Support the Timberjay by making a donation.

Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Obituaries: March 8, 2024


Michael D. Swor
With gratefulness for a life well-lived, we announce the peaceful passing of Michael David Swor, 74, of St. Paul, Minn., and Naples, Fla., on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024. In the spirit of Mike’s zest for life, plan a trip, play the back nine, invest in education, and make a difference. Memorial donations in Mike’s honor are welcome to Virginia Community Foundation for post-secondary school scholarships, 303 Chestnut St., Virginia, MN 55792. Please include Mike’s name in the memo line.
Mike was born in Duluth on March 3, 1949. He graduated from Virginia High School on the Iron Range, received his BA from Hamline University and JD from William Mitchell College of Law. Mike enjoyed a rewarding career practicing law in the state of Minnesota alongside his business partner for over 40 years. A magnificent traveler and adventurer, Mike lived his life with “let’s do it” enthusiasm and relished in the storytelling of his experiences. He was funny with a sense of humor that kept you on your toes.
Mike was a man of humility who never forgot where he came from. He was equally authentic and personable with attendants and his industry peers.
Mike was always the best dressed, donning color and style as an extension of his gregarious personality. He was extremely generous and kind. He loved ice cream.
Mike is survived by his wife of 50 years, Gail Swor; daughters, Stephanie Swor of Amsterdam, Netherlands, and Meghan (Waheed Oyelakin) Swor of Maputo, Mozambique; beloved granddaughters, Fadilah and Ife Oyelakin; sisters, Cynthia Mariel and Carole Swor; as well as many treasured friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Mitchell and Vida Swor.

Jay A. Sweet
Jay Alan Sweet, 61, of Babbitt, died on Friday, March 1, 2024, at his home. A celebration of life will be held in the summer.
Jay was born on Dec. 18, 1962, at the Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital, to his parents, Eugene (Pete) and Margaret Sweet. After completing high school, he attended Hibbing Vo-Tech and then moved to the Twin Cities. There he worked at The Grist Mill. Later he worked house construction and then went to work as a plasma welder for his uncle, Joseph Sweet, who owned Sweet Chemical located in Burnsville.
Jay was very outgoing with an infectious sense of humor and a way of teasing those he truly liked. He made friends wherever he went but in the past years with his MS increasing, he found his most enduring friendships to be those with Robin Robins, Mike Waldo and Robby Stangland. The four of them could be found in Jay’s living room watching football on Sunday afternoons and Monday night.
Jay is survived by his son, Tanner Sweet; granddaughter, Sienna Sweet; and mother, Margaret Sweet, all of Babbitt; sister, Wendy (Les) Savola of Bergland, Mich.; and brother, Anthony (Nina) Sweet of Hill City.

Patricia K. DeRusha
Patricia “Patty” Kay Loomis DeRusha, 80, of Cook, died peacefully at home with family by her side on Saturday, March 2, 2024. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 8 at First Baptist Church in Cook. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the church. Arrangements are with Mlaker Funeral Home of Cook.
She is survived her daughter, Bridget (William) Timmers of Hermantown; son, Leonard (Amy) of Huntertown, Ind.; sisters, Peggy Gentile of Cook and KenMarie Hedquist of Duluth; 11 grandchildren; and two great-granddaughters.

Carolyn Blossom
Carolyn Blossom, 89, formerly of Cook, died on Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, at New Journey Residence in Eveleth. Per her request, there will not be a public memorial service but a private inurnment in the spring at the Littlefork Lutheran Cemetery in Field Township. Arrangements are with Mlaker Funeral Home of Cook.
She is survived by her nephew, Tom Blossom and his son, Jack, of Alameda, Calif., who loved her and will miss her very much; cousin, Leslie Blossom of Belchertown, Mass.; and dear friends, Julie Smith of Burnsville, Peggy Jones of Forsyth, Mo., Norma Thomas of Cook and Arliss Olson of Andover.

Carol A. Seppala
Carol A. Seppala, 77, of Angora, passed away on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024, at her home. Funeral arrangements are pending with the Landmark Funeral Home in Virginia.

Linda A. Dosch
Linda A. Jonas Dosch, 74, of Marshfield, Wis., formerly of Babbitt and Mt. Iron, died on Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, at The House of the Dove Hospice in Marshfield. She was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in June 2022. The family asks that any donations on Linda’s behalf go to The House of the Dove staff. Arrangements are with Rembs Funeral Home of Marshfield.
She is survived by her sons, Dr. Kyle (Lisa) Dosch of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and Dr. Adam Dosch of Leon, Iowa; sisters, Janis (John) Cole of Park Falls, Wis., and Mary (Todd) Esala of Babbitt; sister-in-law, Marilyn Tervola of Superior, Wis., and nieces and nephews.

Vic Gustafson
Victor “Vic” Gustafson, 85, passed away on Monday, Feb. 26, 2024, in his beloved Ely after a brief battle with pneumonia.  He was surrounded with love from those near and far. At his request, no service will be held. Instead, he asked that you remember him as he was, raise a toast to his life, and know that he left in peace and feeling his life was complete.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.
He is survived by his partner of 33 years, Rosemary Hutar; children, Gwen, Kris and Dawn; nephew, Thomas Gustafson Jr; five grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Douglas W. Kess
Douglas William Kess, 75, originally of Ely, died on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024, at home in Naselle, Wash., having suffered from pulmonary fibrosis. He had only recently returned home after several months of trying to find a hospital for a lung transplant. A celebration of life was held at his home on Saturday, Feb. 24. Condolences may be sent to 162 Government Road, Naselle, WA 986738. Memorials may be directed to Amnesty International.
He is survived by his wife, Karen Elaine Spackman; daughter, Elizabeth Senja Spackman; brothers, David (Sally), Donald (Becky deceased), Paul (Laurie) and Peter (Nina), all of Ely; two nephews; three nieces; and beloved dog, Django.

Kurt L. Meyer
Kurt Lee Meyer, 65, of Pike Township, passed away with his children by his side on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024, at Essentia-Duluth. His children would like to make a special thank you to the staff at Essentia for the care and comfort provided. A celebration of life will be held at The Shack on Hwy 169, with the date and time to be determined. Condolences may be sent to PO Box 444, Walker, MN 56484 or a donation can be made to a charity of donor’s preference in memory of Kurt.
He is survived by his three children, Kyle Meyer, Jessica Stahl and Jennie Meyer; several grandchildren; and sisters, Denise Bischoff and Linda Fitch.

Rita L. Brabec
Rita Louise Brabec, 75, of Cook, passed away on Friday, Feb. 16, 2024, at Solvay Hospice House in Duluth. Her children would like to recognize and sincerely thank Gina Pishler for the exceptional support, care and comfort she provided. A celebration of life will be held on Sunday, March 10 from 1 to 4 p.m. at The Elks Club in Virginia. Memorial gifts may be directed to the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary in Orr.
She is survived by her longtime partner and companion, Glen Seopa of Cook; children, Loddie Krepps of Kirksville, Mo., Larry (Susan) Schechinger of Eveleth and Joe (Dusty) Schechinger of Mt. Iron; six grandchildren; two great-grandsons; brothers, Ted (Chris) Brabec, Todd (Karen) Brabec and Trent Brabec; sisters-in-law, Darlene Brabec and Gail Brabec; and many nephews, nieces, great-nieces and great-nephews.

James L. Gardner Sr.
James Lynn Gardner Sr., 71, of Ely, died on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024, with his family by his side. Per his request, there will be no formal service; a BBQ and bonfire will be held at a later date.
He is survived by his children, Tina (Matt) Allison, Ele (Chris) Lassi, Meghan (Ryan) Martin and Jim (Anna) Gardner; sister, Dawn (Roy) Seekel; 11 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews; and too many cousins to count.

Eugene F. Korpi
Eugene Francis Korpi, 70, of Embarrass died on Sunday, March 3, 2024 at his home. Arrangements are pending with Ziemer-Moeglein-Shatava Funeral Home of Aurora.

Darren E. Snidarich
Darren Edward Snidarich, 53, of Angora, passed away on Sunday, March 3, 2024. A memorial gathering will be held on Sunday, March 17 from 12 to 3 p.m. at the VFW in Cook.

Susan Frederick
Susan Frederick, 77, passed away on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024, at Essentia Health Northern Pines Hospital in Aurora. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.