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Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Obituaries: August 4, 2023


James A. Planton
James Anthony “Jim” Planton, 76, of Soudan, died on Saturday, July 22, 2023, in his home surrounded by his family. A Memorial Mass was held on Wednesday, Aug. 2 at St. Martin’s Catholic Church in Tower with Reverend Father Beau Braun as celebrant. Memorials may be directed to Contented Critters, PO Box 444, Forbes, MN 55738. Family services were provided by Bauman-Cron, a Bauman Family Funeral Home in Tower.
Jim was born on Sept. 27, 1946, in Virginia, the son of Anthony and Rose (Mertel) Planton. He attended Tower-Soudan High School, Mesabi Community College, and received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Bemidji State University. Jim married Rebecca Suihkonen on Aug. 7, 1976, in Tower. He was employed as an elementary school teacher in the St. Paul area and returned to the Range in 1978. He was employed by Minntac, LTV Steel, and Inland prior to his retirement in 2006. Jim was a member of St. Martin’s Catholic Church in Tower, and was an animal lover for all his pets. He was a huge NASCAR fan, collected car models, loved his 1966 Chevy SS Convertible, and cherished “lake life”.
Jim is survived by his wife, Becky; cousins; extended family and friends; and his canine companion, Luna.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and sister, Jane Planton.

Dr. Valerie Wright
Dr. Valerie Lindbeck Wright, 54, originally of Ely, passed away unexpectedly on Friday, July 21, 2023, in Virginia. A celebration of life was held at Trinity Lutheran Church in Virginia on Saturday, July 29. Arrangements were with Range Funeral Home of Virginia.
She is survived by her mother, Carol Lesar Lindbeck; husband, Garland “Mick” Wright; daughter, Carlie (Chris) Schneider; other family and friends.

Barbara A. Leon
Barbara “Bobbi” Ann Leon, 88, originally of Ely, passed away peacefully on Saturday, July 22, 2023, in Virginia. A Mass of Christian Burial was held on Monday, July 31 at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Virginia. Interment was at Calvary Cemetery in Virginia.
She is survived by her loving nieces, Joan Burnett and Mary (Leon) Hilpisch; and nephews, John Burnett, Joe Leon, Ted Leon, Larry Leon and Matt Leon.

Atrina Koski
Atrina Koski, 77, of Embarrass, died on Tuesday, July 25, 2023, at her home. Funeral arrangements are pending with Ziemer-Moeglein-Shatava Funeral Home in Aurora.

Carole Niska
Carole Niska, 82, passed away on Wednesday, July 26, 2023, in the Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital. Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.

Patricia Fello
Patricia Fello, 68, died on Sunday, July 30, 2023, in the Boundary Waters Care Center in Ely. Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.

Carl S. Schultz
Carl Selby Schultz, 79, of Angora, died on Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023, at the Cook Hospital in Cook. Arrangements are pending with Range Funeral Home in Virginia.