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Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Obituaries: December 25, 2020

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Alice R. Niemi
Alice Ruth Lamppa Niemi was born on June 22, 1928, in Embarrass, Minn., and died 92 years, and 23 miles farther, on Dec. 19, 2020, in Virginia, Minn. A celebration of life will take place in her garden during the spring of 2021, and when we can all be together again. Memorials may be directed to Virgie Hegg Hospice Partners, PO Box 244, Cook, MN 55723. Funeral arrangements are by Ziemer-Moeglein-Shatava Funeral Home in Gilbert.
The family is forever grateful to the staff of Edgewood Vista, Essentia Hospice, Dr. Keith Peterson, and all of Alice’s nurses and caregivers these last few months. They were there when COVID wouldn’t let us be there. Christmas will be harder this year without the hand-knitted mittens, scarves, afghans, and quilted blankets she always gave for gifts. While Alice claimed there were too many things left unfinished, nothing about the love she gave her family was ever incomplete.
Alice lived in Embarrass for the first 72 years of her life, marrying her husband Leonard Niemi at the age of 19, and having three daughters, Berta, Barbie and Becky. She was part owner in Lamppa’s Store where she worked alongside her siblings, Ernie Lamppa, Alvin Lamppa and Bertha Niemi. Once she was at home, she could be found in her garden, watching and waiting to can all of the string beans, pickles, beets, and jams that her grandchildren, Tricia Shuck, Jeff Pike, Jason and AJ Hegg could stand to eat. She shared her love of gardening as an active member of the Embarrass Garden Club. Alice and Leonard moved to Virginia at the turn of the century, and she immediately planted apple trees, raspberry bushes, and vegetables in the backyard.
Alice enjoyed visiting with her great-grandchildren, Carissa Kurtti, Noah Shuck, Carter Hegg, Shaylene Pike, Anders and Levi Hegg. They never left without a knitted gift in their hands or a warm slice of Finnish biscuit in their belly.
After Leonard died in 2005, Alice remained an active member in Gethsemane Lutheran Church, Priscilla Circle, and the Fiber Arts Guild. She could be found on many early mornings with a magnifying glass and her beloved Hardanger, or packing up her latest quilt for Mission Sewing. Alice was a tough liberal Finn and proud of it. No discussion of politics, tarts, biscuit, or bread will ever be the same without her having the last word and sending you home with a jar of jam.
Alice is survived by her daughters, Berta and Barbie; grandchildren, Tricia, Jeff, Jason and AJ; great-grandchildren, Carissa Kurtti, Noah Shuck, Carter Hegg, Shaylene Pike, Anders and Levi Hegg; “in-laws” and handymen, David Pike and David Hegg, Scott Shuck, Angie Pike and Cara Hegg.
She was preceded in death by her daughter, Becky; husband, Leonard; parents, Axel and Minnie; and siblings, Ernie Lamppa, Alvin Lamppa and Bertha Niemi.

Stanley J. Bezek Jr., MD
Stanley J. Bezek Jr., MD, 73, of Ely, and Oro Valley, Ariz., formerly of Virginia, passed away on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020, at home, with family by his side after two years of treatment for pancreatic cancer. A celebration of life will be held in Minnesota in the summer of 2021 post COVID-19. Memorial contributions in Stan’s name may be sent to AEOA Senior Services Program, 702 3rd Ave. South, Virginia, MN 55792 or directly via phone at 218-735-6899.
He is survived by his loving and caring spouse, Carrie McDermott Bezek; children, Sarah (Jamal Dhaini) Bezek and grandchildren Laila and Leith of Houston, Texas, Sam (Laury) Bezek and grandchildren Elliana and Kaycee of Fairfield, Conn., Maggie (Charles) Spivey and grandchildren Clayton, Sienna and Samuel of Norfolk, Va., Emily (Nick) Andrisevic and grandchildren Isaac and Abigail of Scottsdale, Ariz., Hannah Bezek of Saint Paul and Molly Bezek of Dillon, Colo.; sister, Janice (Steve) Malin; uncles, Edward (Marian) Skalko and Bill Skalko; and many cousins, in-laws, nieces and nephews.

Darrell L. Anderson
Darrell Lee Anderson, 74, originally of Tower, died on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020, in New Brighton. As per the immediate family’s wishes, there will be no funeral services.
He is survived by his wife, Gail; daughter, Kimberly; stepdaughter, Jenny; four grandchildren; sister, Jill; and brother, Terry.

William R. Lamppa
William R. Lamppa, 92, of Embarrass, died on Friday, Dec. 12, 2020, at Essentia-St. Mary's Hospital in Duluth. Funeral arrangements are pending with Bauman-Vermilion, a Bauman Family Funeral Home in Tower.

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