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Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Obituaries - Aug. 17, 2018


Harold L. Fuson

Harold L. Fuson, 77, of Soudan, passed away at his home on Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018. A Celebration of Life for Hal will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 18 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Tower with Pastor Liz Cheney officiating. A gathering of family and friends will be for one hour prior to the service at the church. Arrangements are with Landmark Funeral Home of Virginia.

Harold was born on Aug. 2, 1941, in Decatur, Ill., the son of Harold and Sally (Beverlin) Fuson. He was raised in Decatur, where he graduated from Eisenhower High School in 1959. In 1960, he enlisted in the United States Air Force, where he met his future wife. He was united in marriage to Kathryn A. Folstad on Feb. 29, 1968, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Soudan. He served as a personnel supervisor in Omaha, Neb.; Guam;and Grand Forks, N.D., until 1981. After retirement, he worked as a loan officer in the First Liberty Federal Credit Union at the Grand Forks Air Force Base, until moving to Proctor in 1994. In 2002, they moved to Soudan where they had since resided.

Harold enjoyed fishing, hunting and spending time on the computer. He was a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church of Tower and a past member of Nelson-Jackson Post 245 of the American Legion of Tower-Soudan.

Harold is survived by his devoted wife of fifty years, Kathy Fuson of Soudan; daughters, Lorrie (Robert) Verplaetse of Iowa City, Iowa, Julie Wilkerson, of Platte City, Mo., and Tammie Fuson-Schafer (Tamara Schafer) of Mayville, N.D.; nine grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; dog, Annie; and extended family.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Harold and Sally Fuson.

Alan R. Zika

Alan Robert Zika, of Orr, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend, passed away peacefully at home on Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018, with family at his side, after a short battle with cancer. At the request of the deceased, there will be no memorial or funeral services. In lieu of flowers/gifts, if anyone would prefer, please donate to St. Mary’s Hospice East Range Team, 901 9th St. N, Medical Building, Suite 215, Virginia, MN 55792.

He was born on April 3, 1936, in St. Paul, to Alfred and Bernice (Briggs) Zika, and moved to Orr in 1946. Alan married Kay Donnell on Feb. 10, 1956, and they resided in Orr their entire 62 years of marriage together.

Alan is survived by his wife, Kay; sister, Bernice Fenne; children, Bob (Leigh) Zika, Dan (Laura) Zika, Joe (Cindy) Zika, Elaine (Ed) Lake, Wendy Zika, Mary Zika and Jean (Pat) Tuomala; 15 grandchildren; 24 great-grandchildren; one great-great-granddaughter; and numerous nieces and nephews. Alan always said, “I’m the richest man in the world.”

He was preceded in death by his parents; son, Peter; brother, Larry; and great-granddaughter, Mariah.

Janet M. Aker

Janet Mary Aker, 88, of Orr, passed away on Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, with her loving family by her side. A Celebration of Life and family gathering will be held at a later date and will be announced when finalized. Arrangements are with Mlaker Funeral Home of Cook.

Janet was born on Aug. 9, 1930, to John and Albina (Perslicka) Schanus in New Prague. Janet moved several times with her family as her father was enlisted in the United States Army. The family lived in Fort Smith, Ark., and Austin, Isle, Orr, New Prague and Onamia, Minn. She graduated from high school in 1949.

Janet was a talented painter and she painted many outdoor and wildlife scenes on saws and paddles. She enjoyed going to craft shows to sell her wares. Janet loved being on the lake, especially Lac La Croix. Other hobbies she enjoyed were blueberry picking, walking in the woods, and spending time with family at her cherished log cabin home. Janet was passionate about reading, studying, and researching things she didn’t know. She never stopped learning until her death. She will be dearly missed.

She is survived by her four children, Michael Aker (Diane DeBella) of Akeley, James (Robin) Aker of Orr, Patrick (Angelene) Aker of Orr and Jan Aker Matson of Crane Lake; grandchildren, Ryan and Courtney Aker; and great-grandchild, Kaitlin Aker

Janet was preceded in death by her parents; husband, James; and son, Roy Aker.

Kenneth M. Evenstad

Kenneth M. Evenstad, 78, of Babbitt, passed away on Monday, Aug. 13, 2018, at his residence. A Funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, Aug. 18 at 11 a.m. at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Babbitt with visitation being held at the church one hour prior to the service. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.

Melissa M. Helf

Melissa Mary Helf, 45, of Aurora, passed away on Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, at Essentia Health St. Mary’s in Duluth. A funeral service was held on Thursday, Aug. 16 at Range Funeral Home in Virginia with Donovan Goblirsch officiating. Burial was at the Waasa Cemetery. Arrangements were with Range Funeral Home in Virginia.

She is survived by her father, Daniel (Carol) Helf; brother, Brian Helf; niece, Tiffany (John) Zuponcic; grandnieces, Ciani, Cynthia and Cecilia Zuponcic; and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Marydel I. Marolt

Marydel I. Warren Marolt, 90, of Babbitt, a lifelong resident of the Iron Range, died on Friday, Aug. 10, 2018. She passed away peacefully with family by her side. Funeral services were held on Tuesday, Aug. 14 at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Babbitt. Arrangements were entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.

She is survived by her sons, Clifford (Marilyn) of Rochester, Warren (Janice) of Virginia, David (Carla) of Austin, Texas, and Peter of San Antonio, Texas; daughter, Rosemary (Gary) of Greenfield, Ind.; brother, Bruce Warren of San Antonio, Texas; 10 grandchildren;12 great-grandchildren and the 13th great-grandchild within days.

Dr. Stephen L. Towle

Dr. Stephen “Steve” Lewis Towle, 75, of Cook, beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend, passed away on Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018. In true Towleski tradition, a celebration of Steve’s life was held at the Cook Airport on Monday, Aug. 13. There was a short ceremony and sharing of stories and laughter. Attire was fun casual. Memorials are preferred to the Lake Vermilion Fire Brigade,, the W.C. Heiam Foundation,, or take yourself to dinner with a loved one. Arrangements were with Mlaker Funeral Home of Cook.

He is survived by Pam and family.

Ellen M. Bane

Ellen Mirium Korpela Papin Bane, 88, of Virginia, died on Monday, Aug. 6, 2018, at St. Michael’s Health and Rehabilitation Center in Virginia. A Celebration of Life service was held on Tuesday, Aug. 14 at Bauman-Cron Funeral Home Chapel with Pastor Joel Hasz officiating. Inurnment will take place at a later date. Family services were provided by Bauman-Cron, a Bauman Family Funeral Home in Virginia.

She is survived by her children, David Papin of Virginia, DeEtta (Mel) Annala of Gilbert and Michael Bane of Virginia; sister, Leona Taapa of Embarrass; sister-in-law, Shirley Korpela of Virginia; grandchildren, Jesse (Kelli), Jeremey, Sam (Jill), Jenn, Michael (Angela), Ryan, Derek and Sarah; great-grandchildren, Preslie, Cooper, Addison, Julia, Bryce and Franklin; and extended family and friends.

John A. Ableman

John Alan Ableman, 91, of Virginia, passed away on Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Duluth. A Funeral Liturgy was held on Thursday, Aug. 16 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Cook. Interment was at St. Bridget’s Cemetery in Greaney, with Military Honors accorded by the Orr American Legion Honor Guard 480 and Cook VFW Post 1757. Arrangements were with Mlaker Funeral Home of Cook.


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