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Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Obituaries: August 25, 2023


Ronald A. Pecha Jr.
Ronald Anthony Pecha Jr., 58, of Soudan, passed away on Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023, at Solvay Hospice House in Duluth after a painful battle with cancer. A Funeral Mass will be at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 29 at St. Martin’s Catholic Church in Tower with Rev. Fr. Beau Braun as celebrant. Visitation will be for one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial with military rites accorded by Cook VFW Post 1757 will be in Lakeview Cemetery in Tower. Arrangements are with Landmark Funeral Home in Virginia.
Ron was born on April 11, 1965, in Farmington, to Ronald and Rosemary (Lilya) Pecha Sr. and graduated from Tower-Soudan High School in 1983.
Following graduation, he enlisted in the United States Army and completed basic training at Fort Benning in Georgia where he became an infantryman. Ron was a proud soldier of the 82nd Airborne Division of the U.S. Army and was based out of Fort Bragg, N.C. Ron was a proud veteran and American.
Upon his return home from the army, he attended Mesabi Community College and graduated with an AAS degree in Instrumentation. He was always a hard worker, and his most recent employment was with Fortune Bay Resort Casino. Ron was a Little League baseball coach, and spent endless hours playing catch with his son Nicholas. He loved the outdoors, fishing, and deer hunting.
Ron loved his children and was a very proud father; he enjoyed his big family and the holiday meals with everyone. He was a die-hard Vikings and Minnesota Twins fan and could rattle off the statistics like the sports commentators. Ron was his nieces’ and nephews’ number-one fan and everyone in the stands knew whom he was cheering on. As you all know, his nickname was Chick and he will be forever missed.
Survivors include his mother, Rosemary Pecha; children, Nicholas Pecha (Mom-Christine Lesemann) and Jasmine Pecha (Mom-Jada Lakoskey Brown); stepson, Joshua Diaz; sisters, Jennifer (Glenn), Julie (Ted), Jane and Janine (Alan); nieces and nephews, Tim, Charlie, McKenzie, Ashley, Charlotte, Sarah, Patty, Madisen, Libby, Jenna, Tom, Rhawnie, Justine, Devon, Riley, Alex, Drake and Quintin; along with his feline companions, Lil’ Charlie and Crowley.
Ron is also survived by numerous cousins and extended family. A special thank you to his lifelong friend, Travis “TJ” Shaw; his many friends through his employment at Fortune Bay Resort Casino; and all those people he met through his military life, travels watching his son play baseball, numerous trips to Florida to be with his daughter whom he fondly called “Peanut”, and his memorable trips to Waffle House with his favorite order being pork chops and eggs for breakfast. He was a well-loved man who always had a big smile and robust laugh.
He was preceded in death by his dad, Ronald Pecha Sr.; and younger brother, Thad Pecha. He had missed them and what a glorious reunion it must have been for the three of them.

Judith M. Honkola
Judith Mary Krey Honkola, 87, of Stillwater, died on Thursday, May 25, 2023. A celebration of her life on Saturday, Aug. 5 brought family and friends together to connect with themselves, others and nature in a countryside setting of serenity, and to turn tears of sorrow into tears of joy in honor of how Judith Mary lived her life. The event was an impressive display of caring and compassion in remembrance of the spirituality found in her love, goodness and kindness. That experience of shared being reminds us that the gift of her beautiful life lives on. 
She is survived by her husband, Harold; son, Darren; brothers, William Krey (Geri) and Jim Krey; sisters, Sally Fabbrini (Charles), Kathy Cudd (Douglas) and Patti Lawson (Jim); and numerous nieces and nephews.

Richard A. Jiacik
Richard Anthony “Richie” Jiacik, 86, a lifelong Ely resident, passed away unexpectedly at his home on Friday, June 2, 2023. He requested no service. There will be a private family burial at the Ely Cemetery this fall.
Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.
He is survived by his daughters, Roxy (Chuck) Graff and Val (Ben) McGrath; sister, Carol Janeksela; special nephew and friend, David “DJ” Janeksela; nieces, nephews and friends.

William C. Ahlstrand
William Clarence “Bill” Ahlstrand, 92, of Embarrass, passed away on Sunday, Aug. 13, 2023, in Brainerd. Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. with visitation one hour prior on Friday, Sept. 1 at Heritage Church in Baxter with Sam Anderson officiating. Arrangements have been entrusted to Brenny Family Funeral Chapel of Baxter.
He is survived by his sisters, Betty Mather and Dorothy Maki; children, Yvonne Trugman and Maralee Gazelka; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild about to be born.