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Robert "Jeep" LaTourell

Ely Echo - Staff Photo -

Robert “Jeep” LaTourell, died at the age of 89 at Ely Bloomenson Community Hospital surrounded by his family on January 21, 2024.

“Jeep”, as he was known by all, was born to Hollis and Mae LaTourelle in 1934.  On November 4, 1961 he married the love of his life, Naomi, and together they raised their three children, Bob Jr., Mindy, and Missy in Ely, Minnesota. Family was extremely important to him.  His grandchildren brought him so much joy and were a special part of his life.

Jeep will be remembered for his love of the outdoors.  Growing up in Winton, Minnesota, he started guiding at the age of ten with his father Hollis and spent many of his days fishing, hunting, trapping, camping and exploring the BWCA and Quetico Park.  He was a skilled outdoorsman who shared his knowledge with family, friends, and thousands of his resort and canoe trip customers at LaTourell’s Resort and previously when he was an owner of Wilderness Outfitters.   There were thousands more who were able to meet him when taking a ride across Prairie Portage or Four Mile Portage on his trailer or while taking a shuttle in his towboat.  Hopefully you were fortunate enough to talk and visit with him about his experiences, the old-timers he knew, and the history of the area.  He loved the area and wanted everyone to be able to enjoy it.

He cared deeply about his community.  He was a member of Grace Lutheran Church, a U.S. Army veteran, served on the Ely school board, and was always willing to help a friend or someone in need. He also was a huge supporter of all the Ely sports teams and enjoyed attending events throughout the years, especially those of his family.

He enjoyed adventure.  If it was racing snowmobiles on the ovals or the I-500 Winnipeg to St. Paul race, piloting a plane to a remote location to hunt or fish, or traveling with his wife across the U.S. in their motorhome, he was always up for an adventure.

Jeep will be missed.  There will be many “Jeep” stories that will be told for years.   His extraordinary strength, perseverance, and unique life experiences made him memorable.  He was a beloved husband, son, father, brother, grandfather, uncle, and friend.

He was preceded in death by his father Hollis, mother Mae, brother Dave, sister-in-law Janice, sister Tootsie Loe, brother-in-law Rod Loe, nephew Dave Jr., and nephew Nick Hueman.

He is survived by his wife Naomi; children Robert Jr. (Alison), Melinda (John Cawker), Melissa (Jeff MacKenzie) all of Ely; grandchildren Brock and Grace LaTourell, Zoe and Zac MacKenzie, sister Mary (Bob) Hueman and numerous nephews, nieces, and lifelong friends.

The family would like to thank the staff and doctors at Ely Bloomenson Community Hospital for taking such good care of Jeep during his recent hospitalization.

Funeral Services will be held at Grace Lutheran Church in Ely at 11:00 a.m. Monday, February 5th, 2024.  Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church starting at 10:00 a.m.  There will be a graveside service after the funeral at the Ely Cemetery.  Arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.


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