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Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Obituaries: Jan 10, 2019

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Rita F. Plotnik
Rita Frances Plotnik, 84, of Willmar, died on Monday, Dec. 23, 2019, at Carris Health Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar. A Mass of Christian Burial was held on Friday, Dec. 27 at the Church of St. Mary in Willmar. Interment was at Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic Cemetery in Spicer. Arrangements were with Peterson Brothers Funeral Home in Willmar.
Rita was born in Browerville on March 29, 1935, to Frank and Mary (Bonik) Plotnik Sr. She grew up in Browerville, attended St. Joseph’s Grade School and graduated from Browerville High School in 1953. She attended St. Catherine University in St. Paul and majored in English and Communication. Rita taught at Eveleth High School and St. Anthony Village High School until she retired. While teaching school, she spent summers traveling in Europe, Canada and Alaska. After retirement, Rita moved to Willmar to be near her brother Frank and sister-in-law Donna. From May to September each year, Rita operated a small fishing camp on Lake Vermilion near Tower. Rita was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Willmar (October to May) and St. Martin’s Catholic Church in Tower (May to September). Enjoying nature on Lake Vermilion and teaching were two of Rita’s favorite pursuits.
Rita is survived by her brother, Frank (Donna) Plotnik of Spicer; sister, Agnes (Gene) Geigenmiller of Seguin, Texas; sister-in-law, Sherry Plotnik (Don Delorme) of Red Lake Falls; nephew, David (Cori) Plotnik of Lakeville; nieces, Tammi (Riad) Youssef of Houlton, Wis., Paula Sherber of Duluth and Heidi (Mel) Springer of Littleton, Colo.; and many grand-nephews and grand-nieces.
She was preceded in death by her parents; and two brothers, James and one in infancy.

Robert R. Martin
Robert R. Martin, 77, of Cook, passed away on Monday, Dec. 23, 2019, with his family by his side. A memorial service was held on Saturday, Dec. 28 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Cook. Military honors were accorded by the Cook VFW Post 1757 Honor Guard and the Orr American Legion Post 480 Honor Guard. Arrangements were with Mlaker Funeral Home of Cook.
Robert was born to Cecil and Goldie (Emerson) Martin on Dec. 21,1942, in Bertha. Robert attended Bigfork School, and like many young men his age, left school early to go to work. Robert served honorably in the United States Army and was stationed in Germany while he served. Robert was united in marriage to Linda Hill on Oct. 21, 1967, in Byron. After their marriage, they returned to the Range and Bob worked construction as a heavy equipment operator and mechanic for the IUOE 49 until an injury forced his retirement and he went into sales. During that time, Bob and Linda managed the Parkville Trailer Court and moved to Cook in 1976. He and Linda were foster parents to 50 teenage boys over a period of five years and then established Martin Home for Seniors, for adult foster care. They enjoyed the company of 55 elderly adults living in their home with them over a period of 11 years.
Bob was Past Master of the Masonic Vermilion Lodge 197 in Tower, a 40-year member of the AAD Temple of the Shrine in Duluth, Scottish Rite of Duluth, and the Hibbing Lodge of Perfection. He was a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.
Above all, he loved his kids and grandkids and lived vicariously through their accomplishments. He beamed with pride when speaking of them and was so proud of the fine young men and women they have become.
Robert is survived by his loving wife of 52 years, Linda Hill Martin; daughter, Sara (Pete) Niska and their children, Olivia Niska and Jenna Niska (Jeffrey Chaulklin); son, Dave (Shannon) Martin and their children, Dustin (Ashley) Finner, Damon Finner (Heather Hill) and Cole Martin (Hannah Johnson); daughter, Amy (Rick) Viita and their children, Spencer Viita and Macy Viita; brother, Burton Martin; aunt, Doris Martin; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins; and his beloved dog, Gus.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Dolores Bjorge; brother, Arvid Martin; infant brother, Elvin Martin; father-in-law, Arne Hill; mother-in-law, Lois Hill (12/20/2019); brother-in-law, Leon Bjorge; sisters-in-law, Mary Martin and Jean Martin; and nephew, David Bjorge.

Verner L. Keskitalo
Verner Lavern Keskitalo, 94, of Embarrass, died on Friday, Jan. 3, 2020, at Essentia Health in Virginia. A memorial service for Verner will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 11 at the Apostolic Lutheran Church in Pike with Pastor John Salo officiating. Friends may gather one hour prior to the service at the church. Inurnment will be in the Embarrass Cemetery at a later date. Arrangements are by Ziemer-Moeglein-Shatava Funeral Home in Aurora.
Survivors include his children, Aleta (Richard) Roy of Embarrass, Craig (Gwen) Keskitalo of Embarrass and Gary (Shari) Keskitalo of Port St. John, Fla.; grandchildren, Aaron, Chad, Travis, Sheila, Perry, Allison, Kyle, Kirsten and Adam; eight great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

Linda M. Blauert
Linda Mary De Shaw Blauert, 76, formerly of Babbitt, passed away on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020, at Guardian Angels Care Center in Elk River with family by her side. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 10 at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Babbitt with visitation being held one hour prior to the service at the church. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.
She is survived by her son, John; daughter in law, Camille; grandchildren, James and Elizabeth; brother-in-law, Jimmy (Oni) Blauert; godchild, Jennifer (Krause); nieces, Susy, Lori and Carrie; and nephews, John and David.

William D. Maki
William “Bill” D. Maki, 75, of Ely, passed away on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, at Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth.  A Funeral Mass was held on Thursday, Jan. 9 at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Ely. Family arrangements were entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.
He is survived by his children, Bill (Jodi) Maki and Kelly (Lance) Ronn; grandchildren, Madison, McKenzie and Parker Maki, Wyatt and Whitley Ronn; brother, David (Carolyn) Maki; and sister-in-law, Nancy Rozman, who supported him tremendously after the loss of his wife, Jean Miklausich Maki.

John C. Ojala
John Chester Ojala, 89, of Ely, passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020, at his home. Per his wishes, there will be no funeral services. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.
He is survived by his wife, Kathryn Koski Ojala; son, Jon; nieces, Colleen and Cheryl; and nephew, Dan.

Milton H. Netzer
Milton Harvey Netzer, 80, of Ely, passed away on Christmas Day, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2019, at Carefree Living in Babbitt. A Mass of Christian Burial was held on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Ely with Father Bill Skarich officiating. Burial was in Ely. Family arrangements were entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Catherine Netzer; children, Paula (Dan) Vogel of Shafer, Grant (Pam) Netzer of Ely, Kent (Kim) Netzer of North Branch, Brenda (Randy) Wagner of Andover, S.D., and Alan (Suzanne) Netzer of Grand Forks, N.D.; siblings, Clarice (Rev. Abe) Reddekopp of Kansas City, Mo., Alida Posein and Clarence (Shirley) Netzer, both of Jamestown, N.D., and Rev. Dwight (Darcy) Netzer of Albert Lea; sisters-in-law, Mary (Orval) Netzer of Aberdeen, S.D., and Ruth Tatarek of Superior, Wis.; grandchildren, Heather Vogel, Becky (Travis) Luczak, Chantal Netzer, Nathan Baseman, Caitlin Netzer, Ashley Wagner, Eden Volk and Grace Netzer; and great-grandson, Wyatt Luczak.

William R. Warzonek

William “Wild Bill” “WWW” Robert Warzonek, 59, of Orr, passed away on Friday, Dec. 20, 2019. A Celebration of Life was held on Saturday, Dec. 28 at the American Legion Hall in Orr. Arrangements were with Mlaker Funeral Home of Cook.

Lois C. Hill
Lois Caroline Storm Hill, 91, of Cook, passed away on Friday, Dec. 20, 2019, at the Cook Care Center. There will be no services per her wishes. A private family burial will be held in the spring. Arrangements are with Mlaker Funeral Home of Cook.
She is survived by her daughters, Barbara (Bart) Hoag of Darby, Mont., and Linda (Bob) Martin of Cook; son, Jeffrey (Janice Johnson) Hill of Duluth; grandsons, Todd (Dawn) Seopa and their children, Mitchell and Jordan of Minot, N.D., Dean Seopa and his children, Ryan (Esther) and Morgan of Side Lake, Dave (Shannon) Martin and their children, Cole, Dustin (Ashley) and Damon of Cook and Tom (Taryn) Hill of Wichita, Kansas; granddaughters, Sara (Pete) Niska and their children, Jenna and Olivia of Cook, Amy (Rick) Viita and their children, Spencer and Macy of Cook, and Ashley (Josh) Johnson of Belgrade, Mont.; and many nieces and nephews.

Katherine A. Scheuer
Katherine Ann Rauscher Scheuer, 88, of Ely, died peacefully at home on Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church on Monday, Dec. 30. Family arrangements were entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.
She is survived by her sons, Karl, Paul and John; daughters, Gretchen (Brad) Bensen, Veronica (Warren) Olsen, Anna (Keith) Larson and Nichole (Duane) Farkas; grandchildren, Bronte, Brandise (Mizi), Peter Jr. (Tom), Eugene, Danielle, Tim, Benedict, John, Kyle, Andrew, Louis, Gretchen, Matthew and Will; great-grandchildren, Emily and Marcus; and foreign exchange sons, Luiz, Garry and Jorge.

William H. Caron
William “Bill” Henry Caron, 95, of Virginia, passed away on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, at Essentia Health in Virginia. A Mass of Christian Burial was held on Monday, Dec. 23 at Holy Spirit Catholic Church with Fr. Brandon Moravitz officiating. Military honors were accorded by the Virginia Honor Guard. Arrangements were with Range Funeral Home in Virginia.
He is survived by his wife, Dorothy; children, Renee (Bob) Pearson of Tower, Tom of Irving, Texas, and Elizabeth (Gary) Wetzel of Parrish, Fla.; brother-in-law, Joe (Sue) Froehlingsdorf; and several nieces and nephews.

Andy L. Morse

Andy Lynn Morse, 44, of Grand Rapids, formerly of Tower-Soudan, passed away on Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019 in Mason City, Iowa. A celebration of life was held on Saturday, Dec. 28 at the Loyal Order of Moose in Grand Rapids. Arrangements were with Rowe Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Grand Rapids.
He is survived by his fiancé, Lynn Achas and unborn daughter, Maisie Lynn; daughter, Mariah Morse of Embarrass; granddaughter, Brylee Linaman; parents, Terry and Mary Morse of Grand Rapids; brothers, Lucas (Megan) of Cohasset and Zachary (Kara) of Grand Rapids; nephews and nieces, Jace, Ricky, Drake, Lexi and Tenley; special aunt and uncle, Sandy and Mark Gorrill of Embarrass; and many other family and friends.

Belva Larson
Belva Gulbranson Larson, 95, of Virginia, died peacefully at home surrounded by family on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, after a long battle with cancer. A memorial service was held on Friday, Dec. 27 at Bauman-Cron Funeral Home in Virginia with Pastor Kate Stangl officiating. Interment was at Greenwood Cemetery in Virginia.
She is survived by her children, Gary (Jacalyn) Larson of Lake Vermilion, David (Wendy Schmitz) Larson of New York Mills, Darlene Anderson of Britt, James Larson of Crystal and June (Gary) Berry of Excelsior; grandchildren, Linda, Allen, Justin, Lara, Shannon, Corey, Lauren, Kelly, Eric and Angeline; 14 great-grandchildren with another arriving in the spring; and five great-great-grandchildren.

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