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Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Obituaries - Aug. 3, 2018

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Audrey I. Bakk

Audrey I. Schelde Bakk, 84, of Cook, passed away peacefully on Monday, July 23, 2018, at the Cook Hospital. Per Audrey’s wishes, a private graveside service will be held at the Cook Community Cemetery, where she will be laid to rest beside her beloved husband. The family wishes any memorials to be sent to the W.C. Heiam Hospital Foundation, https://heiamfoundation.org. Arrangements are with Mlaker Funeral Home of Cook.

Audrey was born at home on Oct. 10, 1933, in Linden Grove, to Ivar and Lillian (Eilola) Schelde. She grew up in the Cook area where she attended public school. She was united in marriage to Melvin A. Bakk on Oct. 3, 1953, in Cook. Sadly, Melvin passed away on Oct. 20, 2013.

Audrey was a devoted wife and mother, staying home to raise her children. She loved to cook and bake, and after her children were raised, her love of cooking led her to a lifetime career of serving others with her culinary talents. She worked as a cook at Camp Vermilion as well as the Cook Hospital and Cook School, where she remained for 23 years, spreading her joy of cooking to all the children she loved so dearly. In retirement she continued to cook at the Laurentian Environmental Learning Center. Audrey most enjoyed being with family and caregiving. She enjoyed spending time at the family cabin on Lake Vermilion and was a lifelong member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Cook.

Audrey is survived by a sister, Coralie (Pete) Hakala of Auburn, Wash.; brother, Martin Schelde of Columbia Heights; son, Senator Tom (Laura) Bakk of Lake Vermilion-Cook; daughter, Vicki Bakk of Blaine; four grandchildren, Michael Bakk of Mt. Iron, Mark (Andrea) Bakk of Saginaw, Elizabeth (Rory) Giorgi of Denver, Colo., and Adam Giorgi of Minneapolis; two step-grandchildren, Holly (Joel) Hassenzahl and Peter DeRose; four great-grandchildren, Benjamin, Cooper, Cassidy and Avery; three step-great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.

Audrey was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Melvin Bakk; two children, Timothy Bakk and Sara Bakk; and two sisters, Nancy Polman and Lillian Luepke.

George J. Rykyto

George J. Rykyto, 90, of Ely, passed away on Tuesday, July 31, 2018, at Boundary Waters Care Center in Ely. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 4 at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Ely, with visitation being held one hour prior to the service at the church. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.

Liam C. Wilson

Liam Christopher Wilson, 22, of Virginia, formerly of Minneapolis, passed away on Friday, July 27, 2018. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 4 at Mlaker Funeral Home in Cook. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service. Interment will be in the Leiding Cemetery, with lunch to follow at the Orr American Legion in Orr. Memorials to the family are preferred.

Liam loved his family, friends, hockey, and creating art and music. He was an avid sports fan and loved the Minnesota Wild and the Vikings. His siblings were especially dear to him and he also doted on and adored his nephew and niece. He loved his brothers and sisters deeply and the feeling was mutual. He always stood up for the underdog. He shared his creativity with everyone by writing, sharing and recording rap songs with deep emotional expression. These expressions were his gift of light to us. Liam was a unique young man with a tender heart, a ready smile and great charm. The multitude of heartfelt expressions of grief at his passing is a testament to the effect he had on so many people.

Liam was a son, brother, grandson, nephew, and friend who lives on in our hearts and memories. Our family is experiencing irreconcilable grief for the loss of Liam so early in his life. Liam was a beautiful young man who appreciated the beauty of life and the beauty in art, nature, fashion, friendship and music. When you feel a sense of beauty, creativity, a sense of humor or a kind-hearted action, you are experiencing the spirit of our beloved Liam, a young man who was taken too soon.

Liam is survived by his parents, Jesselynn Lee and Robert Wilson; siblings, Rachel, Nicholas, Erinn, Tyler and Gabriel; Rachel’s children, Robert and Rhea; grandparents, Marjory (Michael) Wood and Robert (Randi) Lee; aunts, uncles, cousins and many friends.

He was preceded in death by his uncles, Casey and Trevor Wilson.

Charles Mistek

Charles Mistek, 82, of Ely, passed away on Jan. 14, 2018, at Essentia-St. Mary’s Hospital in Duluth. A Celebration of Life will be held at the family cabin on the Echo Trail in Ely at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 4. Arrangements are entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.

He is survived by his wife, Jackie Pecore Mistek of Ely; daughters, Toni (Kevin) Fischer of North Mankato, Amy Fontenot of San Antonio, Texas, and Betsy Mistek of Duluth; grandchildren, Nick (Stephanie) Fischer and Mollie Fischer; great-grandson, Beau Fischer; sister, Gloria (John) Seliga of Ely; and many more family members and friends.

Allona E. Nelson

Allona E. Nelson passed away on Monday, July 30, 2018, surrounded by family and friends. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 4 at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Virginia.

She is survived by her husband of 44 years, Edwin Nelson Jr. of Embarrass; children, Donice (Nathan) Haeuser, Ardin (Peggy) Nelson, Deannda Nelson and Drenelle (Marco) Trevino; granddaughters, Cara Anne and Stacy Mae Haeuser; her mother and siblings.

Bayard T. French, M.D.

Bayard T. French, M.D., 92, formerly of Hibbing and Lake Vermilion-Tower, passed away peacefully on Thursday, July 26, 2018, at Hope Hospice House in Cape Coral, Fla. A celebration of Bayard’s life will be held on Saturday, Oct. 27 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Androy Hotel, 502 E Howard St. in Hibbing. Memorials in lieu of flowers can be sent to Hope Hospice House, 2430 Diplomat Pkwy. E, Cape Coral, FL 33909; Minnesota Public Radio, 480 Cedar St., St. Paul, MN 55101; or Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, 671 Vandalia St., St. Paul, MN 55114. Cards can be sent to the French Family, c/o Nelson T. French, 5418 Rocky Wall Rd., Silver Bay, MN 55614.

Bayard was born in Des Moines, Iowa, on Aug. 14, 1925. He was raised in Des Moines and graduated from Roosevelt High School. After serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, he graduated from Grinnell College. While at Grinnell, he met Barbara Wetherell, with whom he shared a marriage of 54 years until her death in 2004. Bayard received his MD degree from the University of Iowa Medical School, completed his medical residency at St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth, and practiced family medicine at the Adams Clinic in Hibbing for 37 years.

Bayard was active in the medical community in Hibbing and provided cradle-to-grave medical care for his patients. He practiced medicine in an era where early-morning and late-night house calls were routine, and he often accepted knitted mittens or a loaf of potica as payment from patients who could not afford their medical bills. He received the most joy from his practice of obstetric medicine. He assisted in the delivery of thousands of infants over the years, and a generation later delivered the babies of those babies. To ensure that people in northern Minnesota had access to excellence in medical care, he participated in the development of the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth Campus, which was founded in 1972 to serve the needs of rural Minnesota and Native American communities. As a clinical professor in the Department of Family Practice at the University of Minnesota, he provided scores of medical students, interns, and residents with experiences in family practice and rural medicine. For these efforts he received the John E. Verby Award for Meritorious Teaching from the University of Minnesota in 1987.

Bayard’s medical practice also focused on end-of-life medical care and he served as the medical director for Hillcrest Nursing Home in Hibbing. In 1983, he and Barbara spent time in England on a Bush Foundation Fellowship to study hospice and palliative medical care. Armed with this knowledge, he helped establish the North Star Hospice (Fairview Range Homecare and Hospice) in Hibbing in 1984, where he served as the first medical director and a member of the Board of Directors for a decade. Bayard also contributed his time and talent as a member and leader for many health organizations including the Mesabi Range Medical Center, the LEE Center, the Minnesota Medical Association, the Minnesota Academy of Family Practice, and the Range Medical Society.

Bayard was equally passionate about the social, economic, and cultural development of Hibbing and the Iron Range. He was a community leader and very active with the Hibbing Chamber of Commerce, serving as President in 1982, where he was a strong proponent of expanding and diversifying the economic base beyond the mining industry. He participated in other community organizations including Community Concerts, Hibbing Rotary, United Way of Northeast Minnesota and Winter Frolic. In the 1977 Winter Frolic he was named Titan of Taconite. He and Barbara were connoisseurs of both sacred and secular pipe organ music and supported the renovation of the historic Barton organ in the Hibbing High School auditorium. They were also active supporters of Minnesota Public Radio and worked with others to establish WIRN/WIRR in Buhl to make public radio available to listeners on the Iron Range. Bayard was a member and Elder in the First Presbyterian Church in Hibbing.

Bayard’s favorite place in the world was Lake Vermilion in northern Minnesota, which he first visited in 1930 when he was five years old. He returned to the lake every summer through 2016. He enjoyed boating, canoeing, fishing and sailing. He introduced family and friends to the many bays, coves, islands, and inlets of Lake Vermilion, and shared his encyclopedic knowledge of the lake’s history with all. In 1999, he spearheaded the formation of the Birch Point Interior Association, dedicated to the long-term protection of 80 acres of unique forest on Birch Point. Bayard served on the Board of Directors and led the organization in several terms as Chair of the Board.

Bayard loved traveling, and his trips took him to England, Europe, and Brazil, and many states in the U.S., including a 1994 bucket-list trip navigating the Erie Canal with Barbara in their boat the Hunky Dory.

Bayard is survived by his four sons, Nelson (Marilyn) of Silver Bay, Jeffrey (Mary Lincoln) of Omaha, Neb., Gregg (Donna) of Hibbing and Russell (Amy Core) of Orlando, Fla.; eight grandchildren, Jessica, Cary, Bryan, Chantelle, Andy, Aaron, Taylor and Anna; 14 great-grandchildren; and his companion for eight years, Carol Townsend.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Barbara; parents, Leslie and Carrie French; and four sisters, Elizabeth, Catherine, Louise and Cidney. He was also preceded in death by the canine love of his life, Precious.

Conrad J. Rones

Conrad Joseph Rones, 79, of Soudan, entered into rest at St. Mary’s in Duluth on Tuesday, July 31, 2018. A Celebration of Life will be held at McKinley Park Campground at a later date.

Conrad was born on June 6, 1939, to Abraham and Martha (Peterson) Rones in Virginia and grew up in the Tower-Soudan area. He worked for many years as a supervisor for Alber’s Sheet Metal in Minneapolis. It was there he met his wife, Celesta “Pete”, whom he married in 1991. Upon his retirement from Alber’s, Conrad and Pete moved back to Soudan, where he enjoyed working for Breitung Township as a Supervisor. He considered his greatest accomplishments to be the things done within the community. His favorite things to do included hunting and fishing with his best friends, John Salo and Bob Puglesa; watching the Tower-Soudan Golden Eagles sporting teams with his daughter, Chyenne; visiting at McKinley Park Campground; and checking on the happenings in town.

Conrad is survived by his wife, Celesta; daughters, Kelly (Dan) and Chyenne (James Andrew); sons, John (Esther), Harry and David; eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brother and sister.

Scott M. Hanson

Scott Michael Hanson, 55, of Eveleth, died unexpectedly on Thursday, July 26, 2018, at the University of Minnesota Cardiac Care Center surrounded by family. A Memorial Gathering and Celebration of Life were held on Friday, Aug. 3 in the Leonidas Community Center in Leonidas-West Eveleth.

Scott is survived by his loving wife, AnnMarie, sons, Tanner and Brock, and daughter, Baylee, all of Eveleth; parents, Alvin and Sandy Hanson of Embarrass; brothers, Todd (Mary Jo) Hanson of Two Harbors and Chad Hanson of Chandler, Texas; sisters, Kristie (Joe) Bissonette of Mt. Iron and Kari (Corey) Anderson of Coon Rapids; father- and mother-in-law, Richard and Suzie Maddern of Eveleth; brothers-in-law, Jim (Kris) Maddern of Victoria and Joseph Maddern of Ft. Myers, Fla.; sister-in-law, G’na (Johnny) Tuomala of West Eveleth; and many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.

Edith Uppman

Edith Pearson Uppman, 102, of Virginia, formerly a longtime resident of Babbitt, died on Tuesday, July 24, 2018, at the Virginia Convalescent Center. A Celebration of Life will be held at 12 noon on Saturday, Aug. 4 at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Babbitt. A gathering time for family and friends will begin at 11 a.m. Family services are provided by Bauman Vermilion, a Bauman Family Funeral Home in Tower.

She is survived by her children, Doreen (Nathan) Lundgren of Brainerd, Carolyn (Bill) Surla of Duluth, Phyllis (Fabrice) Florin of Mill Valley, Calif., Marge (Tony) Bartovich of Eveleth and Andrew Uppman of Maple Grove; 13 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; four great-great grandchildren; and many, many nieces and nephews.

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