Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Obituaries - Mar. 2, 2018


Raymond E. Villebrun

Raymond Elmer “Ray Guy” Villebrun, 59, of Nett Lake, passed away on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018, at the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Rochester-St. Mary’s Campus. Traditional Services will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 3 at the Nett Lake Government and Services Center. The wake will begin at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 2. Arrangements are with Mlaker Funeral Home in Cook.

Raymond was born on Feb. 24, 1959, at the hospital in Cook, to Milo “Buster” Villebrun and Jane (Dupree) Villebrun. His family fondly recalls that he was an avid duck hunter, golfer, pool player, softball player, and ricer. He loved to build model cars and sing/karaoke. He loved to tear people up at cribbage. He loved to play slots. He loved to watch his kids in sports, and would travel as much as possible to cheer them on.

Ray was very talented and held many jobs during his life. He was a sawmill laborer, janitor for RBC, game warden, firearms and explosives instructor, police officer, DNR Director, Tribal Council member, and a shuttle bus driver for Fortune Bay employees.

Ray is survived by his wife, Victoria; mother, Jane Villebrun; three sons, Ray Jr., Aaron and Ryne; two daughters, Marjorie Villebrun and Nicole Fairbanks; grandson, Christopher Fairbanks; brothers, Milo Jr., David “Bohz”, William “Teben” and Earl; sisters, June, Effie and Terry; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Helen M. Folstad

Helen Mae Folstad, 86, of Soudan, passed away on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, at Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital. A Celebration of Life service will be held at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Tower later this spring. Arrangements are with Landmark Funeral Home of Virginia.

She was born to Arthur and Ruth (Harrington) Wills on March 20, 1931, in Crosby, the sixth of ten children; she had to drop out of school during ninth grade to help raise her younger brothers and sister. Helen was working as a waitress at Hulls Hotel in Moose Lake in 1946, when she met her beloved husband, Clarence Folstad. They were united in marriage on Feb. 23, 1947, in Moose Lake. They raised their family in Moose Lake for 10 years and then moved to Tower. Helen was a mother and housewife, planted trees for the State of Minnesota, and in 1970 began working as a Nurse’s Aide at Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital, where she was very active in the union and held an officer position. After retirement, Helen worked at Parkside Homes in Soudan and did home health care.

Helen was a member of St. Paul’s and Immanuel Lutheran Churches. She taught Sunday School and was an active quilter. She enjoyed hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, sewing, crocheting, reading, painting, and baking her famous Christmas cut-out cookies. Helen’s family was very important to her. She was happiest when caring for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, cheering them on at their school programs and sporting events.

Survivors include her two sons, Kenneth “Shorty” Folstad and Lawrence “Peanuts” (Linda) Folstad, both of Soudan; two daughters, Kathryn (Harold) Fuson of Soudan and Lynell (Michael) Yancey of Tower; 13 grandchildren, Kenny, Keith, Larry, Jeremy, Tony, Lisa, Lori, LeeAnn, Tammie, Lorrie, Julie, Joseph and Melissa; 28 great-grandchildren; four great-great-grandchildren; one brother, Harvey Wills of Babbitt; two sisters, Alta Rogers of Moose Lake and Eleanor Fralich of Silver Bay; one brother-in-law, Robert (Maxine) Folstad of Brooklyn Center; numerous nieces and nephews; and many friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Clarence; siblings, Leslie, Elsie, Dorothy, Lawrence, Robert and Arthur; great-granddaughter, Kendra Folstad; and sister-in-law, Pearl Northrup.

Ronald E. Salo

Ronald Ernest Salo, 79, of Embarrass, died on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. A memorial service was held on Thursday, March 1 at Range Funeral Home in Virginia with Pastor Evelyn Weston officiating. Arrangements were with Range Funeral Home in Virginia.

He was born on July 1, 1938, in Biwabik, to Ernest and Viena (Haryn) Salo. He was a 1957 graduate of Embarrass High School, and a 1976 graduate of Vermilion Community College. He served in the Army from 1957 to 1963. Ronald was united in marriage to Mary Jo Taapa on Aug. 4, 1962. He was an employee of Erie Mining Co. LTV Mining Co. for 41 years.

The family would like to extend their sincere thanks to St. Michael’s Health and Rehab in Virginia for their wonderful care for the last 17 months.

He is survived by his wife, Mary Jo; children, Craig (Rosa) Salo, Shelley (Jamey) Sundberg and Charisse (Tim Aho) Salo; seven grandchildren, Steven and Ryan Sundberg, Shaylee, Isabelle and Addison Aho, Amber Salo and April Drueen; brother, Lawrence (Kay) Salo; niece, Tracey (David) Cook; grandnieces, Melinda and Genevieve Cook; nephew, Josh Carlon; and brother-in-law, Michael (Edie) Taapa.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and his sister, Sheryl Carlon.

John R. Sainio

John R. Sainio died on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, of a heart attack while shoveling snow. A kind and gentle spirit left the earth that can never be replaced. A memorial service will be held later in March. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations to Contented Critters or the Humane Society.

He is survived by his parents, Gary Sainio (Dianna) of Mt. Iron and Jeanne Rieck of Gilbert; grandmothers, Helen Sainio of Virginia and Laverne Hoglund of Gilbert; brothers, Chris Sainio (Lisa) of Ely, Rick (Peggy) of Bloomington and Garrett (Vicki) of Blaine; sister, Heather Edminster (Sanjeev) of Wichita, Kansas; and numerous other relatives.

Randy L. Rankila

Randy Lee Rankila, 66, of Embarrass, passed away at his home on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. Funeral services were held on Wednesday, Feb. 28 at Mlaker Funeral Home in Cook. Following the service, family gathered at the VFW in Cook.

He is survived by his fiancé, Sharon Hawkins; daughters, Richelle Perreault (Bill Cole), Renee (Davin) Isaac, RaeAnn (Jeffery) Scott, Rebecca (Nathan) Warwas and Katie Anderson; grandchildren, Rebecca Perreault, Autumn Perreault, Connor Green, Lillian Warwas, Alexis Remington, Henry Isaac, Elizabeth Warwas, Ruby Scott, Noah Remington, Louis Isaac and Jacob Warwas; brothers and sisters, Alice Wien, Robert Rankila, Beatrice Waisenen, Gerald Rankila, Arlene Jablonsky and Karen Nolde.

Glen D. Lund

Glen David Lund, 61, passed away on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, from cancer at the Virginia Regional Medical Center. At Glen’s request, no funeral services will be held. A memorial gathering for friends and family was held on Tuesday, Feb. 27 at Snicker’s Pizza Shop in Eveleth. Arrangements were with Range Funeral Home in Virginia.

He is survived by his brothers, Gregory (Patricia) Lund of Angora, Gary Lund of Virginia and Geoffrey (Eileen) Lund of Casper, Wyo.; sister, GeorgAn (Gordon) McFaul of The Villages, Fla.; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Mary Lou Tamte

Mary Lou Jyhla Tamte, 90, formerly of Britt, wife of Rev. Kenneth R. Tamte, died on Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, at Joanne’s House Hope Hospice of Bonita Springs, Fla. A funeral service was held on Tuesday, Feb. 27 at Range Funeral Home in Virginia with Fr. Frank Perkovich officiating. Burial was at Sand Lake Chapel Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations to FBCN, Memo to Prayer Shawl Ministry, 3000 Orange Blossom Dr., Naples, FL 34109. Arrangements were with Range Funeral Home in Virginia.

She is survived by her three sons, Tom (Lisa) of Cook, Scott (Tammy) of Cedar and Dan (Jackie) of Bonita Springs, Fla.; grandsons, Jason, Erik, Ryan, Zach and Zeb; and great-grandchildren, Emmerson, Madison and Kinley.


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