Obituaries

Sat
21
Sep

Earl Ahlstrand of Ely

Earl Ahlstrand of Ely passed away at his home September 20, 2019 surrounded by family. Survived by his wife Georgann (Sterner) Ahlstrand, five daughters, Roxanne (Ron) Perttula, Brenda (Gary) Pieper of Pinopolis, South Carolina, Shelly Bach, La-Rae Olson, Lisa (Barry) Burton of Hibbing. Two sisters Dorthy (Eugene) Maki and Betty Mather (Tony) Erner. One brother Bill (Lillian Ahlstrand). Nine Grandchildren and 7 Great grandchildren. Earl was born in Ely to Herman and Gertrude (Bird) Ahlstrand. Preceded in death by his parents, one brother Herman Jr., one grandchild Amber Pasanen, and one great grandchild Austin Driggers.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, September 28, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. at Kerntz Funeral Home with a gathering of family and friends taking place one hour prior to the service. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.

Sat
21
Sep

Erling D. Kirkman, 87, of Ely

Erling D. Kirkman, 87, of Ely passed away peacefully with family by his side on September 21, 2019. Born May 21, 1932 to Roy and Arlette (Nelson) Kirkman in Virginia, MN, Erling married Myrna Mae Martell of Ely in 1952. Together they made their home in Virginia and raised 4 children.

Erling (Kirk) was employed by the Mesabi Daily News for 44 years, after which he and Myrna retired to the family homestead near Ely.

He is survived by children David (JoAnn) Kirkman, Daniel Kirkman, Kristi (Dan) Kure, and Martyn Kirkman, six grandchildren, sisters Diane Kirkman and Darlene Greiner, along with many nieces, nephews and friends.

Erling was preceded in death by infant twin daughters, his parents, a brother, wife Myrna and grandson David W. Kure.

At his request, no formal service will be held. A celebration of his life will be held at a later date.

He is loved and will be missed by many.

Wed
18
Sep

Stanley R. Olson of Big Lake, MN

Stanley R. Olson of Big Lake, MN died on September 15, 2019.
Stanley was born May 9, 1927 to the late Eno and Myrtle Quam Olson in Duluth, MN. Stanley married Phyllis Lorraine Hutchinson on May 23, 1948 in the Goodridge area of Minnesota. He started his working career as a farmer but switched to a self- employed logger in 1949.
Stanley enjoyed woodworking, his saw mill, working on machinery, cutting trees and almost anything related to the logging and timber industry.
Stanley is survived by his wife, Lorraine; sons Allen Olson, Arlen Olson, Neil (Terri) Olson of Ely and daughter Sheryl Olson-Johnson; sister Barbara (Jerry) Fletcher; five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Stanley was preceded in death by his parents, son Randy, brother Kenneth Olson, sister Mabel Paulson and son-law Greg Johnson.

Wed
18
Sep

Hans C. Smith, Ely, Minnesota, age 55.

HANS SMITH (55) Hans was born April 2, 1964 to Paul and Patricia Smith in Medford, Oregon. He died due to an accident while removing a fallen tree from a roof near Eagles Nest Lake during the storm of September 17th.
Hans and his brother Erik grew up in Ely with their youth spent canoeing, x-c skiing the lakes and backpacking various mountains out West. When seventeen Hans worked for several years as a cowboy on ranches in Montana and Nebraska. He worked at various fire jobs on the Superior National Forest before becoming a smokejumper for ten years at Missoula, Montana and West Yellowstone, Montana. Then he transferred to Alaska for several years of fire duties at Tok and McGrath. He finally returned to Ely to open his own business of tree work and also worked at national fire overhead teams in the western states.

Tue
17
Sep

Alberta S. Olson, age 100

Funeral arrangements for Alberta S. Olson, 100, of Ely, are pending with Landmark Funeral Home in Virginia. She passed away Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019 at her home.

Thu
12
Sep

Harold Chilson, 69, of Ely

Harold Chilson, 69, of Ely, passed away on Thursday, September 12, 2019 at his residence.
Harold “Harry” Chilson was born on April 6, 1950 in Austin, Minnesota, which may account for the fact that he was the only one in his family that liked Spam.
He grew up in Tioga, North Dakota and spent his teens in Biwabik, Minnesota where he learned to love cars, racing and a certain girl from Hoyt Lakes.
After his service during the Viet Nam War, he came back to the Iron Range and reunited with the girl who would become the love of his life, Sandra.
Harry is survived by a cat who misses him, Shawn and Eric, his sons, and that love of his life.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Hartvic Chilson and Doris Chilson, and sister LaVonne (John) Goodman.
Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.

Tue
10
Sep

Marilynn Elizabeth Pelkey, age 78, of Babbitt

Marilynn Elizabeth Pelkey, age 78, of Babbitt, passed away September 6, 2019 at Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital in Ely, MN surrounded by her loved ones.
She was born September 14, 1940 in Prince George, British Columbia, Canada to Rev. William and Elizabeth (Knack) Krueger, the oldest daughter of four children.
She was married December 5, 1959 in Marble, MN to Clarence E. Pelkey of Pengilly, MN. To this union, four children were blessed: Mark, Sheree, Susan and Kay.

Thu
05
Sep

Edwin Nilsen “Ed”, 80

Edwin Nilsen “Ed”, 80 of Watertown passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, September 4, 2019 with his family by his side.
Ed was born on February 20, 1939 in Bergen, Norway the son of Ole and Ruth Nilsen. Ed married the love of his life Mary Kotchevar on July 22, 1961 in Ely, Minnesota and the couple enjoyed 58 years of marriage. He proudly served our country in the U.S. Marine Corps for 3 years. Ed worked most of his life as an industrial engineer for multiple companies and was a member of St. Bernard’s Catholic Church in Watertown. In Ed’s free time he enjoyed golfing, working on crossword puzzles, watching a good war movie, and was well known for his jokes and stories. Above all he enjoyed spending time with his family and friends; he will be dearly missed by those who were blessed to have known him.

Thu
05
Sep

Laurence “Larry” Smith, 82

Laurence McLaughlin Smith, 82, of Coralville died of cardiac failure on Monday, August 26, 2019, at the University of Iowa Hospital.
Laurence “Larry” Smith was born October 2, 1936, in Nevada, Iowa, the son of Laurence and Helen (Gottschalk) Smith. Growing up in Coon Rapids with his younger sister Nancy, Larry was “bright and cute as a button.” He played basketball and worked in an ice cream parlor during high school.

Sat
31
Aug

James J. Mehle Sr., 76

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James J. Mehle Sr., 76, of Hibbing passed away surrounded by family on Thursday, August 22, 2019 at Fairview Range Medical Center. He was born on December 18, 1942 to John and Frances (Mikolich) Mehle in Ely. He was a 1961 graduate of the Ely Memorial High School. After graduating, Jim served in the U.S. Army as Sergeant and was once stationed in Germany. While on leave, he had the opportunity to visit relatives and the ancestral family home of his grandfather, Johan, in Slovenia. Jim had a 33-year career with Eveleth Taconite and retired in 1998. Jim was united in marriage to Donna Mehle on May 9, 1999.

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