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Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Obituaries: June 21, 2024


Greta Mae Lindquist Stefanich
Greta Mae Lindquist Stefanich, age 91, passed away on June 11, 2024, in Silver Bay, Minn. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until the 11 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial on Wednesday, July 17, 2024, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 57 Horn Blvd, Silver Bay. Private Interment at Lakeview Cemetery in Tower, Minn. In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred. Condolences may be sent to: Mary Hoffman, 40 Arthur Circle, Silver Bay, MN 55614. To share a memory or leave an online condolence visit
Greta was born on May 24, 1933, in Pine City, Minn. She was the youngest child of Allen Lindquist and Ruth (Scofield) Lindquist. She was educated in the Pine City Public Schools. After graduating high school, she moved to the Twin Cities to work. While working at First National Bank in Minneapolis, she met her husband, Louis Martin Stefanich. They married in Pine City on July 31, 1954 and began their life together on the Iron Range in Babbitt. After moving to Babbitt, she interviewed for a job but was told by the interviewer that as a young married woman, she should go home and have babies. That she did, eventually giving birth to seven children. After 15 months in Babbitt, she and Louis moved to Silver Bay. It is here that Greta lived her life as a dedicated wife and mother. After the children were grown, she and Louie moved to New Brighton, Minn. to be closer to them. In 2019, Greta returned to Silver Bay, moving to Carefree Living where she remained until her death.
Greta had a beautiful singing voice and enjoyed playing the piano. She spent many nights soothing her children to sleep with beautiful songs. She was also a very good baker, with an especially delicious banana bread and a yummy Slovenian potica. It was these baked goods and salads that allowed her to share her love and compassion with many people. She once had a dream about her old, scuffed up golden serving bowl. In her dream, she was with many women at church and the bowl began to shine a radiant gold. She suddenly had an urge to speak. She told these women how the bowl had been taken to so many funerals, weddings, graduations, potlucks, picnics, neighbors and friends who were grieving or celebrating. It had been to so many places, always filled with love. That was one of Greta’s secrets, doing small things with great love.
She was an active member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Silver Bay. She taught CCD classes, sang in the choir, was on the funeral committee, a lector and church secretary for nine years.
She was preceded in death by her husband, parents, four siblings, father and mother-in-law, three brothers in-law and one sister-in-law.
She is survived by her seven children: Rebecca Orvik, Mary Hoffman, Susan Stefanich (Mark Roubinek), Timothy Stefanich (Pamela), Louis W. Stefanich (Monica Kocourek), Ruth Zouzouambe (Yves), and Matthew Stefanich (Dawn); grandchildren: Clay, Greg, Garrett, Megan (Willy), Daniel, Miranda, Alex, Stephane, Marcel, Zachary, Owen and Samuel; brother-in-law Jerome (Janice) Stefanich, sister in law Joyce Lindquist and many nieces and nephews.
Her children would like to thank the staff of Carefree Living in Silver Bay and Essentia Health Hospice. Their kindness, love and generosity went above and beyond.

Sheri L. Sawatzky
Sheri Lynn Olson Sawatzky, 60, of Cook, died on Wednesday, June 12, 2024, after a courageous battle with cancer. A celebration of life will be held on Friday, June 28 at Camp Vermilion in Cook. The visitation will be from 2 to 3 p.m. with a service at 3 p.m. followed by a meal. Memorials can be made to the Vermilion Lake Association. Arrangements are with Mlaker Funeral Home of Cook.
She is survived by her husband, Lauren “Bubba”; mother, Shirley Olson of Rice Lake, Wis.; brother, Jeff (Laurie) of Rice Lake, Wis.; sister, Robin (Jim) Nelson of Richland Center, Wis.; numerous nieces and nephews; and friends from all around the country.

Mary L. Bird
Mary Louise “Marylou” Boitz Bird, 75, of Cambridge, and formerly of Ely, died on Wednesday, June 5, 2024, in Encore Assisted Living in North Branch. Graveside services were held on Thursday, June 13 in the Ely Cemetery with Reverend Father Brandon Moravitz officiating. Memorials are preferred, and may be directed to heroes helping heroes at Family services were provided by Bauman-Vermilion, a Bauman Family Funeral Home in Tower.
She is survived by her husband, Dick of Cambridge; children, Patricia (Todd) Baker of Blaine, Richard (Sandra) Bird of Barnum and Justina (William Messerich) Bird of Ely; grandchildren, Alexys Olness, Anthony Olness, Jessica (Cole) Liimatainen, Jamie (Daniel) Gilchrist and Jordan Bird; great-grandchildren, Jace, Jayden and Grayson; brother-in-law: Don (Cindy) Bird; nieces and nephews, Corey (Katie) Bird and Melanie (Rick) Stickney; extended family and friends.

Deborah Minier
Deborah “Deb” Minier, 64, of Ely, passed away on Tuesday, May 28, 2024, at the Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital surrounded by her family. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until the 11 a.m. funeral service on Saturday, June 22 at Grace Lutheran Church in Ely with Pastor Eric Thiele officiating. Burial will be at the Ely Cemetery. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Landmark Funeral Home in Virginia.
She is survived by her loving husband, Mike; daughter, Charlotte (Matthew) Roggenbuck; son, Wayne Minier; sister, Denise (Rob) Zollar; brother, Doug (Lorie) Wiermaa; brothers-in-law, Daniel (Linda) Minier and Edward Minier; sister-in-law, Debbie Minier; and many nieces and nephews.

Carlen L. Lamppa
Carlen Lloyd Lamppa, 76, of Aurora and formerly of Embarrass, died on Thursday, May 30, 2024, in Essentia St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 22 at North Hope Church in Aurora. A gathering time for family and friends will begin one hour prior to the service at the church. Inurnment will take place in the Embarrass Cemetery. Family services are provided by Bauman-Cron, a Bauman Family Funeral Home in Virginia.
He is survived by his wife, Carol Sue Workman Lamppa; son, Brent “Skeeter” (Melissa) Lamppa of Hoyt Lakes; granddaughters, Maggie and Allie; siblings, Michael (Charlene) Lamppa of Savage, Bernadette “Berni” Bradshaw of Wichita, Kasn., and Russel (Melanie) Lamppa of New Hope; sister-in-law, Sandy (John) Workman Warner of Grand Island, Neb.; nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

Cliff Pechacek
Cliff Pechacek, 80, of Ely, passed away on Thursday, June 13, 2024. The family would like to thank Dr. Friday, Dr. Jessica Lahta, Dr. Wilt and Dr. Montana, the hospital staff and hospice care for their outstanding care. 
Per Cliff’s wishes, there will be no service. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Landmark Funeral Home in Virginia.
He is survived by his wife, Joyce Voll Pechacek; daughters, Kim (Mike) Gheen and Tammy (Mike) Velcheff, both of Ely; sons, Chris (Amber) Pechacek of Ely and Scott (Marcia) Pechacek of Rush City; grandchildren, Casey Velcheff, Shianne Gheen, Jerod Gheen and Kelsey Velcheff, all of Ely; special sister-in-law, Karen Voll of Ely; brother-in-law, Arnie Beyer of Owatonna; and several nieces and nephews. 

Alan P. Maxson
Alan Paul Maxson, 85, of Babbitt, passed away from complications of dementia on Tuesday, June 11, 2024. The family would like to express their gratitude to the entire staff at Babbitt Carefree Living for taking care of Alan in his last year.
He is survived by wife, Alice Maxson; children, Robin (John) Creighton of Eagan, Robert (Denise) Maxson of St. Ignace, Mich., Donald (Diane) Maxson of Babbitt, and Michael and James Crane of Duluth; 13 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; brother, Jack (Barb) Maxson of Bloomington; and numerous extended family and friends.