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Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Obituaries - June 7, 2019


Nancy L. Berens

Nancy Lee Berens, 82, of Embarrass, passed away on Wednesday, May 29, 2019, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Duluth. A family gathering to celebrate Nancy’s life will be held at a later date. Arrangements are with Mlaker Funeral Home of Cook.

Nancy was born to John and Elsie Johnson on April 16, 1937, in Hibbing. She attended school in Hibbing. Nancy soon met the love of her life, Kenneth Berens, and they were united in marriage on Sept. 25, 1954, in Hibbing. They were blessed with three children.

Nancy was a natural born caregiver, raising her children and then working as a CNA for Arrowhead Nursing Home (St. Michael’s) in Virginia. She lovingly cared for the residents for 19 years until her retirement in 1992. She retired the same year as Kenneth so that they could enjoy their retirement together. The couple loved to go camping and fishing together, venturing as far as Oregon and Kansas on a few of their trips.

Nancy’s life was centered around her family; they were her pride and joy. She enjoyed cooking, crafting, sewing and quilting for them. She spent many hours crocheting afghans for her grandchildren’s graduation gifts. 

Nancy is survived by her husband, Kenneth Berens; sons, Michael (Rosemary) Berens and Richard “Rick” (Janet) Berens; daughter, Beverly Berens; 10 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; and sister, Delores Sampson.

She was preceded in death by her parents, John and Elsie; sister, Violet Campell; and brother, Ray Johnson.

Doris Milbridge

Doris Peterson Milbridge, 89, of Tower, passed away on Jan. 18, 2019, at Essentia Health Care in Virginia. A Memorial Service will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, June 17 at St. James Presbyterian Church in Tower with visitation for one hour prior. Pastor Douglas Workman will officiate. Arrangements are with Range Funeral Home in Virginia.

Doris Peterson was born in Duluth and grew up in Proctor. She attended UMD in the class of 1955 and flourished as a tennis and softball team player. She earned a teaching license and taught in Wisconsin upon graduating.

Doris married Ray Milbridge in 1956 and moved to Tower later. Doris and Ray operated Ray’s Minnows for nearly 20 years until Ray passed away. Doris carried on solely for another 30-plus years. Doris and Ray often invited nephews and nieces to stay for extended summer vacations at their home/business. They taught all of these kids the virtues of hard work and play. Doris worked at several jobs such as teacher, guide, mine laborer, and bookkeeper as well as managing her business to support herself.

Doris expressed sincere special thanks to Ruth Hotakainen, who was a wonderful friend.

Doris is survived by numerous nieces and nephews and their children.

Kay F. Zika

Kay Frances Zika, 81, of Orr, passed away peacefully in the comfort of her own home on Tuesday, June 4, 2019, in the company of her children and grandchildren after a short battle with cancer. At the request of the deceased, there will be no memorial or funeral services. In lieu of flowers or gifts, if anyone would prefer, please donate to St. Mary’s Hospice East Range Team, 901 9th St. N, Medical Building, Suite 215, Virginia, MN 55792.

Kay was born on April 11, 1938, in Duluth, to Peter Donnell and Elaine King. She was married to Alan Zika on Feb. 10, 1956, and they resided in Orr the entirety of their 62 years of marriage.

She is survived by her siblings, Dennis (Mary) Donnell, Marlene (Joe) Bosinsky, Alvin (Teresa) Donnell and Jenine (Tim) Oakley; children, Bob (Leigh) Zika, Dan (Laura) Zika, Joe (Cindy) Zika, Elaine (Ed) Lake, Wendy Zika, Mary Zika and Jean (Pat) Tuomala; 15 grandchildren; 24 great-grandchildren; one great-great-granddaughter; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Peter (Jen) Donnell and Elaine King; husband, Alan; son, Peter; and great-granddaughter, Mariah.

“Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children.” William Makepeace Thackeray

John Zbasnik

John Zbasnik, 100, of Ely, a proud World War II veteran, passed away on Sunday, June 2, 2019, at the Ely Bloomenson Community Hospital in Ely. A Mass of Christian Burial was held on Thursday, June 6 at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Ely. Family arrangements were entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.

Timothy B. King

Timothy B. King, 61, of Lakeville and formerly of Orr, an award-winning educator, devoted father, beloved husband and son, loved by all who knew him, died unexpectedly on Monday, May 27, 2019. A gathering of family and friends was held on Sunday, June 2 at Hosanna Church in Lakeville. Memorials preferred to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Arrangements were with White Funeral Home in Lakeville.

He is survived by his father, Bill; wife, Laurie; children, Tyler and Jayme; many nieces, nephews and cousins; and the countless friends, colleagues and students he touched during his 61 years of life. If love could have saved him, he would have lived forever.


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