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Obituaries - Feb 22, 2019

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Orvis B. Sunsdahl

Orvis B. Sunsdahl, 80, of Soudan, passed away on Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, in Tower. A Celebration of Life for Orvis will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 2 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. Spring burial will be in Lakeview Cemetery in Tower. Arrangements are with Landmark Funeral Home of Virginia.

Orvis was born on the family farm in Highlanding Township on May 28, 1938, the son of Emanuel and Frances (Hruby) Sunsdahl. He was raised as a child in Goodridge and moved to Calumet for several years before moving to Soudan, where he had since resided. He attended the local schools, graduating from Tower-Soudan High School in 1957. He was united in marriage to Agnes “Penny” Pechek on Aug. 16, 1958, at St. Martin’s Catholic Church in Tower.

Orvis worked as a production truck driver for Reserve Mining Company in Babbitt for 27 years. After the closing of Reserve, he managed the Tower Auto Parts store for 15 years before retiring. He was an avid hunter, fisherman and trapper. He was a great mechanic who could fix anything. He liked to tinker and always had some project going. He was always willing to help anyone. He especially loved spending time with his family and will be greatly missed.

Orvis was a past and active member of the Tower Lions Club for many years. He was also a union steward for the United Steelworkers of America Local 4757 of Babbitt.

He is survived by his wife of over 60 years, Penny Sunsdahl of Soudan; daughters, Robin Burgess of Tower, Cindy (Dale) Torma of Gilbert and Debbie (Derrick) Hintz of Byron; grandchildren, Keith Torma, Jeannie (Daron) Little, Adam (Ashley Moravitz) Burgess, Daniel Burgess, Matthew Hintz and Maddeson Hintz; great-granddaughter, Makenzie Little; sisters, Elsie Latawiec of New Brighton and Marilyn Harle of Sister Bay, Wis.; brother, Emanuel (Judy) Sunsdahl of Soudan; brother-in-law, Melvin Verbout of Fargo, N.D.; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents; daughter, Michelle; sister, Irene Verbout; and son-in-law, Gary Burgess.

Esther Brunfelt

Esther Brunfelt, 89, died peacefully of old age at the Cook Care Center on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. Esther decided to forgo a funeral. An inurnment at the Florenton Cemetery for Esther and Richard will take place in the near future. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred for the Brunfelt-Sainio Fund through the Vermilion Community College Foundation, 1900 E Camp St., Ely, MN 55731. Arrangements are with Range Funeral Home in Virginia.

 Esther, the youngest and last surviving child of Toimi and Taimi Sainio, was born at home in Wuori Township on Aug. 16, 1929. She lived in a small community of Finnish immigrants in what she referred to as the “perukka”. She attended school in Virginia and in 1947 was the first member of her family to graduate from high school.

 On April 2, 1949, she married her best friend, Richard Emil Brunfelt, and together they built their house in Britt. She supplemented the family income throughout their marriage. She worked at the Cluett-Peabody shirt factory and for years at the ElRoy Supper Club, first as a dishwasher and then as a short order cook. She later started her own business, cleaning her clients’ homes until she retired in 1987. She also volunteered for 25 years at the Quad Cities Food Shelf.

 Esther loved music and dancing. She and Rick danced in halls all across the Range. They also loved traveling in the1978 Chevrolet van that they customized into a camper. She was proud of being Finnish and visited family in Finland four times. She accompanied her son’s family on a trip to Ireland and Finland in 1994, and in 2003 she went on a tour of Finland with her daughter.

 She loved Lake Vermilion, and she and Rick bought a boat that allowed them to explore the lake. They both enjoyed spending time together and with family at Hinsdale Island. They spent their honeymoon on the North Shore of Lake Superior and every year thereafter they visited the shore and camped in a tent and later in their van.

 She spoke Finnish fluently all of her life, and over the years she and Rick danced at Mesaba Co-op Park and the area Finn Halls and took part in Finnish festivals. After Rick died in 1990, she began going to Kaleva Hall where she soaked up as much Finnish culture as possible.

 Esther is survived by her children, Belinda, Debra and her daughter Amanda (David) and their children Khloe and Lincoln, Pamela, Scott (LouAnn) and their daughter Tallie (Bryan); and Priscilla and her son Fred; numerous nieces and nephews; sister-in-law, Helen Koivanen Sainio; and numerous cousins in Finland.

 She was preceded in death by her husband, Richard; parents, Taimi and Toimi Sainio; siblings, Miriam, Olavi “Bill”, Tuovi, Waino, Toimi “Tom”, Alli, Urho, Lauri “Larry”, Tynne and Ensio; and father-in-law, Oscar Odet Brunfelt. 

Martin C. Monson

Martin Carl Monson, 88, of Pike Township, passed away on Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Duluth. A memorial service was held on Thursday, Feb. 21 at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Pike with Pastor Don Stauty officiating. Military honors were accorded by the Virginia Honor Guard. Arrangements were with Range Funeral Home in Virginia.

He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Thora Elaine Inglebret Monson; children, Shane (Sherrie) Monson, Kerry Monson and Holly (Craig) Johnson; grandchildren, Clinton, Mallory and Dylan; great-grandson, Derek; siblings, Ruth Stejskal and Wally Monson; numerous nieces, nephews and extended family.

Berton Anderson

Berton “Lee” Anderson, 87, passed away on Feb. 17, 2019, at St. Croix Health and Rehab Center in New Richmond, Wis. There will be a reviewal and memorial fellowship with military honors at Mlaker Funeral Home in Cook on Friday, Feb. 22 from 12 noon until 2 p.m. Interment will be in the Morcom Cemetery in Bear River at a later date.

Arlene R. Sipola

Arlene Russell Sipola, 82, of Orr, passed away on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, in Livingston, Texas. A Celebration of Life will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23 at the Orr American Legion.

Arlene was born to Russell and Irja (Brandt) Sellman on April 25, 1936, in Virginia. She attended school in Orr, graduating from Orr High School in 1955. After graduation, she pursued a nursing degree as a surgical nurse. She worked as a nurse in Grand Forks, N.D.

In 1958, Arlene moved back to Orr to help her grandmother with the family farm. She also worked for Dr. Hines at the Cook Hospital. In the 1960s, she began a dairy operation of her own. While operating the farm, she shipped her own milk by can and by bulk tank to AMPI in Duluth, until she went to Grade A. Along with farming, she drove truck and installed heating systems for GWG-Graham Grilley. She also operated an adult foster care home out of her own home for 23 years.

Arlene loved going to the fair to show her prized Guernseys. She won many state fair trips over the years. She loved gardening, growing flowers, entertaining, cooking and canning. She always said her children were her prize possession; she loved her family with all her heart.

Arlene is survived by her children, Avery (Marie Cloyd) Sipola and Angelene (Patrick) Aker; stepson, Lester (Donna) Sipola; grandchildren, Joshua Sipola, Amanda Sipola, Lance Sipola and Ashley (Ryan) Becicka; great-grandchildren, Riley and Skyler Sipola and Desirae Becicka; sisters, Debra (Bill) Whiitanen and Sandy (Earl) Chamberlin.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Andrew Sipola; parents, Irja and Russell; brother, John Finni; grandparents, Axel and Sandra Brandt; stepson, Danny Sipola; granddaughter, Nikki Rae Sipola; and sister, Delores Barber.

Audrey L. Kuehl

Audrey Louise Thom Kuehl, 71, a longtime resident of Embarrass, died on Monday, Feb. 18, 2019, in her home, surrounded by her family after a two-year battle with cancer. Funeral services were held on Thursday, Feb. 21 at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Virginia with Pastor Evelyn Weston officiating. Spring interment will take place in the East Pike Cemetery. Family services provided by Bauman-Cron, a Bauman Family Funeral Home in Virginia.

She is survived by her husband of 51 years, Ed Kuehl; children, Christopher (Angela) Kuehl of Flagstaff, Ariz., Ingrid Kuehl of Brainerd, Emilie (Kevin) Eisen of Minneapolis and Cheryl (Todd) Engseth of Cambridge; siblings, Mary Meder of Fergus Falls, Elsie Emery of Erhard, Beverly Keil of Dent and Barbara Kjono of Fergus Falls; grandchildren, Linnae, Liam, Justin, Hasan, Ali, Nadiya, Braeden, Aili, Clayton, Chad, Derek, Megan and Dillon; great-grandchildren, Emme, Layna, Kooper, Axel and Madeleine; numerous nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

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