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Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Obituaries - May 25, 2018


Gary L. Clements

Gary L. Clements, of Eagles Nest Township and St. Paul, died peacefully in his sleep, surrounded by love, in the early morning of Saturday, May 12, 2018.ÊA memorial service will be held in St. Paul onÊSaturday, June 2Êand another gathering for friends will be sometime this summer near the family cabin.

Gary was born and raised in Nebraska, loving the land and small town life, attending YMCA Camp Widjiwagan, where his love for wilderness and adventure and faith grew strong. He built a cabin on Eagles Nest Lake and it is “home”.ÊHe was a counselor, coach, teacher, mentor, librarian, media specialist and web designer. He loved the world and all the people he met along his journey.

He is survived by Jane, Kathryn, Greg, Katie, Trish, Claire and Jordyn and many, many friends and family.ÊHe will be eternally missed by those who knew him.

Charles R. Mattila

Charles R. Mattila, “The Muck”, 63, lifelong resident of Soudan, died on Thursday, May 17, 2018, at St. Michael’s Health and Rehabilitation in Virginia. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until the 11 a.m. memorial service on Friday, May 25 at Vermilion Funeral Home in Tower. Bill Bauman will be the celebrant. Inurnment will be in Lakeview Cemetery in Tower. Family services are provided by Bauman-Vermilion, a Bauman Family Funeral Home in Tower.

He was born on Oct. 12, 1954, in Soudan, the son of Charles H. and Carol M. (Bodine) Mattila. He attended Tower-Soudan High School. Chuck started working at Hoover Construction, and later worked at US Steel Minntac before working as a carpenter for Kultala Brothers Construction. He was a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. Chuck enjoyed hunting, fishing, and carpentry.

Chuck is survived by his siblings, Cathy (Christopher Larson) Neault of Mt. Iron, Rebecca Lauer of St. Cloud, Patrice Purskey of Mt. Iron, Gloria (Douglas) Ahlgren of Bear River, Craig Mattila of Embarrass and Keith (Kim) Mattila of Soudan; numerous nieces and nephews; and his beloved dog, Mandy.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and brother-in-law, Roger Lauer.

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 will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 2 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Tower with Pastor Liz Cheney officiating. Visitation will be for one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will be in the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Duluth. Arrangements are with Landmark Funeral Home of Virginia.

Helen was born to Arthur and Ruth (Harrington) Wills on March 20, 1931, in Crosby, the sixth of ten children. She dropped 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 homemaker, 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; a brother, Harvey Wills of Babbitt; two sisters, Alta Rogers of Moose Lake and Eleanor Fralich of Silver Bay; 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.

Marie J. Fink

Marie Josephine “Dolly” Strezishar Fink, 95, of Ely, passed away on Monday, May 21, 2018, at Boundary Waters Care Center in Ely. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 25 at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Ely with visitation 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 children, James (Victoria) Fink of Bemidji and Marjorie (Blaine) Hoff of Volga, S.D.; sister, Patricia Lammi of Ely; grandchildren, Sandy (Nate) Hanson, Tia (Jason) Hartzell, Brad (Teresa) Hoff and Justin (Megan) Fink; and great-grandchildren, Gianna, Rocco, Liam and Grady.

June M. Johnson

June Marie Fritz Johnson, 74, passed away on Monday, May 21, 2018, at Boundary Waters Care Center in Ely, after a long battle with cancer. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 26 at Grace Lutheran Church in Ely with visitation being held one hour prior to the service at the church. Memorials may be sent to the American Cancer Society or Grace Lutheran Church in Ely. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.

She is survived by her husband, Paul; son, Kyle (Jolene) Johnson; daughter, Tracey (Dan) Schlueter; granddaughter, Amber Johnson; grandson, Noah Schlueter; sisters, Carol (Bob) Etelemaki, Maeve Wohlers and Deanna (John) Brownlee; special cousin, Diane (John) Evan; and several nieces and nephews.

James F. Dunstan

James F. Dunstan, 74, of Richland Hills, Texas, originally of Ely, passed away on Wednesday, May 16, 2018, at North Hills Hospital with family at his side. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Jim’s family wants to give a heartfelt thank you to the staff at Brookdale Assisted Living; they were an amazing addition to our family and loved Jim in a way that turned a building into a home for him.

He is survived by his son, Grant (Melissa) Dunstan; daughter, Jaime (Jeff) Sather; grandchildren, Emily and Lucas Sather; sisters, Mary (Tom) Witherow and Bonnie (Jack) Swanson; sister-in-law, Lynn Dunstan; brother, Richard (Desi) Dunstan; brothers-in-law, Dennis (Paula) Niemi and Allen (Judie Kauchick) Niemi; many nieces, nephews, cousins and other extended family.

David R. Pagel

David Roger Pagel, 49, died on Friday, May 11, 2018, in Virginia. A memorial service was held on Tuesday, May 22 at Ziemer-Moeglein-Shatava Funeral Home in Aurora with Pastor Eric Thiele officiating.

Survivors include his children, Amber Pagel of Virginia and Calvin (Tori) Pagel of Babbitt; mother, JoAnne (David) Moore of Crossville, Tenn.; grandchildren, Jayden, Aubrey, Jordan, Allie, Charlotte and one expected; sister, Brenda (Leland) Nelson of Hoyt Lakes; brother, Ron (Sue Hemminger) Pagel of Mt. Iron; stepbrother, Thomas A. (Britt Miller) Berrigan of Duluth; several nieces and nephews; and his dog, Eddie.


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