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Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Obituaries: May 14, 2021


Edward J. Feist
Edward John “Ed” Feist, 84, of Cook, passed away at the Cook Care Center on Thursday, May 6, 2021. A Funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, May 17 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Cook with visitation one hour before. Ed invites you to join us for a celebratory meal following the service, as he enjoyed preparing and sharing good food. We request that you bring a verbal or written remembrance to share. Arrangements are with Mlaker Funeral Home of Cook.
Ed was born on Oct. 30, 1936, at home on Hanson’s farm in McLean County, Ill., where his family worked the land. He was the seventh of nine children in a household of 14 including extended family.
 When Ed was born, his family was transitioning from horse farming to using tractors. A parish priest loaned the family $500 to buy one of their first tractors. Ed was encouraged in his mechanical abilities by his father, Anthony, who allowed him to skip farm chores to work in the shop. By the time he was a teenager, he was helping convert the tractors to propane fuel. Ed graduated from Holy Trinity High School in 1954 and continued to specialize in propane carburetion for the rest of his career.
He married Elizabeth Ann Hess, the love of his life, on April 22, 1961, in Watseka, Ill. Together they had five children. Edward was devoted to his wife and enjoyed leaving her notes and poems to greet her in the morning. He haD been looking forward to spending eternity with her since she passed away almost five years ago. 
 After spending his first 41 years in McLean County running his own business (Carburetion Workshop) and crop farming, he sold out in 1978 and bought Red Loon Lodge on Lake Vermilion near Cook. He loved grilling meat for all the guests at the Monday night picnic. He opened Feist Repair around 1980 and even continued repairing propane generators into his 80s. His children all attended his version of vocational school, “The School of Hard Knocks”, which featured learning by hands-on experience.  
Daddy shared with us a few years ago that he always did what he wanted to do in life, which was to be his own boss. He said he wished all of his kids would be able to look back on ourselves and say we were as happy living our lives as he was with his. 
Ed is survived by his siblings, Genevieve “Tootie” Feist, Sister JoAnn Feist O.P., Marilyn Taylor and Bill (Barbara) Feist; children, Ann (John Langan) Feist, Mike (Jody) Feist, Jennifer (Alan Presley) Feist, Bill (Lisa) Feist and Eddie Feist; grandchildren, Katelynn (Adam) Swan, Melina (William) Feist, Ryan (Krystal), Jonathan and Sarah Pirila; great-grandchildren, Luke Pirila, Winter and Xander Swan; and numerous nieces and nephews.  
He was preceded in death by his parents, Genevieve and Anthony Feist; wife, Elizabeth; siblings, Hilda Feist, Marie Witte, Mary Belmar, Anthony “Bud” Feist and Bernard Feist. 
David R. Martin
David Robert “Dave” Martin, 49, of Cook, passed away Thursday May 6, 2021, with his family by his side. He lost one fight in his life and it was to cancer. A Memorial Service will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 16 at the Cook Community Center. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service. Arrangements are with Mlaker Funeral Home of Cook.
Dave’s stories will be told for years to come.  His name cannot be mentioned without bringing a story to mind and a smile to your face. 
Dave was born to Robert and Linda (Hill) Martin on Jan. 30, 1972, in Virginia. He attended Cook High School where he made many of his best friends to this day. Dave worked at his grandpa’s sawmill and at the local gas station throughout high school. Dave attended Eveleth VoTech and received his welding degree where he became a master welder. He graduated with his welding degree in 1990, the same year he graduated from high school. After graduation he worked for Pope Construction, Hillwood Products, and Viita Excavating. Dave was united in marriage to Shannon Finner on August 29, 1998, in Cook, and they spent 23 loving years together.
In 2000, Dave and Shannon built their new house and started Martin Home for Seniors. He went to work for Wayne Transports as a shop foreman a few years later. While working at Wayne Transports, Dave owned two business, DC Sandblasting and Dave Martin Trucking. After injuring his back, Dave had to sell his sandblasting business and later worked at the parts store in Cook. His lifelong dream was to own a dump truck and he accomplished that in 2018 after buying his beloved Peterbilt. He loved to work and that was shown every day. He was skilled in many areas and if he didn’t know how to do something, he’d figure it out.   
Dave loved hunting, fishing, dark house spearing, wood working, camping, singing karaoke, collecting guns and spear decoys, mowing the fields with his favorite big green tractor, and spending time with his family and friends. His proudest accomplishments were raising three successful young men whom he could never stop talking about. Dave loved his family more than anything. He became a grandpa on Nov. 20, 2020.
Dave is survived by his wife of 23 years, Shannon Martin; son, Dustin (Ashley) Finner and granddaughter Keira; son, Damon Finner (Heather Hill); son, Cole Martin (Hannah Johnson); mother, Linda Martin; sisters, Sara (Pete) Niska and Amy (Rick) Viita; nieces, Jenna (Jeffrey) Chaulklin Macy Viita and Olivia Niska; nephew, Spencer Viita; fur babies, Bella, Odie, Snickerdoodle and Chester; and numerous uncles, aunts and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his father, Robert Martin in December 2019; grandparents, Cecil and Goldie Martin, and Arne and Lois Hill.

Constance Neylan
Constance “Connie” Pohl Neylan, 77, died on Monday, April 12, 2021, in Plano, Texas.
 Connie grew up in Cook and graduated from Cook High School in 1962. She later moved to Minneapolis and worked for International Harvester, KDAL TV, and Gould National Battery before marrying Robert “Bob” Neylan and moving to Wilmette, Ill., in 1969. Together they raised three sons. Connie and Bob Neylan were happily married until Bob’s death in 1995. Connie moved from Wilmette to Plano, Texas, in 2018 to be closer to family.
 Connie is survived by her three sons, Christopher and Timothy (Sara) Neylan of Plano, Texas, and Joseph Neylan; three grandchildren, Maxwell, Miles and Jake; brother, William (Teresa) Pohl of Cook; and sisters, Ardyce (Frank) Larsen of Mankato and Charlene Chamernick of Chisago City.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert Neylan; father, Charles William Pohl; mother, Ruby Knutson Geiselman; and stepfather, John Geiselman.
Ryan J. Roarty
Ryan James Roarty, 34, of Babbitt, passed away on Sunday, May 1, 2021. There will be no service held per Ryan’s wishes. The family is planning for a plaque to be placed at the Babbitt Disc Golf Course on a later date. In lieu of flowers, and understanding that grief is love persevering, please consider making a donation in Ryan’s memory to your local Disc Golf Course Association, or the International Wolf Center in Ely. Arrangements are with Landmark Funeral Home in Virginia.
Ryan enjoyed playing disc golf, video games, magic tricks, and was a fan of various sports. He enjoyed sharing his laughter with people, working as a direct service professional, a paraprofessional, helping the youth as a math tutor and as a sports coach, both in high school and college. He considered the wolf his spirit animal, and was an avid collector of traditional wooden nutcrackers and M&M chocolate candy memorabilia.
Survivors include his mother, Judith (Bill) Hammond; grandmother, Katharine Baldwin; father, James (Chizuko) Roarty; brother, Joseph (Samantha); and sisters, Tara (Ivan) and Kana. Ryan will be remembered by his nieces, Judith and Charley; and his many uncles, aunts and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Edward Ott, Joseph and Mary Roarty, and Michael Baldwin. Ryan’s paw friends, Ricky, Dude, Flash, Scooby Doo, Fiona, Tuty, Chibi, Sweet Pea, Boberz and Sanibel will miss him and he will unite with his favorites, Sandy and Daisy Girl.

Elsie M. Wiermaa
Elsie Madelaine Lah-tonen Wiermaa, 96, of Babbitt, originally of Embarrass, died peacefully at home surrounded by her children on Saturday, May 8, 2021. Visitation and a graveside service were held on Thursday, May 13 at Argo Cemetery in Babbitt. A celebration of life continued at the Junction Inn & Suites after the funeral. Elsie’s life motto was “Every day is a good one!”
She is survived by her children, Amy (Mel) Hoit of Spokane, Wash., Susan (Greg) Milleville of Brookfield, Wis., John Wiermaa of Pine City and Alyssa (Jeff) Hawn of Newport; 11 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Dale and Arlene Wiermaa of Tower; “sister”, Bev Wiermaa of Ely; and many nieces and nephews.

Todd R. Przybylski
Todd Richard Przybylski, 54, of Thief River Falls, originally of Ely, passed away after a three-year battle with brain cancer on Sunday, April 25, 2021, at the Thief River Care Center. His loving family was by his side.
He is survived by his son, Austin (Linzie) Przybylski; granddaughter, Ava Jo; mother, Carol Przybylski; siblings, Linda (Jim) Frisell, Nikki (Ed) Seliskar, Kevin (special friend Sherry) Przybylski, Bob Przybylski, Barry (Nancy) Przybylski and Connie (Charlie) Thompson; and numerous nephews, nieces and other relatives. Todd was also blessed with many great friends.

Marilyn G. Koschak
Marilyn Grace Torfin Koschak, 84, of Aurora, formerly of Ely, died on Monday, May 10, 2021, at Northern Pines Care Center in Aurora. A private service for Marilyn will be held at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Aurora. Pastor Greg Anderson will officiate. Interment will be in Forest Hill Cemetery in Aurora. Arrangements are with Ziemer-Moeglein-Shatava Funeral Home in Aurora.
She is survived by her children, Daniel Koschak of Aurora, Susan Koschak (Bob Houle) of Hillsboro, Ore., Bill Koschak of Ely, Jim Koschak (Maria Koschak) of Iron and Diane Koschak (Kurt Brandstrom) of St. Paul; grandchildren, Deanne Koschak and Darren Koschak; five great-grandchildren; siblings, Jeannie Larson, Bruce Torfin and Linda Herzog; and many nieces and nephews.