Obituaries

Tue
05
Jan

Delores Marie Pucel, age 88

Delores Marie Pucel, age 88 of Plymouth, MN passed away on Sunday, January 3rd, 2021. She was born in Keewatin, MN on March 22, 1932 and was the third child of Matthew and Angela Drobnick. Delores lost her father in a mining accident just before her second birthday. She moved to Ely, MN in 1940 with her mother and stepfather, Frank Marolt (also known as her “second dad”).
Delores graduated from Ely Memorial High School in 1950 and later moved to Minneapolis in 1952. On July 31, 1954, Delores Drobnick and Joseph Pucel were united in Holy Matrimony at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Ely, MN. They moved to LaCrosse, WI where Joe started his teaching career. After six years, they moved to Crystal, MN where they raised their three daughters, Marie, Peggy and Terri.

Sun
03
Jan

Leona M. Janezich, 91

Leona Marie Janezich, age 91, passed away on Saturday, January 2, 2021 at the Boundary Waters Care Center. She had finished living her life.
She was born in Ely, Minnesota to Louis and Ana (Matelic) Janezich on May 27, 1929. Leona graduated from Ely Memorial High School in 1947 and from Ely Junior College in 1949. Her work experience for a short time included being a nurse’s aide at the old Shipman Hospital, a clerk at the Sears Catalogue Office, a third grade teacher at Fort Yates on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota, a worker in a dental office, and finally, for 47 years she worked various jobs at the American Fraternal Union.
She belonged to the Ely Branch 23 of the Slovenian (Women’s) union, was a member of the Duluth Scleroderma Support Group, a survivor of melanoma cancer, and a member of Women’s Life Insurance. She also served on the Board of Directors for the Ely-Winton Historical Society.

Fri
01
Jan

Rudolph Michael Grahek, 94

Rudolph Michael Grahek, 94 of Ely, Soudan and Lake Havasu City, AZ passed away Thursday, December 24, 2020 at the Chisholm Heritage Manor.
He was born on May 22, 1926, to Steve and Ann (Strukel) in Ely. Rudy graduated from Ely High School and attended the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. He was a World War II and Korean War veteran and a member of the American Legion Post 45. Rudy married Agnes Mesojedec in June 1953 and later married Angeline Pertz in 1973.
Rudy worked at the Soudan Underground Mine, the Ely Pioneer Mine and also owned and operated several businesses, including the Friendly Tavern Bar, Rudy’s Amusement Machine business, Snow Shield, Ruann’s Teen Center and his first wife’s Town & Country Beauty Salon. And he was the Tax Assessor for the Township of Breitung.

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.

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