Obituaries

Wed
27
May

Lillian E. Pouchnik, 99, dies

Lillian E. Pouchnik, 99, former resident of Virginia, Eveleth, Ely, Minnesota and Scottsdale, AZ, passed away on Mother’s Day, May 10, 2015 in Menagha, MN.
She was a social person right to the end. She loved to laugh and smile. Her favorite saying was “Never give up.” Lillian was preceded in death by her husband John J. Pouchnik (former Ely Pioneer Mine Captain/Superintendent), her sisters: Winnie Jacobs and Hazel Carlson.
She is survived by her daughters: Bonnie Dargis and Judy (Tom) MacPherson, as well as her son: John (Mary Jo) Pouchnik. She also leaves six grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren and two great great granddaughters.
A private graveside service will be held later this summer.
Memorials are preferred to the Ely Greenstone – Pioneer Mine Restoration Project. Send to Ely Greenstone - Pioneer Mine, 401 North Pioneer Road, Ely, MN 55731.

Mon
18
May

Valerie JoAnn Moats, 80, of Ely, dies

Valerie JoAnn Moats, 80, of Ely, died peacefully on Friday morning, May 15, 2015, surrounded by her loving family in her home on Burntside Lake.
Born in Bemidji, Minnesota, on February 28, 1935, to Edna and Paul Finckbone. Preceded in death by her parents and four sisters: Carol, Arvilla, Amy and Kathy; two brothers, Mervin and Bruce.
Valerie met her soulmate, Arthur G. Moats, at a high school dance in Ely and had been happily married for 62 years. For 30 of those years Valerie and Arthur owned and operated Moats Resort on Burntside Lake, established by Arthur’s father and mother, Robert and LaNetta in 1951.
Besides managing the resort full-time, Valerie’s pastimes included league bowling, snowmobiling, skiing, crocheting, playing cards and bingo. Her favorite free time was spent fishing in her secret fishing holes. Many vacations were spent with her husband and friends down South, along with several adventurous excursions on Lake Superior.

Mon
18
May

James Alan Wagner, 65, dies

James Alan Wagner, 65, of Ely, passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, May 17, 2015. He was born August, 15, 1949 in Ely.
Jim graduated from Ely Memorial High School and from Duluth Area Vocational Technical Institute. He served in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam era in the 322nd Civil Engineering Squadron. He did plumbing and heating work in the Ely area for 40 years, worked for the City of Ely for 28 years and was a 25-year member of the Ely Fire Department. Jim was also a member of the Ely VFW Post 2717.
He was married to his wife Vicki for 40 years. Jim was hard working, professional, kind, quiet and loving son, husband, father and grandfather.

Sat
16
May

Norma Jane Johnson, 91, dies

Norma Jane Johnson, 91, of Jay Street, Duluth, passed away Friday, May 15, 2015 at Solvay Hospice House.
Norma was born in Shipman Hospital in Ely, Minnesota to John Anderson and Mary (Toutloff) Anderson on February 14, 1924. Norma attended Ely Schools, the University of Minnesota and Haskell Business College in Lawrence, Kansas.
She married Alfred (Bud) Johnson in Ely on September 11, 1948, with a wedding reception at Burntside Lodge. Norma was a member of St. Michael’s Catholic Church where she was: a Cub Scout den mother; Girl Scout leader; Women’s Council Member; and a member of the Funeral Committee and the Jammers.

Fri
15
May

Valerie Moats, 80, dies

Valerie Moats, 80, of Ely, passed away at her home on Friday, May 15, 2015. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.

Tue
12
May

Edward John Hernesmaa, 80, dies

Edward John Hernesmaa, 80, of Virginia, formerly of Ely, died Monday, May 11, 2015 in the Virginia Care Center. He was born in Ely on Nov. 17, 1934 to Toivo and Angela (Puzel) Hernesmaa. He was an Ely resident for most of his life, living in Virginia for the past ten years.
On Nov. 25, 1962, he married Bonnie Mosnik. Ed enlisted in the U.S. Navy as a young man and had worked maintenance as an employee of Ely Bloomenson Hospital and Vermilion Community College. He coached Ely Little League Baseball for many years, was an avid St. Louis Cardinals baseball fan, enjoyed Notre Dame sports, polka music and dancing.
Ed was a member of the Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Virginia, the Ely Knights of Columbus and the Ely American Legion Post. He was preceded in death by his parents and a beloved son, Mark, in 1981.

Tue
12
May

Michael B. Sherman, 62, dies

Michael B. Sherman, 62, passed away from his battle with cancer on Monday, May 11, 2015. A private service will be held at Range Funeral Home on Friday May 15, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. for family and close friends. A celebration of his life will be held for all family and friends at Tank’s in Babbitt on May 30, 2015 at 1:00 p.m.
Michael Booth Sherman was born November 21, 1952 in Hibbing MN to Jack and Patricia Sherman. He served in the Air Force from June 1971 to June 1975 and worked for the Federal Bureau of Prisons from 1985 to 2001.
Mike was united in marriage to Janice Harrold on April 19, 1982 in Virginia MN. He was a member of the VFW.
He was loved by many and will be missed dearly.

Mon
11
May

Lorraine J. Priyatel, 86, dies

Lorraine J. Priyatel, 86, of Melrose, formerly of Ely, died Saturday, May 9, 2015 at the CentraCare Health Nursing Home in Melrose, Minnesota.

A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 20 at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis, gathering in assembly area 1.

Lorraine Jane Janeksela was born November 29, 1928 in Ely, Minnesota to Matthew and Emmi (Hokkanen) Janeksela. On February 28, 1942 she married John Priyatel in Ely, Minnesota. They were longtime residents of Ely before Lorraine moved to Melrose in 1999. Lorraine enjoyed attending church services, reading, and loved spending time with her family.
Survivors include her children, John (Diane) Priyatel of Elk River and Rae (Bob) Kuzma of Melrose; four grandchildren, Cheri (Jamie) Hemker, Todd (Debra) Kuzma, Kevin Priyatel, and Michael Priyatel; five great-grandchildren, Tyler, Connor, and Nolan Hemker, Jarred and Blake Kuzma; and brother, Melvin Janeksela of Ely.

Mon
11
May

Judith L. (Lepisto) Rudman, 78, of Duluth, dies

Judith L. (Lepisto) Rudman, 78, of Duluth, died peacefully Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015 surrounded by her very loving family.
She was born May 16, 1936 in Ely, Minn., to Eino and Lillian Lepisto.
Judy was a 1954 graduate of Ely High School and on March 1, 1957 she married Fred G. Rudman. Judy worked at the Duluth Clinic and retired from EPA in 2001.
She had been active in University for Seniors, ballroom dance, book club, music and investment groups. Judy enjoyed traveling, sewing, outdoor activities, the family cabin and most of all spending time with her family and friends.
Judy was preceded in death by her husband, Fred.

Fri
08
May

Dolores M. Rosett, 79, of Embarrass, dies

Dolores M. Rosett, 79, of Embarrass, passed away on Wednesday, May 6, 2015 at the Boundary Waters Care Center in Ely.
She was born Sept. 11, 1935 in Holt, MN to Oscar and Gladys (Sampson) Gutterud.
She married Richard Rosett on June 2, 1956 in Holt, MN. They moved to Benville in 1959 and moved to the farm she loved in 1964 and have resided there since.
She enjoyed sewing, knitting, crocheting, fishing, gardening, dancing, playing cards with family and friends but mainly enjoyed spending time with family.
Over the years she made hundreds of stocking hats and gave them away to various charitable organizations.
She is survived by her husband Richard of 58 plus years, their children Gary (Joan) Rosett, Randy (Mary) Rosett, Doug Rosett and Shelly Rosett; her brother Lawrence Gutterud; her sister, Wilma Baker; six grandchildren; two great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews and other relatives and friends.

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