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Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Obituaries: April 19, 2024


Charles W. Bystrom
Charles “Chuck” William Bystrom, 69, of Tower, respected businessman and adored husband, father, grandfather, and friend was called home to God and reunited with family on Tuesday, April 9, 2024. Chuck will be dearly missed, but his memory and legacy will live on through his loved ones, including his Vermilion Houseboats family. Chuck’s remarkable life will be honored according to his wishes with a private service among immediate family. Family services are provided by Bauman-Vermilion, a Bauman Family Funeral Home in Tower.
Chuck was born on May 7, 1954, in Baudette, to father Merle Bystrom and mother Tillian Martinson Bystrom. Charles had an adventurous childhood in Cook, surrounded by the lakes and rivers of the Laurentian Shield. Chuck was passionate about the outdoors and treasured time spent with his family at their cabin near Trout Lake Portage. He could always be counted on for adventures with his sister and cousins, riding his beloved horse, Rex. From a young age, Chuck was known for his strong work ethic as a dock boy at Pehrson’s Lodge on Lake Vermilion and as a gas station attendant at the Midland Co-op gas station in Cook. He graduated from Cook High School in 1972. Chuck started his career at U.S. Steel Minntac the following fall.
Chuck met the love of his life and wife of almost 50 years, LeeAnn Rinerson, in 1972. They were married on Aug. 17, 1974. Chuck and LeeAnn embarked upon their careers in entrepreneurship with the purchase of Spring Bay Resort on the Cook end of Lake Vermilion in 1982, all while Chuck continued his career at Minntac. In 1985, Chuck started Spring Bay Floating Lodge, Inc. with his brother-in-law Gale Rinerson, purchasing three new houseboats. In the spring of 1986, Chuck and LeeAnn sold the resort and moved the houseboat corporation to the Tower end of Lake Vermilion with the purchase of Vermilion Houseboats. Gale Rinerson sold his stock in the corporation in the fall of 1988. Chuck continued the houseboat business along with LeeAnn. He expanded the business by renting snowmobiles and personal watercraft. Chuck retired from Minntac in the spring of 2003 to just have one job, running Vermilion Houseboats. Putting in 31 years at both US Steel and Vermilion Houseboats, he was able to fully retire when Chuck and LeeAnn sold Vermilion Houseboats in May 2017, to finally enjoy a summer of camping with his wife, daughters, grandson and son-in-law in the woods overlooking Lake Vermilion.
Chuck loved to go out west, snowmobiling in the mountains with his friends. He enjoyed cars, boats, rigs, trains, and airplanes and had a special passion for Corvettes. He was a handy-man and jack-of-all-trades, with knowledge of mechanics, electrical work and carpentry. He was a master griller, known for his delicious grilled and smoked food. Chuck was a sweet and devoted father. He would do anything for his girls, creating many fond memories of family vacations out west and to Florida. Chuck always made time for trips to the hunting shack, plowing skating rinks, and cherished snowmobile, boat and four-wheeler rides. He was a loving grandfather, who doted on his grandsons, from campfires to rides in the Ranger. Chuck loved instilling a joy for the outdoors in his grandsons. He was a revered leader who created lifelong connections with those who worked for him. He would do anything for them, and they would do anything for him.
Chuck is survived by his wife, LeeAnn; daughters, Ashley (Peder) Aarness, Katelyn Bystrom and Rebecca (Tyler) McMillen; grandsons, Jase Ziglinski and Nolan McMillen; nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his father, Merle; mother, Tillian; and sister, Pamela Amundson.

Walter J. Snyder
Walter “Wally” Joseph Snyder, 75, formerly of Greenwood Township, passed away on Saturday, March 30, 2024. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 3 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Inver Grove Heights. Visitation will be from 10 to 11 a.m. at the church. Arrangements are by Roberts Funeral Home of Inver Grove Heights.
Wally, Shirley and Paul Snyder owned Eagle Docks on Lake Vermilion from 1990 to 2006.
Wally is survived by his wife, Shirley Ruth Forester Snyder; four brothers; two sisters; brothers-in-law; sisters-in-law; nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his daughter, Ruth Marie; parents; and grandparents.

Dr. Mathew Rolando
Dr. Mathew Rolando, 51, originally of Ely, passed away on Friday, March 29, 2024, in San Diego, Calif. Services will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, April 30 at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Afton.
He is survived by his wife, Sara Kay Engebretson Rolando; children, Gianni, Sophia and Marco; parents, Seraphine and Patricia Murto Rolando of Ely; sister, Amanda Rolando (Matthew) Barnstorf of Duluth; aunt, Cecilia Rolando of Ely; and numerous cousins and relatives.

Jeffrey A. Rosati
Jeffrey Allan Rosati, 51, of Hermantown, departed to his eternal rest on Dec. 17, 2023, after a lengthy battle with cancer. A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 27, 2024, at Shriners Event Center on Hwy. 53 in Hermantown. Jeffrey requested that memorials be directed to your local food shelf, animal shelter, or a charity close to your heart.
He is survived by his parents, Charles and Nancy Voxland Rosati Eichholz of Tower and Richard and Lisa Davis Rosati of Eveleth; stepbrother, Josh Parenteau of Westbrook; and many treasured aunts, uncles, cousins and close friends.

Enola L. Loomis
Enola L. Nelson Loomis, 89, entered peacefully into God’s Kingdom of Glory on Tuesday, April 9, 2024. Funeral services were held on Saturday, April 13 at First Lutheran Church in Ely. Donations may be directed to First Lutheran Church of Ely. Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.
She is survived by her son, Thad (Soraya); daughter, Teri; granddaughters, Hannah (fiancé Alex Povhe), Emma and Scout; great-granddaughter, Enola; and sister, Myma Olesen.

Gene E. Freyholtz
Gene Edward Freyholtz, 74, of Gheen, passed away peacefully at the Cook Hospital on Sunday, April 14, 2024. A private family service will be held at the Mlaker Funeral Home in Cook.
He is survived by his daughters, Darla Freyholtz of Gheen and Shawna (Justin) Rosenlund of Duluth; seven grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; siblings, Irma Kellerman of Blackduck, Maynard (Delores) Freyholtz of Condon, Mont., Marvin (Barb) Freyholtz and Dennis (Linda) Freyholtz of Hines; brother-in-law, Bob (Diane) Fischer of Cook; and several nieces and nephews.

Bernie Mettler
Bernie Mettler, a 60-year-old resident of Long Prairie, Minn., passed away on Saturday, April 13, 2024 at his residence. A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 20, 2024, at Living Hope Assembly of God Church in Little Falls, MN. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday at Shelley Funeral Chapel in Little Falls, and from 12 noon to 1 p.m. Saturday at the church. 
Bernard Thomas Mettler was born on September 3, 1963 in Wessington Springs, S.D., to Thomas and Margaret (Simmons) Mettler. He moved with his family to Swanville, Minn., at the age of two. Bernie spent his formative years attending Swanville School and working at the Circle R Ranch, where he met his future wife, Cindy. After the birth of his third child, Bernie endeavored to receive his Associates Degree in Law Enforcement from Brainerd Community College. This led to a career serving his community in Staples, Madison, and later St. Louis County. Bernie’s character and drive to help people defined his 25-year career with the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office. Whether guiding moose off a busy road or donating pork to his church, Bernie acted always as a steward to those in need. Bernie spent his retirement years, caring for his family and friends, and sharing his love of the outdoors with those he loved. If you wanted to find Bernie, he’d be on the lake with a rod, in the field with a rifle, or hauling a load of firewood to a friend. 
Bernie is survived by his parents, Tom and Margaret Mettler; his siblings, Randy (Marge) Mettler, Bob (Cindy) Mettler, Bill (Kristy) Mettler, Joni (Brian) Nelson, and Richard Mettler; survived also by his three children, Josh (Lori) Mettler, Jeremy (Hollee) Mettler, and  Danielle (Dave Hanson) Mettler; former wife, Cindy Mettler; stepchildren, Bryce Sampson-Bernstrom, Brenden Donner, and Kayle Donner; grandchildren, Wyatt Mettler Connor Mettler, and Brayden Donner; and many, many beloved nieces and nephews.