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Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Obituaries - Dec. 14, 2018


Patricia Olson

Patricia “Patsy” Olson, 93, a longtime resident of Tower, died on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018, at St. Michael’s Health and Rehabilitation Center in Virginia. She went home to be with Jesus. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15 in Immanuel Lutheran Church in Tower with Pastor Liz Cheney officiating. Visitation will begin one hour prior to the service at the church. Spring interment will take place in Lakeview Cemetery in Tower. Family services provided by Bauman-Vermilion, a Bauman Family Funeral Home in Tower. 

Patsy was born on Aug. 17, 1925, in Tower, the daughter of Jimmy and Jennie Peyla; she graduated from Tower-Soudan High School in the class of 1943. Patsy met the love of her life at her father’s Arrowhead Garage, where she regularly gassed up Elton Olson’s Bridgeman-Russell delivery truck. They were united in marriage on June 25, 1949, at Grace Lutheran Church in Ely and made their home in Tower. She was an active member of Immanuel Lutheran Church, serving in the Lutheran Church Women, teaching Sunday School and release time for school-age children, singing in the church choir, and was a member of the Tower-Soudan Community Choir.

She was a member of the Homecraft Club and the Tower Women’s Civic Improvement Club. Her favorite was the “Birthday Club”, a group of close friends who met at each other’s homes to celebrate their birthdays and their friendship. Pasty’s passion and ministry was baking, which she so lovingly did for her family, friends, and needy families in the community. Patsy and Elton looked forward to their many trips to California to visit daughter Sally and family, making stops along the way to see other relatives and old friends. Most of all, Patsy thoroughly enjoyed her calling of homemaker, and it was obvious how well she took care of her family. Julie and Sally were blessed to grow up in such a loving, Christian home.

Patsy is survived by her daughters, Julie (Darwin) Mickle of Tower and Sally (Gene) Averill of Woodland, Calif.; grandchildren, Jennie (Jeff) Erickson of Hoyt Lakes, Patrick (Katie) Mickle of Tower, Michael (Kristin) Jakes of Roseville, Calif., and Savannah (Scott) Matthews of Woodland, Calif.; great-grandchildren, Dylan Erickson, Austin Erickson, Tristan Erickson, Cole Erickson, Troy Matthews, Paul Matthews, Faith Mickle, Jude Matthews and Hunter Jakes; extended family and a host of friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband of 55 years, Elton; brother, Jim “Sonny” Peyla; and grandson, Luke Jakes.

Loretta Hendrickson

Loretta Hendrickson, 85, longtime Tower resident, died on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018, at Diamond Willow Assisted Living in Mt. Iron. She passed away peacefully, with her loving family by her side, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. Private family services will be held at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Soudan with Pastor Liz Cheney officiating. Arrangements are with Landmark Funeral Home in Virginia.

She was born on April 30, 1933, in Ely, the daughter of George and Viola (Tanttari) Maki. She grew up in Ely, graduating from Ely Memorial High School in 1951. Loretta was united in marriage to Paul Hendrickson on Feb. 14, 1952. The young couple lived in Winton and Ely until 1955, when they moved to Tower to live in the new home Paul had built for his family. They resided there until Paul’s death in 2012, after which time Loretta lived in Golden Horizons in Tower. She moved to Diamond Willow in Mt. Iron in June 2017 to be closer to her family.

Loretta was a dedicated homemaker, raising five children, and sewing for her four daughters. She was an active and devoted member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Soudan, the Tower Homecraft Club, and she sang with several choirs and choral groups on the Iron Range. Her greatest joy came with being a wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. The loving example she set for her family is a legacy.

Loretta will be greatly missed by her five children, Donna (David) Manos of Hermantown, Gail (Dana) Waldron of Virginia, Beth (Michael) Grahek of Mt. Iron, Karen (Rick Newton) Wellander of Soudan and Gary (Sharon) Hendrickson of Blaine; 12 grandchildren, Danette (Lance) Seboe, Jeremy (Jen) Waldron, Christopher (Carrie Ann) Manos, Gina (Mike) Hill, Amber (Andy) Salmela, Nicole (Chris) Strahm, Ashley (Justin) Morken, Heather (Kenny) Larson, Adam (Christina) Grahek, Ryan Hendrickson, Whitney Hendrickson and Shawna (Ben Hodgkins) Wellander; 18 great-grandchildren and a new great-granddaughter expected in January 2019; brother, Jack Maki of Glendale, Ariz.; sister, Vivian (Aaron) Northey-Glenn of Shoreview; numerous nieces, nephews, and faithful friends.

She was preceded in death by her loving husband of 60 years, Paul; parents, George and Viola Maki; sister, Lois Markun; brother, Clinton Maki; and son-in-law, Michael Wellander.

Nickolas Przybylski

Nickolas Przybylski, 85, of Ely, passed away peacefully on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, at the Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital surrounded by his family. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15 at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Ely. Visitation will be for one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will be at a later date in the Ely Cemetery. Arrangements are with Landmark Funeral Home in Virginia.

He is survived by his loving wife, Carol, his best friend of 66 years; children, Linda (Jim) Frisell, Nikki (Ed) Seliskar, Kevin (Sherry Renfro-Miron) Przybylski, Bob Przybylski, Barry (Nancy) Przybylski, Connie (Charlie) Thompson and Todd Przybylski; grandchildren, Brendon (Laura Holter) Zorman, Jere (LaVerne) Murphy and Keith (Kari Lekatz) Zorman; Bryan (Lisa) Seliskar and Jake (Melissa) Seliskar; Nick Przybylski and Lindsay Przybylski; Billy (Amanda Madigan) Przybylski, Ean (Samantha) Przybylski and Anna Przybylski; Zack Przybylski and Alex Przybylski; and Austin (Linzie) Przybylski; three great-granddaughters and eight great-grandsons; brothers, Alex Przybylski and Dan (Donna) Przybylski; sisters-in-law, Susie, Eunice and Shirley; and numerous nieces and nephews.

John N. Viken

John Norman Viken, 85, of Ely, passed away on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018, in the loving arms of his family at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Silver Bay, after a long goodbye due to Alzheimer’s disease. A celebration of John’s life will be held at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15 at The Front Porch Coffee & Tea Co. in Ely. The Front Porch was a great source of inspiration and fellowship for John. A tremendous thank you to Doug and Nancy, who treated him like family. A gathering will also be held in the Minneapolis area at a later date to be announced in the near future.

John’s family would like to give a heartfelt thank you to all the compassionate caregivers working at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Silver Bay. Their highly skilled, attentive, and loving care for John and all the other veterans living there was a great source of comfort.

The family would also like to thank David Wiley of Ely for the care he provided John. He was a tremendous source of support for Judy as she continued to care for John at home as long as possible.

The family would also like to thank Northwoods Partners, Lisa Porthan, and the entire Ely community for their support of John and Judy, for helping to make Ely more Alzheimer’s- and dementia-friendly.

Memorials in John’s memory may be made to one of the following organizations, Alzheimer’s Association (, Northwoods Partners in Ely (, or The Spiritwood Foundation in Ely (

John was born Norman John Viken Jr. on March 22, 1933, in St. Paul, to Norman and Loraine Viken. He was a protective big brother to his two younger sisters, Cindy and Sandra. John enjoyed hanging out with the “neighborhood gang” of lifelong friends. He started following in his father’s professional photography footsteps as the photographer for the school newspaper and yearbook, graduating in 1951 from Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis.

John graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1953 with an Associate’s Degree, before joining the United States Army. He served his country in a guided missile brigade during the Cold War and was stationed in Germany for the majority of his service.

Afterwards, he attended Macalester College and graduated in 1958 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. John and Judy Sherwood were united in marriage on Dec. 30, 1961, in Fargo, N.D. They settled in New Hope, a suburb of Minneapolis, where they raised their two sons, Eric and Kevin. John worked for IBM as a salesman and as a stockbroker for Reynolds & Co. before finding his true passion as an entrepreneur. He first opened a small photo store in downtown St. Paul, before starting up Photo Fast, a high-quality photo-finishing lab in Golden Valley. His other business ventures were Passport Pictures, Photo First (hospital baby pictures), portrait photography, and Wrap-it Up (packaging and shipping store). He finished out his career managing the Summit Equipment photo equipment brokering company.

John was always interested in and an early adopter of technology as evidenced by being ahead of the curve on computers, early cellular car bag phones, hybrid and electric cars. John enjoyed spending time with his family at the lake, on road trips, car camping, ski trips, and taking his sons on fishing trips. He was a Vikings fan.

Construction was one of John’s passions! He reveled in generating ideas and following them through to fruition. He completed endless projects on his businesses, and on the family home in New Hope. He especially enjoyed building and working on their retirement home, and completed this project with the help of skilled Ely contractors and his sons. He delighted in observing, photographing and discussing construction projects. He regaled those around him with his infectious sense of humor. He loved music and was a wonderful dancer.

In 1998 John retired and moved full time to Ely, joining Judy, who had retired two years earlier. John volunteered and contributed to the establishment of the North American Bear Center. He and Judy enjoyed the active Ely community and its close connection to the outdoors and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. John drove into town daily to buy the newspaper, survey the goings-on, do some shopping, and ultimately stop by his favorite community gathering spot, The Front Porch coffee shop. There he loved to chat with fellow patrons and read the paper. Copious amounts of coffee and food were enjoyed by John over the years at The Front Porch.

John is survived by his wife of 56 years, Judy; sons, Eric Viken (Elizabeth Raduege) of Duluth and Kevin (Julie) of Roseville; grandson, Jonathan Viken of Duluth; sisters, Cindy (Quentin) Brinkworth and Sandra (Darlys) Every; and many nieces, nephews and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Norman John Viken Sr. and Loraine (Zimbrick) Viken.


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