.

Sat
08
Oct

Leo “Cubby” Andrew Kainz

Leo “Cubby” Andrew Kainz, Jr., 66, died on October 5, 2022 at his home in Ely, unexpectedly. Cubby was born to Lenore “Skipper” (Moen) Kainz and Leo A. Kainz, Sr. on December 29, 1955 in Ely, MN. He spent his first few years of life at Sawbill Landing near Isabella before moving to “Kainzville” outside of Ely in 1960.

Cubby attended school in Ely and graduated from Ely Memorial High School in 1974. Cubby attended St. Cloud State for a year, but came back to Ely to work for the family business, Kainz Lumber Company, that was owned by his father and uncles. Cubby spent many years working in the woods as a logger with the Kainz crew. Cubby later went on to work as a cook at the Ely Bloomenson Community Hospital and Nursing Home for many years.

Fri
07
Oct

Nancy A. Rodich

Nancy A. Rodich, 80, of Ely, passed away on Thursday, October 6, 2022 at the Boundary Waters Care Center. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.

Thu
06
Oct

Caroll June Erdman (Gustrud)

Caroll June Erdman (Gustrud) was born on June 23, 1930 in Minot, ND and died October 3, 2022 in Roseville, MN. She is preceded in death by parents, Oscar and Vanita (Hansen) Gustrud; husband, Lowell B. Erdman; sons-in-law, Duane Heacock, Joel Stangeland, and Gary Arbuckle; and great-granddaughter, Gracelyn Jahnke.

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