Robert Oscar Mattila, 87, dies

Robert Oscar Mattila, 87, of Ely, passed away at home on August 28, 2018. He was born in Ely on Feb. 20, 1931.
He was married to Joyce (Moats) Mattila for 64 years.
Bob enjoyed spending time at the family cabin on Burntside Lake and was a former member of the Burntside Power Association. He worked at Reserve Mining in Babbitt. Bob and Joyce were active members of the Ely United Methodist Church for many years.
He is survived by his wife Joyce; children DeAnn (Wesley) Birdsong, Michelle (Mark) Posch, Bryan (Michele) Mattila and Darren (Christine) Mattila; sister Judy Strezishar of Aurora, CO; brother in law Arthur Moats of Ely; eleven grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and many nephews and nieces.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Sylvia (Hill) and George Mattila; brothers: George, Chuck, Hank, Donny and David; and grandson Aaron Birdsong.


Joan (Buccowich) Donahue, 82, dies

Joan (Buccowich) Donahue, 82, passed away peacefully at Casa Adobes Memory Care, Tucson, AZ on Friday, August 23, 2018. Joanie was born to John and Joan Buccowich on July 16, 1936.
After graduation from Ely Memorial High School in 1954, she attended and graduated from Marquette University with a degree in Medical Technology. She had retired from a career with the State of Wisconsin.
She is survived by her sister Kathy (George) Nieman of Ely. She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert Donahue, her parents and many loving aunts and uncles. Memorial services will be held in Pewaukee, WI.


Jack Jensen, 80, of LaMoure, ND, formerly of Ely and Tower dies

Jack Jensen, 80, of LaMoure, ND, formerly of Ely and Tower, MN, passed away August 15, 2018 at St. Rose Care Center, LaMoure.
Jack Martin, son of Chet and Martina (Panian) Jensen was born and raised in lake country in northern Minnesota. It was there he learned his love of the outdoors. Hunting was a passion he especially enjoyed with his friend Roger Raduenz. Jack’s love of fishing led to guiding fishermen for Bowser’s Resort at Crane Lake. This also led to guiding friends on canoe trips in the Quetico canoe area in Canada. Jack and Linda enjoyed doing this together for several years. They were also famous for the fish fry’s they hosted at their cabin for family and their Sandpoint friends. Jack discovered another passion when he began his career as a 6th grade teacher in Ely, MN. He also taught drivers ed and coached the Ely Wolves in three winning seasons.


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.


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