Obituaries

Thu
31
Dec

Lawrence (Larry) Stanley Grahek

Lawrence (Larry) Stanley Grahek of Stacy, Minnesota, passed away unexpectedly due to complications from COVID on December 26, 2020 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in St. Paul, MN.
Larry was born on January 2, 1957 to Amelia and Stanley Grahek. He graduated from Ely Memorial High School in the class of 1975. Larry completed his four year degree through the University of Minnesota where he played baseball for the Minnesota Gophers and was drafted to play for the Kansas City Royals.
He will be remembered for his love of family, sports, music, cooking, golf and boating. Larry was a true DIY guy and loved home improvement projects. One of his most beloved projects was a boat renovation. His favorite relaxation was to be on the lake cruising in his boat. He also loved to listen to his treasured vinyl record collection.

Tue
29
Dec

Gregory (Gregg) Zillmer, age 60

Gregory (Gregg) Zillmer, age 60, passed away on Wednesday, December 16, 2020 at Villa Toscana in Houston, TX.
Gregg was born on April 18, 1960 in Spooner, Wisconsin.He was a resident of Conroe, TX and a member of Hosanna Lutheran Church in Houston, TX.
He is survived by Ann; two children Mitchell and Andrew; two brothers Bryan Zillmer of Jordan, MN, and Paul (Cheryl) Zillmer of Babbitt, and many nephews, nieces, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. He is preceded in death by his parents Darrell and Jacquelyn Zillmer and sister Vicki Woltger.
Gregg grew up in Embarrass, MN and graduated from J.F. Kennedy in Babbitt, MN in 1979. He then attended Hibbing Community College for Culinary and graduated in 1981. Also, he went to Normandale Community College for Hospitality Management and graduated in 1987. He worked in many places throughout the United States working on his culinary skills.

Tue
29
Dec

Janet Helen Hogan

Janet Helen Hogan passed away peacefully at Gracewood Senior Living on December 27, 2020.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Phil, her sister Lynn, and her parents Joseph Gast and Helen Vos.
She was born in Detroit, Michigan on March 3, 1932 and went to the University of Michigan where she completed a degree in education. She and Phil moved to Vadnais Heights, MN where they raised their family and she worked at three different school districts in the Twin Cities teaching special needs children. She completed her Master’s Degree in Special Education.
They retired to Ely, MN where they built their Swiss Alps style home in the North woods. They spent 30 years in Ely, making many loving friends and connections there. Janet is remembered fondly for her inquisitive nature, her love of coffee and conversation at the Front Porch, her support of the Wolf and Bear Centers in Ely, their many travels around the world, and her continuing quest for knowledge.

Mon
28
Dec

Rocklyn A. Gaither, 75

Rocklyn Anthony (Rocky) Gaither, 75, slipped away on December 28, 2020 at his home.
He was born in Ely, MN and spent his younger life as a military dependent. He had adventures in Germany, Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana.
Rocky joined the Air Force after high school graduation, spending his time in Spain and Italy. When he got out, after his four years, he came back to Ely to go to Vermilion College. He met his wife Nancy here and after they got married, he re-enlisted into the Air Force and stayed for 23 years. He retired to Ely in 1992 so he could do all the fishing and hunting he wanted. He went back to Vermilion for accounting classes, worked at the Ely Hospital and finally spent 13 years at the Minnesota Revenue Office. He retired from there in 2013.
He was preceded in death by all his grandparents, father Roy Gaither, mother Dorothy (Wattunen) Gaither, brother Roy, his uncles, Roy, Nick, Ed, RL, Glenn and Duane, Aunts Dolly, Irja, Mary and Judy.

Mon
28
Dec

Irene May Johnson, 90

Irene May Johnson, 90, of Ely, MN, died Dec. 19, 2020. She was a resident of assisted living for a year when she contracted coronavirus, and died after a short illness.
She was born in Hibbing, MN to Impi Sofia (Koivisto) and Verner Isaac Peterson. She graduated Hibbing HS in 1947. She attended Hibbing Junior College. She married Roger W. Johnson in 1949. They celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in 2019.
Irene is survived by her daughters, Susan Johnson (Daniel Arnold), Becky Johnson, and Jody Johnson (David Paluch). Other close family members are Darrel and Rosemary Johnson, Lowell Johnson, Kimberly Haug, and Cathy Bogolub. She is also survived by 7 grandchildren, and one great granddaughter.

Sun
27
Dec

Corley, Jean Bernadette (Ryan)

Corley, Jean Bernadette (Ryan)
10/4/41 - 12/24/20
Jean B. Corley, age 79, of Burnsville, passed peacefully in the presence of her loving family, on Thursday, December 24, 2020. Survived by her husband of 58 years, John (Jack) Leo Corley, seven children. Bernadette Troge (Gary), Steven, Christine, Rebecca Sago (Frank), Matthew (Elisa), Margaret Horejsi (Michael), Joseph (Stacie), 16 grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.
Jean, beloved wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother, was born to James & Margaret (Popesh) Ryan in Ely. Grandparents Michael & Margaret (Sever) Popesh, Ely, and James & Barbara (Taylor) Ryan of rural Aitkin MN. Preceded in death by parents, grandparents, brother James, sister Mary Corley, brothers-in-law Frank Weisinger, Leonard Fox, sister-in-law-Karen Ryan and daughter-in-law-Raquel (Steve)

Sun
27
Dec

Barb Vinson, 85, of Ely

Barbara Helena Vinson 85, of Ely died suddenly in her home December 25, 2020.
Barbara was born in Indianapolis, Indiana Oct. 8, 1935 to Robert Elmer and Merna Kay Vinson.
After graduating from high school Barbara attended Art Institute of Indianapolis where she majored in studio art design and music. She had a deep desire to sing opera so moved to New York City in 1963 to pursue her study of opera. Barbara had a beautiful opera voice.
While in New York City she was employed in several very responsible job settings the last of which was in the medical field at Mount Sinai Hospital.
Having developed a desire for a more quiet lifestyle and upon reading a book authored by Sigurd Olson she was inspired to visit Ely, Minnesota. This was followed by her move to Winton, Minnesota in 1997.
Barbara absolutely fell in love with Ely and Winton.

Sun
27
Dec

Judith "Judy" Espointour, 91, of Winton

Judith "Judy" Espointour, 91, of Winton, passed away on Friday, December 25, 2020 at the Cook Care Center. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.

Thu
24
Dec

Stanley J. Bezek Jr.

Stanley J. Bezek Jr., MD, of Ely, Minn., and Oro Valley, Ariz., (formerly of Virginia, Minn.), passed away on Dec. 10, 2020, at home, with family by his side after two years of treatment for pancreatic cancer.
He was a goliath in the eyes of those who knew and loved him and his legacy will sustain his memory. Stan, although born in Saint Paul, Minn., on Feb. 22, 1947, was a true Iron Ranger at heart and moved to Virginia’s “South Side” as a baby. He attended Horace Mann Elementary then Roosevelt High School, graduating as co-valedictorian in 1965. After graduating from St. John’s University in three years, he graduated from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. He completed his Family Medicine residency at Cleveland Metro General Hospital and the University of Colorado Medical Center. He became board certified in Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine.

Tue
22
Dec

Devon Marie Richter

Devon Marie Richter passed away unexpectedly on December 12, 2020 at Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park, MN.
Devon was born on March 27, 1978 in Ely, MN to Sue Mauser and Art Richter. She graduated from Ely Memorial High School in 1996, attended Vermillion Community College and completed her 4 year degree through St. Cloud State. She knew her career direction early on in life, working with special needs people, she excelled at her job and loved what she did.
She will be remembered for her big heart, compassion for others, bubbly personality, infectious smile and her curly hair – just to name a few. When she smiled she lit up a room and was loved by everyone who knew her, a big loss will be felt by all.
Devon is survived by her mother Sue Mauser, father Art (Patty) Richter, brother Brand (Shannon), her three fur babies Rusty, Kimba and Theo, many uncles, aunts and cousins.

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