Kent Charles VandenBranden, 61, of Ely, dies

Kent Charles VandenBranden, 61, of Ely, passed away Tuesday, August 14th, at the Seasons Hospice House in Rochester, MN after a brutal 18 month battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife Linda (Enquist) and his little guy Frankels, brothers Keith (Anita), Kurt (Kate), Kraig (Dena), and sister Kay Cesarek (David), brother and sister in law Ed and Lynne Enquist, as well as many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents Bob and Elaine, brothers Karl and Kris, and his in laws, George and Helen. A celebration of life will be held at the Enquist family cabin on Burntside on September 2. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Seasons Hospice House in Rochester are preferred.


Kenneth M. Evenstad, 78, of Babbitt, dies

Kenneth M. Evenstad, 78, of Babbitt, passed away on Monday, August 13, 2018 at his residence. A funeral mass will be held on Saturday, August 18, 2018 at 11:00 A.M. at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Ely with visitation being held at the church one hour prior to the service. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.


Marydel Marolt, 90, of Babbitt, dies

Marydel I. Marolt, 90 of Babbitt, died Friday, August 10, 2018. She passed away peacefully, with family by her side. She was a lifelong resident of the Iron Range.
Marydel was born to Clifford and Mary Warren on July 24, 1928 in Duluth, MN where she lived until she married her husband Albert in 1947. Marydel then moved to Babbitt in 1956 where she raised her family. Marydel was a homemaker and active member of the community. She was a member of the Babbitt Lions Club and she also served in the local Habitat for Humanity efforts. Marydel enjoyed the outdoors, her flower gardens, her family and her many close friends.


Ronald Nirva, 78 of Fergus Falls dies

Ronald Nirva, 78 of Fergus Falls died Sunday, August 5, 2018, at Sanford Health in Fargo.
Ronald John Nirva was born on August 12, 1939, in Ely, Minnesota to Uno John and Aili (Tuomala) Nirva. He attended school and graduated from Ely Memorial High School. He went on to Ely Community College for two years, and then to St. Cloud State University graduating with a degree in Recreation and Physical Health. During his high school and college years he played baseball, basketball and golf. He continued in these sports into his adult years. Ron also worked for the Ely Recreation Department, the Sibley Underground Mine, and three years with the Forest Service.
Upon graduation from college, he was employed at the Fergus Falls State Hospital, in the Recreation Department.
In 1977, he married Elizabeth Pearson and they continued to reside in Fergus Falls.


Beatrice M. Kolkin, 89, of Babbitt, dies

Beatrice M. Kolkin, 89, of Babbitt, passed away on Saturday, August 4, 2018 at the Ely Bloomenson Community Hospital.
She was born on May 26, 1929 In Cass Lake, Mn to Tom And Gladys (Clapp) Littler. She married Kendall Kolkin on December 7, 1947.
Beatrice was a homemaker, a loyal Twins fan and always had a drawer full of cookies. She was a founding member of the Evangelical Church of Babbitt.
She is survived by sons: Gary (Viv) and Russ; Grandchildren Kime (Mike), Marcy (John), Angie and John (Vicky); Great grandchildren: Amnna, Ryan, Nick, Tad, JoshuaTessa and Paul; siblings: Floyd (Donna) Cliff, Vera, Vernon (Sharon), Vona (Gene) Charlotte, Gladys, John (Sherry) and sister in law Alice. Beatrice was preceded in death by her older sister Bernice and brother Roy.


BeBe Lobe, 78, of Ely, dies

Beverly Rose “BeBe” Lobe, 78, of Ely, passed away Thursday, August 2, 2018 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Duluth.
Bebe was born in Ely to Stanley and Rose (Pucel) Lobe. She graduated valedictorian from Ely Memorial High School in 1958, attended the Minnesota School of Business and worked at the Duluth Clinic, Ely Medical Center, and retired from Vermilion Community College.
Bebe was an active member of the community, belonging to the Northern Lakes Arts Association, Friends of the Ely Library, Saint Anthony’s Catholic Church, Slovenian Women’s Union, Dawn Club and many other clubs and organizations throughout the years. Bebe enjoyed her gourmet club, birthday club, entertaining, baking special birthday cakes for her family, organizing mystery trips, traveling the world while making new friends and spending time with her family.


John Henry “Jack” Forthman, 85, dies

John Henry “Jack” Forthman passed away on Saturday, July 28, 2018 in San Antonio, TX. Jack was 85.
Jack served in the Navy, like his father, for four years. Following his service, Jack continued his education and earned a bachelor’s and two Master’s Degrees. He went on to teach college level psychology at San Antonio College for over 20 years. In 1997, Jack and his family moved to their lake cabin on Burntside Lake in Ely, MN.
Jack loved gourmet food and was a gourmet chef by hobby, constantly entertaining friends for dinner. He also loved Burntside Lake, classical music, woodworking, and working on his old Citron cars.
Jack is survived by his wife, Beatrice, and only child, Megan. Jack was very loved and will be missed dearly, including by his Greyhound, Jazzy. In lieu of flowers, donations in his honor can be made to either TPR (KPAC) or KLRN. A Celebration of his Life will be held for family and friends at a later date.


George J. Rykyto, 90, of Ely, dies

George J. Rykyto, 90, of Ely, passed away on Tuesday, July 31, 2018 at the Boundary Waters Care Center in Ely. Grandpa George served 21 years with the Minneapolis Fire Department and spent his whole life taking care of his family and friends. He lived his life as a devout Catholic, loving husband, amazing father, and the greatest Grandpa George to everyone he knew. His kindness, compassion, jokes, and smirks will truly be missed. His last wish was to grow old in Ely, and that he did.
He is survived by his daughter, Lori Zembal; son and daughter-in-law, Philip & Evelyn Rykyto; and grandchildren, Samantha (Kyler) Hauschildt, Phil (Paola) Rykyto, and Wade (Hailey) Rykyto.
Preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Bernice; wife, Nancy; son-in-law, George Zembal; and brothers, Hank and Phil.


Scott Michael Hanson 55 of Eveleth dies

Scott Michael Hanson 55 of Eveleth died unexpectedly on Thursday, July 26, 2018 at the University of Minnesota Cardiac Care Center surrounded by family.
He was born on 07/16/1963 in Minneapolis, MN; grew up in Embarrass, MN and graduated from JFK High School-Babbitt in 1983; the Bemidji Technical College-auto body program in 1985.
Scott married AnnMarie Maddern on September 29, 1990. They resided in West Eveleth where they raised their three children, Tanner, Brock and Baylee. He loved to sing while doing chores around the house, cooking, cleaning and keeping the family cars the shiniest in town.
He worked at Spee-Dee Delivery Service-Virginia, MN for the past 19 years where his smile and personality touched many of those he delivered to in the Embarrass, Babbitt, Ely and Tower-Soudan areas. He also worked the Ken Waschke Auto Plaza-Virginia; Shakoppe Ford and Gales Auto Body-Blaine, MN.


Carol A. Marshall, age 66, dies

Carol A. Marshall, age 66, passed away Monday, July 23, 2018 at the St. Cloud Hospital. Carol was born July 16, 1952 in St. Cloud to Vernon P. and Lorraine (Sobieck) Van Hale. She graduated from Cathedral High School and from St. Cloud Vocational Technical College with a degree in Marketing/Advertising. Carol married Robert K. Marshall on May 26, 1978, by Johnny B. Pleasant in Texas. They lived in Iran before moving to California.
They moved to Ely in 1990 before she moved back to St. Cloud. She started working at age 11 cleaning houses, was a secretary for seven professors at St. Cloud State University, worked for Mark’s Realty, and held multiple other positions where she excelled, including the Minnesota Department of Revenue. She retired in 2016.


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