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Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Obituaries: July 1, 2022


Nancy A. Yapel
Nancy Ann Yapel, 76, of Tower, passed away on Monday, June 20, 2022. At her request, no funeral is planned. Instead, the immediate family will attend a private burial service in Tower and a celebration of life party will be hosted in her honor later this summer, with dates to be determined. Knowing that Nancy will be missed by all who knew her, her family requests that family and friends visit her online memorial at to offer condolences, share stories and photos of her (or yourselves in the dresses she made for you), and donate to a charity that will benefit kids in need. Arrangements are with Landmark Funeral Home in Virginia.
Nancy was born in Virginia on July 19, 1945, to Linden and Lorraine (Semon) Burgess and enjoyed her childhood growing up in Tower with her beloved siblings, Judy (Len) Tomsich, Barb (Bill) Durbin and Gary (Robin) Burgess. On Aug. 22, 1964, she married Peter Yapel of Soudan and the couple resided in Hoyt Lakes for 25 years, before returning to Tower. Nancy and Peter had two children, Mark (Nichole) Yapel of Esko and Deanna (Frank) Ziemba of Eden Prairie. They were also blessed with one grandson, Sam Yapel of St. Paul.
Nancy was an incredible and loving mom to her kids. Whether she was teaching them life skills with a sense of humor, whipping up one of their favorite desserts, or helping them entertain friends, Nancy filled their lives with joy and mischief. Summers were spent at their family cabin on Lake Vermilion, where Nancy often delighted friends and family with made-from-scratch culinary delights and ice cream socials.
For more than 50 years, Nancy worked as an incredibly talented seamstress. It was not uncommon for her to design and sew a wedding dress and then make dresses for the entire bridal party. Nancy made hundreds of prom dresses and worked on well over a thousand wedding dresses throughout her career. She loved to sew so much, she finished working on her final bridesmaid dresses while in the ICU shortly before her passing, to the shock of hospital staff, but it was no shock to those who knew her well.
Nancy had boundless energy, so if she wasn’t sewing for someone, she was cooking or baking for them. Widely known for her desserts, she was also known for cooking seven-course Chinese dinners for family, complete with domed dishes. She insisted on making everything from scratch and rarely needed to consult a recipe.
Since accepting Christ as her Savior at the tender age of twelve, Nancy’s faith was central to how she lived. She believed we should live our lives in service to others and she was always looking for ways to help people. She worked as a Sunday school teacher at St. James Presbyterian Church in Tower for more than 10 years and her eyes would light up when she talked about how much she loved those kids. Vacation Bible School (VBS) was an annual highlight for her when she would plan activities and cook the lunches and treats for all the kids and VBS volunteers. Her love for the kids inspired her daughter, Deanna, to author a series of children’s books, Angel Hearts for Jesus, where Miss Nancy was a central character who taught Sunday school. Nancy’s favorite Bible verse was Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

Gerald K. Storm
Gerald K. “Jerry” Storm, 72, of Cook, died on Thursday, June 16, 2022, while in Montana on a rafting and fly-fishing trip. Memorial services will be held at 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 7 at Trinity Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Cook.

Bruce B. Von Wald
Bruce Benjamin Von Wald, 81, of Foley, formerly of Ely and Babbitt, passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, after battling Parkinson’s. Funeral services were held at New Life Church of Foley on Monday, June 27 with Rev. Roger Stacy officiating. There will also be a public graveside memorial service at Argo Cemetery in Babbitt on Saturday, July 23, followed by a luncheon at the Babbitt Assembly of God Church. Family services are provided by Foley Funeral Home.
He is survived by his wife, Judith Aho Von Wald of Foley; sons, Brandon (Lori) of Puyallup, Wash., Rev. James (Tina) of Rice, Rian (Jeanene) and Ron (Darla), both of Blaine; nine grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; sister, Irene “Dolly” (Mitch) Cole of Warroad; lifelong friend and hockey coaching buddy, Ron Castellano of Sauk Rapids; and extended family, Loretta Trovick, Janet Stellmach, Bev Nihart and JoAnne Hardy.