Obituaries

Tue
16
Oct

Esther Beel, 94 of Blaine, formerly of Ely, dies

Esther Marie Cherne Beel, 94, formerly of Ely, passed away on October 15, 2018, in Blaine MN. She was born on June 7, 1924 in Ely to Michael G. and Frances Wenker Cherne. She graduated from Ely Memorial High School in 1942. She worked as a receptionist at the Shipman Hospital until moving to Chicago to work in the airplane industry during WW2. She married William O. (Chick) Beel on September 18, 1944 in Chicago. After Chick’s Army service, they settled in Ely, moving to Cedar Lake in June of 1960.

Esther was employed at The Gift Corner in the sixties and seventies. She loved her family, reading, gardening, the woods and RV trips with Chick.

Tue
16
Oct

Kelli Laine, 38, of Babbitt, dies

Kelli Laine, 38, of Babbitt, passed away peacefully on Monday, October 15, 2018 at her residence with her loved ones at her side.
She enjoyed her family, her pets, and four wheeling. She wants all her friends to remember her as the bubbly person she was. She is survived by her soulmate and best friend Aaron Holmstein, her parents Kathy and Dave Laine, sisters: Carmen (Roy) Saari and Karen (Gordy) Fiske, nieces and nephews: Ashley Laine, Mark Laine, Emma Laine; many aunts, uncles and cousins.
A service will be held on Saturday, October 20 at 5 p.m. with visitation an hour prior at Kerntz Funeral Home in Ely.
Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.

Sun
14
Oct

Michael S. Swanson, 57, of Ely, dies

Michael S. Swanson, 57, of Ely, passed away at his residence on Saturday, October 13, 2018. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.

Sun
14
Oct

Glen Zorman, 61, of Ely, dies

Glen Zorman, 61, of Ely, passed away at his residence on Saturday, October 13, 2018. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.

Thu
11
Oct

Thomas Jerry Blackwood Jr, 81, of Lafayette, CA, dies

Thomas Jerry Blackwood Jr, 81, of Lafayette, CA passed away peacefully on Sunday Sept. 16, 2018.
“Coach” as he preferred to be called was born in Palo Alto in 1936 to Thomas Jerry Blackwood Sr and Alice (Kovall, of Ely) Blackwood. After moving numerous times in his youth, he went on to be a 3-sport athlete at Menlo-Atherton High School in Menlo Park, CA where he was named ‘Peninsula Athlete of the Year’ in his senior year. Coach then attended college at San Jose State University before joining the Army. His decision to enlist would shape his life. He began service at the Monterey Language School, but posts in Turkey and Japan instilled in him a love of travel and history that followed him forever. Upon being discharged he enrolled at SF State University pursuing his passion for history and teaching. Upon graduating, he would go on to spend his next 40 years teaching and coaching at Miramonte High School in Orinda, California.

Tue
09
Oct

Mary Joan Lahtonen, 86, of Ely, dies

Mary Joan Lahtonen, 86, of Ely, passed away Monday, October 8, 2018 at Ely Bloomenson Hospital in Ely. Mary Joan (Muhvich) Lahtonen was born June 28, 1932 in Ely to George and Mary (Lunka) Muhvich. She was a life-long resident of Ely. On April 28, 1958, she was united in marriage to Eugene Lahtonen.
She was a lifetime member of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church and her faith in the Lord never waivered.
Mary Joan enjoyed reading, sharing a great connection with the Ely Librarians. She loved to sew, play the organ, and being with her dog, Misty.
She is survived by her children: John (Sarah),
James (Tammy),
Joseph (Shelley), and
David (Valerie).
Grandchildren: George (Sarah) Burger, Warren (Krystal) Burger, Richard Lahtonen, Julie (Mike) Shenise, Jacob Lahtonen, Matthew Lahtonen, Megan Lahtonen; Great Grandchildren: Asher and Asa; brothers: George (Patti) Muhvich and Frank (Terri) Muhvich; sister: Irene Muhvich; Beloved Dog, Misty.

Tue
09
Oct

Wilma Maxine Wagoner, 91, of Tower, MN dies

Wilma Maxine Wagoner, 91, of Tower, MN passed away on October 3, 2018 at Carefree Living in Ely.
Wilma was born on September 12, 1927, in Grand Rapids, MN, the daughter of Willis and Margeta (Ganion) Bemis. She grew up on a farm near Cohasset, MN with her father and eleven siblings. Her mom passed away when she was only a few years old leaving her with much responsibility in helping to take care of a large farm and family.

Tue
09
Oct

Betty A. Kotzian, 83, of Hibbing, formerly of Ely, dies

Betty Annette Kotzian, 83, originally of Ely, passed away at Guardian Angels on October 8, 2018. Betty was born on March 2, 1935 and was the loving daughter of Toivo and Sally (Blixtz) Carlson. Betty was a 1953 graduate of Ely Memorial High School and married her high school sweetheart, Patrick John Kotzian. They wed at the First Presbyterian Church in Ely on December 27, 1953. Betty and Pat were blessed with one son, Michael John and one daughter, Debra Kay. During their loving marriage, they lived in England, Illinois, Florida, Mississippi and Ohio.
Betty was a lifelong member of Grace Lutheran Church and had been employed by Army/Air Force Exchange System, Wells Fargo and Norwest Bank of Ely. She enjoyed life to the fullest with interests in sewing, ceramics, stamping, gardening, traveling, blueberry picking and fishing. Betty was a true lover of the outdoors and positively loved Minnesota. She was always open to new adventures and challenges.

Mon
01
Oct

Mary A. Omerza, 96, formerly of Babbitt, dies

Mary A. (Deyak) Omerza was born on March 15, 1922, in Ely, Minnesota, to Matt and Mary (Carr) Deyak. She grew up in rural Ely in Section 30 and 26 Location and attended Ely public schools. She was proud to display the pin she won for typing 100 words per minute on a manual typewriter!
She married Tony J. Omerza in Ely on April 17, 1940, and they settled into their first home in Ely. Mary was a homemaker, and she also worked at the Piggly Wiggly and Vertin’s. She was very active at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church and headed up the first production and printing of the very successful Ely Family Cookbook.

Sat
29
Sep

Debra J. (Bottjen) Licata, 64, dies

Debra J. (Bottjen) Licata 1953 – 2018
Deb, 64, of Rockford, IL, died on Monday, 9/24/18 at Serenity Hospice and Home following a brief illness. Deb was born on 9/27/53. Her faith was always important to her. She particularly had fond memories of her Confirmation (1968) at Luther Valley Lutheran Church in the rural Orfordville/Beloit area. Deb graduated from Orfordville High School, Orfordville, WI in 1971. She received teaching degree. After a short stretch of teaching and working in the business world it was obvious her passion was still for the church and her desire to share God’s word. Deb received her Master of Divinity at Luther Seminary, St. Paul MN. She filled in as needed in area churches and was praised for her skill of preaching.

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