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Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Obituaries: March 15, 2024


Gertrude Mosnik
We are deeply saddened by the passing of our mother, Mrs. Gertrude M. Vertnik Mosnik, 90, of Ely, who passed away on Nov. 27, 2023, following a decline in her health. She was cremated on Dec. 4 at Prasser Kleczka Funeral Home in Bay View, Wis. She will be buried next to her husband in the Ely Cemetery on Friday, June 21, 2024, when a service and celebration of her life will be held by her family. Please address any correspondence to her daughters, Diane Mosnik, 2357 E Bennett Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53207 or Debra Mosnik, 7583 5th St. N, Oakdale, MN 55128.
Gertrude “Gert” was born in Ely to Matthew and Gertrude Zaverl Vertnik on July 3, 1933. She resided in Ely most of her life until moving into a long-term care facility in Milwaukee, Wis., near her daughter Diane. The family is extremely thankful for the care she received at Creek Side Terrace in Oak Creek her final two years. Gert married Albin Mosnik, known to all as “Beanie,” on June 21, 1958, in Ely, after Beanie returned from his military service in the army during the Korean War. They were married nearly 50 years prior to Beanie’s passing in 2008.
Gert loved her Ely community and her Slovenian heritage. She was very social and loved polka music, accordions played by her friends, dancing to polkas, going to the casino, watching game shows and doing word puzzles. She also loved baking and was well known for her poticas and other Slovenian foods and desserts. She enjoyed blueberry picking with her family and her blueberry potica was wonderful. She was active in local women’s clubs and organizations, including the VFW Auxiliary and Yugoslav Club; she was a member of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church. She also worked part-time in some women’s clothing stores in Ely.
Gert is survived by her children, Diane Mosnik, Debra Mosnik and Steven Mosnik; grandchildren, Jenna Mosnik and Brody Mosnik, whom she loved very much; and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Albin Mosnik; parents,
Matthew and Gertrude Vertnik; sisters, Stanislava Vertnik, Mary Cudlipp (Russ), Anna Horgas (George), Frances Olson (Robert) and Angela Golobich (Anton “Tony”); and brothers, Frank Vertnik (Wanda) and Matthew Vertnik (Marion).

Jason F. Gehrke
Jason Fredrick Gehrke, 82, passed away on Friday, March 1, 2024, with his loving family standing vigil at his side. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends. A celebration of life will be held from 1-4 p.m. on Sunday, April 14 at the Balkan Town Hall, 5524 Hwy. 73 in Chisholm.
Jason is survived by his wife, Sharon Knowles Gehrke; sons, Jason (Denise) Gehrke and Rodney (Sundie) Gehrke; daughters, Sherry Lawrence, Char Harris and Jan (Henry Jr.) Skahl; fourteen grandchildren; twenty-four great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Mildred Pratt Gehrke; father, Theodore F. Gehrke; sisters, Mary Lou Gehrke Sundhiem and Katherine Gehrke as an infant; first wife, Sarah Hutchinson, also known as Connie; and several aunts, uncles, cousins and dear friends.

Barry M. Day
Barry Merle Day, 52, of Nett Lake Bois Forte Ojibwe Reservation, passed away on Monday, March 4, 2024. A wake was held on Sunday, March 10 and a funeral service was held on Monday, March 11, both at the Bois Forte Government and Services Center. Lance Kingbird officiated. Casket bearers were Kent Isham, Klib Isham, William Villebrun, Martis Voss, Adam Strong and Mike Isham. Honorary casket bearers were Christy Zika and Elsie Jones. Arrangements were with Mlaker Funeral Home of Cook.
He is survived by his son, Talon Day; mother, Jewel Day Walker; father, Ronald Boshey; brothers, Ronald, Damon, Dean, Neil and Charles Graue; nieces, Kateri, Loya and Genesis; nephews, Dylan, Douglas, Shawn, Michael, Daysaun and AJ; and special friends, Christy Zika and Elsie Jones.

John A. Swenson
John A. Swenson, 79, of Ely, a proud veteran of the U.S. Navy Seabees, found peace at his home on Tuesday, March 12, 2024, with his beloved wife and their three devoted pups by his side. John was a tireless supporter of the tourism community and chose Ely as his final resting place. There will be no services at his request. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.
He is survived by his wife, Sheryl of Ely; mother, Betty Koski; sisters, Yvonne Schmidt, Cathy Baker and Barbara Hall, and sister-in-law, Debra Foster, all of Indiana; and the special friend he treasured as a son, Chris Eilrich of Ely.

Ray H. Hario
Ray H. Hario, 80, a lifelong resident of Ely, died on Saturday, March 9, 2024, in Carefree Living in Ely. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 15 at First Lutheran Church in Ely with Rev. Zachariah Bergdorf officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the memorial service at the church. Private interment will be in the Ely Cemetery at a later date. Memorial donations may be directed to First Lutheran Church in Ely or the Salvation Army. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.
He is survived by his former wife, Susan Hario of Ely; paternal cousins and maternal cousins.

Michael Prijatel
Michael “Mike” Prijatel, 74, of Owatonna, originally of Ely, passed away on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester after complications from a cardiac event. A family memorial and burial will be held this summer in Ely.
He is survived by his wife, Antoinette “Toni” Okasich Prijatel of Owatonna; daughter, Rachel (Adam) Stange of Austin; grandchildren, Augustine and Zephyrine; brothers, Jerry (Carol) Prijatel of Sauk Centre, Joey (Rusty) Prijatel of Aurora and Peter (Cec) Prijatel of Virginia; sisters-in-law, Mona (Tim) Trembath of Thornton, Colo., and Evie Haverkost of Mt. Iron; other friends and relatives.

Anton Buckanaga
Anton James Buckanaga, 29, of Tower, died unexpectedly in his home on Wednesday, March 6, 2024. A wake was held on Sunday, March 10 and tribal rites were held on Monday, March 11, both at the Vermilion Wellness Center. William Peters was the Spiritual Advisor. Pallbearers were Brandon Hanks, Kyle, Bill Peters, Bryan Jr., James, Harvey Jr. and Aiden Strong. Honorary pallbearers were Michele, Rena, Sophia, Paxton and Andrew. Burial was in the Bois Fortes Vermilion Cemetery. Family services were provided by Bauman-Vermilion, a Bauman Family Funeral Home in Tower.
Anton was born on May 26, 1994 in Minneapolis, the son of Miles Parkhurst and Angela Buckanaga. Anton liked beading, family time, car rides and music with his siblings. He loved his children, family and friends.
Anton is survived by his mother, Angela Buckanaga of Tower; children, Carter, Evalette and Taven Buckanaga, all of Minneapolis; sisters, Michele and Rena Buckanaga, Sophia Medicine and Tara Carlos, all of Tower; brother, Brandon Hanks of Tower; numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and many friends.
He was preceded in death by his father, Miles Parkhurst; grandpa, Andrew Buckanaga; grandma, Vivian Francis; and many uncles and aunties.