Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Obituaries - Sept. 28, 2018


Pearl Shea

Pearl Swanson Shea, 87, of Framingham, Mass., originally of Ely, died on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. A Memorial Mass has been held in Framingham, Mass., and a Funeral Mass will be held in early August 2019 at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Ely. Pearl’s remains will be buried next to her husband Hank in the Ely Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Ely Area Food Shelf, PO Box 786, Ely, MN 55731-0786 or For further information or to view a memorial guestbook, please visit

Pearl was born in Ely on Nov. 21, 1930, to Samuel Swanson and Eleanor Hyatt. She attended and graduated from Ely High School and Ely Junior College. Her first job was as a switchboard operator in Ely. After working as a secretary in Chicago, Ill., she joined the Red Cross, working in Minneapolis and Walker, before being assigned in 1952 to work as part of the Red Cross staff at Camp Chitose in Hokkaido, Japan. There she converted to Roman Catholicism, and then met First Lieutenant Henry “Hank” Joseph Shea, who was returning from fighting in the Korean Conflict. On Aug. 27, 1955, they wed at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Ely and then moved to Bay Village, Ohio.

Between 1956 and 1961, Pearl gave birth to five sons. She spent the next two decades raising those sons in Ohio, Illinois, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, with annual summer vacations in Ely. Between 1982 and 1986, Pearl and Hank lived in Singapore, and then in Houston, Texas, for four years. In 1991, they moved to Vero Beach, Fla., and spent each summer in Ely. Pearl and Hank were married for 50 years, until his death in 2006. Pearl was active in women’s organizations, Cub Scouts, St. Vincent DePaul, and each parish where she lived.

Pearl is survived by her sons, Hank (Chris) of Tucson, Ariz., Patrick (Jane) of Wilton, Conn., Timothy (Eva) of Denville, N.J., Michael of Stratford, Conn., and Daniel (Judy) of Natick, Mass.; 13 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Marie A. Williams

Marie Ann Boldin Williams, 77, a lifelong resident of Ely, passed away at the Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018, after a short battle with cancer. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 28 at First Lutheran Church in Ely 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 sister, Caroline (Donald) Mikolich of Ely; children, Michael (Molly Bridges) of Traverse City, Mich., Tim (Linda Niemela) of Lino Lakes and Stacy (Rick) Steel of Proctor; grandchildren, Christopher (Kayla Johnson) Bissonette, Meghan, Annikka, Jenni and Ricky Steel, Robert, Kathleen and Jack Williams; great-grandson, Jairus Steel Jennings; sister-in-law, Linda (Barry) Williams of Ely; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Jack and Mary Williams of Waseca; and many nieces and nephews.


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