Obituaries

Sat
13
Dec

Florence Paynter, 95, dies

Florence Paynter, 95, passed away on December 11, 2014 at Good Shepherd Community in Sauk Rapids, Minnesota. Before moving to Sauk Rapids, she lived in Aurora and Ely, Minnesota.
A service will be held in Ely at a later date.
Florence was born in Erhard, MN, the only child of Andrew and Alma Tweet. She attended the Pelican Rapids Public Schools and Moorhead State Teacher College where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.
She married Warren Paynter on June 6, 1940 in Fargo, North Dakota.
Florence thoroughly enjoyed spending time at her cabin on Bear Island Lake near Ely. Cross-country skiing and hiking were favorite pastimes along with books and crossword puzzles. She loved music and was as much at home on the dance floor as she was at the bridge table.

Thu
11
Dec

Mike Hillman, 62, of Ely, dies in Illinois; funeral set for Dec. 30 in Ely

Mike Hillman, 62, of Ely, passed away in a peaceful slumber on Thursday, December 11, 2014 in Woodstock, Illinois.
Ely’s loss was Heaven’s gain on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014, when God opened up his gates for Iron Mike Hillman.
Michael loved Ely and all of its history. He will be forever remembered for his many talents and contributions as a writer,  storyteller, singer, actor, radio personality and local politician.
Michael was greeted in Heaven by his parents, Checker and Alice Hillman, niece Susan Wagner and grandson Aiden Meskill, along with many aunts, uncles and cousins.
Michael is survived by daughter and son-in-law Allison Hillman and Larry Meskill of Babbitt; son Zach Hillman of Ironwood, MI.; sister Judy Wagner of Duluth; brother Tom Hillman of Hoyt Lakes, MN; grandsons: Hunter, Logan, Andrew, Zach Jr., Gavyn and Connor.

Thu
11
Dec

Joshua J. Weisinger, 20, dies

Joshua J. Weisinger closed his eyes in this world for the last time on December 10, 2014 and entered into the presence of the Lord. He would have been 21 in just two weeks.

Tue
09
Dec

Marie Seme, 99, of Winton, dies

Marie Seme, 99, a lifelong resident of Winton, MN passed away peacefully in her home on Monday, December 8, 2014.
She was born on July 27, 1915, in Ely to Albert and Carrie (Hanson) Okstad. She was a graduate of Ely Memorial High School and a member of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Ely.
In 1937, she married Frank Seme and lived in Winton and started their family. Upon Frank’s death in 1951, Marie dedicated her life to raising her two children.
Marie loved to bake and garden; she had the ability to make anything grow. She worked as a clerk at Sears in Ely until her retirement. She had a kind heart and caring soul who left an impact on everyone who was lucky enough to know her.

Fri
28
Nov

William Valentine LaBuda, 88, dies

William Valentine LaBuda, 88 of Cloquet passed away Tuesday, November 25, 2014 in his home at Evergreen Knoll. He was born February 14, 1926 in Duluth to Joseph and Elizabeth LaBuda. He grew up in Duluth. Bill married Maureen “Dorothy” Ettinger on June 19, 1953 and they were married for 29 years before her death in 1983. On November 2, 1985 Bill married Mary Ellen Kantonen and was married for 22 years before her death in 2007.
Bill worked for US Steel in Duluth for over 30 years until retiring in 1977. He was a member of St. Francis Catholic Church, Moose Lodge, the American Legion  and the NRA. He served in the Navy during WWII and the Korean Conflict.
Bill was a jack of all trades. He built his log home at Birch Lake in Ely, loved hunting, fishing and being outdoors. He enjoyed playing cribbage and having a sip of brandy. Bill enjoyed spending time with his family and especially his grandchildren.

Wed
26
Nov

Rose Lassi, 92, of Ely, dies

Rose Caroline Lassi, 92, of Ely, recently of Carefree Living in Babbitt, passed away on Wednesday, Nov. 26. She was born April 12, 1922 in Ely to John and Mary (Poderzay) Omerza.
She was a lifelong Ely resident and a member of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church.
She is survived by her children: Richard (Jeannette) Lassi, Maple Grove; Thomas (Lucy) Lassi, Babbitt; Roseann Lekatz, St. Michael; Harold (Sue) Lassi, Duluth; grandchildren: Brent Lassi, Brandi (Andy) Merfeld, Jeannette (Lee) Newton, Nancy (Pat) Orcutt, Scott Lekatz, Keith (Elizabeth) Lekatz, Jeffrey (Mindi) Lekatz, Sarah Lekatz (Austin Sargent), Candy (Jevon) Moore, Jodi Godinez, Jamie Aker and Sue (Brian) Lund; great grandchildren: Camdree, Kali, Cody, Samantha, Tiarra, Kloey, Kali-Kay, Kurtis, Shaelin, Kieran, Waylon, Josie, Luke, Jeylin, Zoe, Ivan, Sydney, Camden and Megan; and great-great granddaughter Macie Jo.

Wed
26
Nov

JoAnn Merlyn Bradley, 84, dies

JoAnn Merlyn Bradley, 84, of Duluth, passed away on Monday, Nov. 17 at Edgewood Vista after a courageous seven month battle against breast cancer. She is survived by three daughters including Leslie (Bob) Hamilton of Ely and five grandchildren including Ryan and Kyle Kratt of Ely. Services were held Wednesday, Nov. 26 in the Faith Baptist Church in Hermantown.

Tue
25
Nov

Gene Hartfield, 102, of Babbitt, dies

Gene Rae Hartfield, 102, died peacefully at the Boundary Waters Care Center in Ely, Minnesota, on November 24, 2014.
She was born on February 27, 1912, in St. Francesville, Illinois, to Mike and Irene Lockman. Gene’s mother died soon after giving birth and Gene and her brother Don were raised by their grandparents who were tragically killed in a train accident when Gene was 13. Gene then went to live with her father and step-mother in Hammond, Indiana, where, years later, she would meet her husband of 67 years, Carl Hartfield.
Gene and Carl owned two businesses together: Hartfield’s Superette grocery store in Lansing, Illinois, and Wolf Lake Resort near Ely.
Gene was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Lansing, Illinois, First Lutheran Church in Ely, West Linn Lutheran Church in West Linn, Oregon, and Oak Knoll Lutheran Church in Minnetonka, Minnesota.

Mon
24
Nov

Sharon L. Johnson, 67, of Babbitt, dies

Sharon L. Johnson, 67, of Babbitt, passed away on Monday, November 24, 2014 at the Ely Bloomenson Community Hospital. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.

Mon
24
Nov

Ronald Mavetz, 78, of Ely, dies

Ronald Mavetz, 78, of Ely, passed away Monday, November 24, 2014 at the Boundary Waters Care Center in Ely.
Ron was born in Ely to Frank and Frances (Scufsa) Mavetz.  He worked for the Ely Post Office for 35 years, retiring as Postmaster. He served in the U.S.Army from 1959 to 1960. Ron was a member of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church and the Ely Kiwanis Club. He loved to hunt, fish, travel and spend time with his family.
He is survived by his wife Mary Jo (Lobe) Mavetz;  children: Kim (Doug) Sanders of El Dorado Hills, CA, and their children: Austin and Skyler Sanders; Ron (Carol) Mavetz Jr. of Eagan, MN, and their child: Brady Mavetz;  Mike (Kelly) Mavetz of Lino Lakes, MN and their children: Brooke, Morgan and Taylor Mavetz; and Connie Jo (Pat) Coughlin of Orono, MN and their children: McKenna, Rachel and Kate Coughlin; brother: Edward Mavetz of Chicago and sister: Julia Calhoun of Milwaukee.

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