Obituaries

Mon
02
Apr

Elsa Martin, 77, of Babbitt, des

Elsa Martin, 77, of Babbitt, passed away at her home on Wednesday, March 28, 2018.
Elsa “Hud” Martin was born October 19, 1940 in Crosby, MN.
She is survived by her first husband, James Edward Johnson, daughter “Missy” Jeanne (Ted) Lagerquist, daughter-in-law Shawna (Jerry), two nephews, one very special niece, 11 grandchildren, numerous great-grandchildren, family and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents Selmer and Audria Olson, her sister Louise Huff, her husband “Marty” Martin, two sons Jeff Clark Johnson and James Robert Johnson, and a great-grandson.
A celebration her life will be held on Saturday, April 7, 2018 at the Babbitt Assembly of God Church at 2:00 p.m. with a gathering of family and friends taking place one hour before the service at the church. The officiant will be Pastor Ben Morgan. Due to severe allergies, the family is requesting no fresh flowers.
Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.

Thu
22
Mar

Bonnie M. Barich, 83, of Ely, dies

Bonnie M. Barich, 83, of Ely, passed away on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 surrounded by her loving family. Bonnie was born in Ely on January 6, 1935. She married Johnny Barich on January 15, 1955 and the couple had three children. Bonnie enjoyed working at the Haircut Shop in Ely for many years, bringing humor to her co-workers and customers. She always looked forward to the frequent coffee-times at her house, spending time with special friends and neighbors.

Bonnie was preceded in death and now reunited with many family and friends, including her mother Ellen Erkkila, her sister Pat Partti, and most especially, her daughter Debbie, who the family sadly lost back in 1971.

Sat
17
Mar

Patricia (Smith) Willman North, 77, of Ely, dies

Patricia (Smith) Willman North, 77, of Ely, passed away on Thursday, March 15, 2018 in Side Lake. She was born in Perham, MN on August 20, 1940 to parents: Harry M. and Hester I. (Aldrich) Smith. She attended schools in Eveleth, MN and Moorhead State University
She is survived by sons: Jack (Kirsten) Willman,of Detroit Lakes, MN, Patrick (Lori) O’Toole, Side Lake, MN and Randy Willman of Ely; daughter Sandra Willman of Ely; Sister Dorothy (Duane) Thunstrom of Detroit Lakes, MN; grandchildren: Gerry Willman, Rianen Willman, Nathon Willman, Tony (Kristen) Farley,and Misty Willman.
Preceded in death by her parents: Harry and Hester Smith, son Robert Willman, brother Ted Smith and half brother Milo Meyer.

Fri
16
Mar

Diann G. “Sweets” Cecich (nee Benson), 78, of Crown Point, IN dies

Diann G. “Sweets” Cecich (nee Benson), 78, of Crown Point, IN, passed away on Monday, March 5, 2018, at Franciscan St. Anthony Hospital in Crown Point, IN.
Diann is survived by two sons; David (Elizabeth) Cecich and Steve (Kathleen) Cecich; six grandchildren: Shannon (Walter) Wieczorek, Kyle (Nicole) Cecich, Zachary (Caitlyn) Cecich, Zarah (Kevin) Fogler, Zane Cecich, and Katelyn (Fiancé John Greaney); one great-grandson, Kamden Cecich; and two brothers: Wayne (Arlene “Big A”) Benson and Warner (Darlene) Benson. She was preceded in death by her parents: Harry and Leona Benson, and her husband of 61 years, John Cecich.

Thu
15
Mar

Patricia Leah Sterbenk, 86, Babbitt, dies

Patricia Leah Sterbenk, 86, Babbitt, passed away Saturday March 10, 2018. She was born March 16, 1931 in Ely to Eddie and Mary (Milkovich) Edwards.
Pat graduated from Ely Memorial High School, class of 1949 and attended Ely Community College. She was married Feb. 16, 1951 to Rudy Sterbenk, they moved to Babbitt in 1952. They were charter members of Woodland Presbyterian Church in Babbitt. As a church leader, she shared her generous spirit and compassion for others. Pat was a Sunday School teacher, sang in the choir, served several terms on the Session and was an active member of Presbyterian Women’s Association. Pat was also involved with Order of the Eastern Star and Women’s Life Insurance.
Pat had numerous hobbies including gardening, cooking, camping and fishing, folk art painting and needlepoint. She was an avid fan of HER Minnesota Twins and the Minnesota Vikings.

Wed
14
Mar

Kenneth C. Johnsen, 69, of Ely, dies

Kenneth C. Johnsen, 69, of Ely, “All is Well”
Ken Johnsen of Ely, Minn., began his next journey on March 9, 2018 at home, surrounded by his family. Ken came to us on April 22, 1948 and by all accounts was a curious and active child, positive traits he never lost. Ken practiced living in the present, generosity, and optimism. His advice to us all is to: “Be happy and enjoy life just as it comes, one day at a time.”
Ken was in Ely for only two years, but in that time, he touched the lives of all whom he met. He loved schmoozing with everyone at the Front Porch, discussing books at Chapman Street Books and at the Ely Public Library, foraging for samples at Zup’s, and finding good deals at the Goodwill store. He loved taking his grandchildren to Miners Lake for exploration and fishing. A frequent picker and tour guide for out-of-towners at the dump, Ken could see the potential in all things and in all people.

Tue
13
Mar

Beatrice Louise Brophey, 95, formerly of Ely, MN dies

Beatrice Louise Brophey, 95, formerly of Ely, MN died on March 5, 2018 in Columbia, Missouri. One of the two “B’s Wilderness Paddler’s” in Ely from 1979 until 2012, she is survived by her business partner and best friend of 39 years, Barbara Anderson.
Bea was born August 13, 1922 to M. Frank and Aletha (Mullin) Spencer in New York Mills, N.Y. She attended Cony High School in Augusta, Maine and received a Bachelor of Arts in 1947 from the Baptist Missionary Training School in Chicago, which later merged with the Chicago campus of the Colgate Rochester Crozer School of Divinity. Following graduation, Bea ministered in the field of Christian Education for 10 years with a focus on camp and church school experiences for children and youth. From those seeds her love of nature, adventure, camping and canoeing grew deep roots that continued to flourish and thrive for the rest of her life.

Mon
12
Mar

George E. Miller, 89, of Embarrass, dies

George E. Miller, 89, of Embarrass, passed away on Sunday, March 11, 2018 at the Ely Bloomenson Community Hospital. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.

Fri
09
Mar

George J. Dusich, 85, dies

George J. Dusich, 85, of Virginia, formerly of Babbitt, passed away Wednesday, March 7, 2018 at Chris Jensen Nursing Home in Duluth.
He was born on April 4, 1932 in Ely to Marko and Anna (Schellinger) Dusich and graduated from the Ely High School. He was a U. S. Army veteran.
On September 15, 1956 he married Patricia Ann Kastelic in Ely and they resided in Babbitt since 1960; and then they moved to Virginia at a later date. George worked for Reserve Mining Company for 32 years as an Inventory Control Analyst and for North Shore Mining for 7 years.
George was a member of St. Pius X Catholic Church and Maki-Pinola American Legion Post 535, both of Babbitt.

Wed
07
Mar

Roger Anderson, 65, of Ely, dies

Roger Dale Anderson, 65, passed away unexpectedly Thursday March 1, 2018, in Ely MN.
He was born on August 14,1952,to Milton and Audrey Anderson. He was one of three brothers.
He graduated from JFK, Babbitt, MN, in the class of 1970. He attended St. Cloud State and Vermilion Community College. He married LaDonna Kim (Steenerson) on September 4, 1976.
Roger worked for the Frontier Telephone Co. for 32 years before retiring in 2007. He loved to play guitar and harmonica sharing his gift of music with his family and wonderful circle of friends. He coached Little League and hockey for many years before becoming a snowboard enthusiast at age 40, with his son, Aaron. His love of sports was known to all. His favorite pastimes included reading, snorkeling on Burntside Lake and caring for his one-and-only, special grandson, Noah Wallace. Roger was a wonderful husband and fun loving person whose mere presence touched so many lives. He is not gone - just gone ahead.

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