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Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Obituaries: October 2, 2020

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Denise M. Long
Denise Marie Long, 51, of Orr, passed away peacefully on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, at her home with loved ones by her side, due to complications caused by esophageal cancer. A celebration of life was held on Thursday, Oct. 1 at the First Baptist Church in Cook. Arrangements were with Mlaker Funeral Home in Cook. “The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.” Psalm 118:14.
Denise was born on March 23, 1969, in Libertyville, Ill., to Donna and Doug Hess. She married her husband, Tom, on April 25, 1997; their son, Cody Lee, was born on March 22, 1996. Denise’s love of her life was her son, Cody Lee. They had a deep connection and bond that couldn’t be broken. Her family describes her as independent, strong, loving, special, amazing, stubborn, content, resilient, and a fighter. Denise was strong throughout her chemotherapy and immunotherapy treatments, most often smiling and making jokes with those around her. For over 15 years, Denise worked for the U.S. Postal Service in St. Louis County. She started her career as a substitute rural mail carrier and ended her career performing various duties at the Virginia branch. Denise loved her job and most of all her customers. Until the day she passed, Denise had customers writing her letters and sending her gifts in hopes of lifting her spirits during this trying time.
Denise is survived by her husband, Tom Long; son, Cody Lee Long; daughter, Erica Ludwig and grandson, Connor; mom, Donna Bak (Paul); sister, Shasonta Delmage (Dale); brother-in-law, Randy Long (Wendy) and nephews Eagen, Cooper and Brock; brother-in-law, Jon Long and niece Bridgette and nephew Kevin; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Tom and Judy Long; and extended family.

Evelyn Engelun Finstad Ekelund Finstad
Evelyn “Evie” Engelun Finstad Ekelund Finstad, 93, went to the Lord on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, of natural causes at Waterview Woods in Eveleth. A graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 3 at Forest Home Cemetery in Buyck. The family respectfully encourages attendees to wear masks and practice safe social distancing. Arrangements are with Mlaker Funeral Home in Cook.
Evie was born on Aug. 1, 1927, to Ole and Kristine Engelun. She grew up in Silverdale and graduated from Orr High School. After high school, she moved to Duluth, worked at a bakery for a short time, and then got a job at the phone company during WWII. She later married John “Jack” Finstad and took ownership of the Gold Mine Resort. During this time, they adopted a son, Allen, and then had a daughter, Brenda. They lost their beloved son when he was eight years old. The family continued to run the resort for over 30 years. After retiring from the resort, they lived in Buyck. Evie and Jack were married for 49 and a-half years before he passed away on June 16, 1998.
Evie later married her lifelong family friend, Ferdinand Ekelund, in October 1999. They moved to Esko for a short time and then moved to Superior, Wis., where they remained for 15 years. After Ferd’s passing, she moved to Waterview Woods where she lived the remainder of her years to be close to her daughter. Evie was an active member of the Crane Lake Chapel for over 50 years and a member of the Sons of Norway.
Evie is survived by her daughter, Brenda Jylha (fiancé Jonathan Tomatz); granddaughter, Randi Strahan (great-grandson Chaz) of Coal City, Ill.; grandson, Jason (Erika) Strahan, (great-grandsons Thatcher and McCoy) of Virginia; grandson, John Jylha (Alison Zaverl) of Duluth; step-grandchildren, Bradley Sundeen, Dezi Jylha (step-great-grandchildren Samantha, Ante, Jerry Jr. Gracie and Asher); step-grandson, Tim (Laura) Eckart (step-great-grandchildren Easton, Alaina and Owen); step-granddaughter, Cassandra Jylha (Owen Erjavec); step-granddaughter, Elizabeth (Tony) Altabelli (twin step-great-grandsons Charles and Vincent); and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her son, Allen; husband, Jack Finstad; second husband, Ferdinand Ekelund; brothers, Ole (Tina) Engelun and Ted (Murial) Engelun; sisters, Agnes (Oscar) Lundquist, Maggie (Earl) Bloomquist and Ruth (Robert) Swenson; niece, Barbara; step-granddaughter, Tonya Jylha; and step-great-grandson, Tristan Jylha, in infancy.

Roger Makela
On Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, Roger Makela, of Cook, regrettably missed his morning tee time and instead joined one of the Lord’s foursomes. Roger was a man of all sports seasons and even on his last day he played 27 holes of golf. His radiant smile and contagious laughter will never be forgotten. Roger will be interred at the Minnesota Veterans Cemetery near Duluth. There will be a celebration of Roger’s life from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10 at the Wolfridge Golf Course, 8501 Savage Road in Angora. Arrangements are with Mlaker Funeral Home of Cook.
Roger grew up in a large farm family and attended school in Menagha. Following high school, he planned on becoming a cowboy in South Dakota but later became known as a skillful heavy machine operator. He served in the U.S. Army during the Cuban Crisis. During his young adult life, he honed his baseball skills to the point of being offered a contract from the New York Yankees. In 1973, he purchased a hardware store in Cook, where he had a “Mr. Fixit” mentality and tried to help everyone. After 24 years in the hardware world, he spent the rest of his career surrounded by golf, working at Wolfridge Golf Course and the Wilderness at Fortune Bay.
Roger was the ultimate Minnesota sports fan and rarely missed a game. He also believed in paying it forward. He touched many lives by volunteer coaching in youth hockey, baseball and golf. He coached numerous golfers at the state level. Most recently, he assistant-coached the North Woods Girls Golf team at the yearly state tournament. His biggest treasures were his grandkids, with whom he traveled extensively. He was well-known for “Mystery” trips. The first one started at the statue of St. Urho and the last one ended at Mount Rushmore. He coached or supported them in everything they did. He was their first phone call after any event.
Roger is survived by his wife, Sylvia; daughter, Kandi (Todd); grandchildren, Tate, Nicole and Victoria; sister and brothers, Marian, Randy and Dave; and numerous other relatives and friends. He also treasured his many golf buddies.

Florence M. Bowen
Florence M. Lindberg Bowen, 91, of Virginia, originally of Cook, passed away on Monday, Sept. 28, 2020, at Waterview Pines in Virginia. A private family graveside service will be held at Greenwood Cemetery in Virginia with Pastor Amy Jenssen officiating. The family wishes to thank the staff at Edgewood Vista and Waterview Pines who always demonstrated professional and compassionate care for her. A celebration of life will be planned for the spring. Arrangements are with Landmark Funeral Home in Virginia.
She is survived by her children, Sandra (Bruce) Birk of Idaho Falls, Idaho, William (Michele) Bowen of Las Vegas, Nev., Linda (Mickey) Scipioni of Lake Vermilion and Richard (Sue) Bowen of Corona, Calif.; grandchildren, Lisa and Erica Birk, Jessica Bowen, Michael Scipioni and Jill (Jake) Slater; great-grandchildren, Connor, Mason and Chase McClelland and Sutter Slater; and her only living brother, George Lindberg.

Carol J. Maddern
Carol Jean Larson Maddern, 96, a lifelong resident of the Tower-Soudan, Babbitt, Eagles Nest and Ely areas, passed on peacefully with family at her side on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, at Carefree Living in Ely. A private family gathering will be held with burial at Lakeview Cemetery in Tower. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.
She is survived by five children: son, Richard A. Maddern (Suzie) of Eveleth, and daughters, Priscilla White (Jim) and Kathleen Anderson (Byron), both of Eagles Nest, Alberta Peterson (Steve) and Carol Brown (Brian), both of Babbitt; brother, Andy Larson (Francine) of Soudan; twelve grandchildren; fourteen great-grandchildren; seven great-great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Edith Boase
Edith “Toots” Pattenn Boase, 90, of Lake Vermilion-Tower, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020. As these are extraordinary times, there will not be a funeral or memorial at this time. The family will look to next summer to hold a celebration of life when things are deemed safe and proper to do so. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.
She is survived by her children, John Boase of Pike-Sandy and Suzanne (Paul) Jones of Florida; grandchildren, John and Dani Boase of Pike-Sandy, and Jeni Sherwood of Eveleth; great-grandchildren, Axel and Zane Sherwood; and a host of friends.

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