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Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Obituaries: May 24, 2024


Dr. John V. Urick
Dr. John Victor Urick, 91, of Lake Vermilion, passed away quietly at his lake home on Tuesday evening, May 14, 2024. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, June 1 at Bauman Funeral Home in Tower. Visitation will be at 10 a.m. followed by a service at 11 a.m. The family would like to thank the wonderful staff at Virginia Hospice for their immense help and Dr. Elleby and Dr. Friday for their kind and compassionate care.
John was born on April 17, 1933, to Victor and Lily Erdine (Nordstrom) Urick in Biwabik. He graduated from Biwabik High School in 1951. John was drafted and served two years in the U.S. Army. He would fondly reminisce about his tour of duty in Hawaii and getting to enjoy the days on Waikiki Beach. John enrolled at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, graduating with a degree in Education. Realizing that teaching wasn’t his calling, he continued his education at the University of Minnesota and graduated in 1962 from the School of Dentistry.
John married Patricia Evelyn Prevost of Duluth on June 19, 1959. They would enjoy a long and loving marriage of almost 65 years. John was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, friend and mentor. John was very loyal and very giving. He was an excellent dentist who enjoyed his patients and tried to provide them with the best care possible. John practiced in St. Cloud for 37 years before retiring in 1997 to return to his beloved Lake Vermilion.
John was a member (and previous president) of the St. Cloud Dental Society, Minnesota Dental Association, St. Cloud Country Club, St. Cloud Trap Shooting Club, the Vermilion Lake Association and American Academy of General Dentistry. He was also a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church of Tower.
Beyond all his personal and professional successes, John was a “salt-of-the-earth” kind of guy. His subtle wit would create smiles and laughter from family and friends. He was always willing to give a helping hand to anyone who needed it and quietly performed charity dentistry.
He would often say, “I’ve had a wonderful life, caught all the fish I’ve wanted to, and done a lot of great hunting with friends, loved my family and friends, and I’m ready to meet the Lord.” John lived life fully and enjoyed life up until the very end. It was a gift to know him and enjoy his company.
In retirement, John and Pat would spend their winters in St. Petersburg, Fla. John enjoyed his fishing, hunting, tending his vegetable garden (parsnips were his favorite), and was a voracious reader of World War II books. He often spent time tinkering in his workshop and always found projects to do around his lake home.
John is survived by his wife, Pat; sons, John and James; grandchildren, December, Skyler, Jenna and Abigail; several nephews and nieces; and special cousin, Ken Danz.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and sister.

Doris J. Kantola
Doris J. Johnson Kantola, 98, of Cook, beloved wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, great-grandmother and aunt passed into the presence of her Lord on Saturday, May 18, 2024, at Cook Care Center. A celebration of life was held on Thursday, May 23 at First Baptist Church of Cook. Arrangements were with Mlaker Funeral Home of Cook.
She is survived by her children, Joan (James) Edblom of Virginia, Doreen (Galen) Bergman of Britt and Terrance (Bernadine) Kantola of Cook; grandchildren, Launa (John) Hanna, Shannon (Gail) Bergman, Jill (Todd) Mavec, Judy (Eric) Iverson and Stacy (Levon) Kalemkiarian; eight great-grand-children; and several nieces and nephews.

Kenneth H. Kube
Kenneth Harold “Ken” Kube, 83, of Thief River Falls, passed away on Monday, May 20, 2024, at the Thief River Care Center. A memorial service was held on Wednesday, May 22 at Gosen Church in McIntosh with Pastor Gary Johnson officiating. A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 31 at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi. Visitation will take place one hour prior to the service. Memorials are preferred to the Gosen Church or St. Andrew’s Community Resource Center.
Ken was born on June 3, 1940, to Alvin Harold Kube and Edith Marie (Gauger) Kube in St. Paul. He grew up on St. Paul’s West Side and graduated from Humboldt High School in 1958. During high school he played hockey and got to travel the state. On his ventures up north in those days, he said they lost many games to the great hockey teams of northern Minnesota. Ken went on to the University of Minnesota and  worked as a draftsman. He was part of the team  that designed Alvin, a  deep-sea submersible that discovered the Titanic. On a family trip, he took his kids to Woods Hole Institute in Massachusetts to find the sub gone to sea, their own version of Family Vacation.
Ken suffered from horrible stuttering and tried to find jobs where he would not need to talk to anyone. When he was in his 20’s he was told that if he was ever going to kick the stuttering, he needed to find a job that  depended on his ability to talk. So Ken started cold call selling life insurance door-to-door. This was just what was needed to open the flow of speech; some would argue it never turned off. He went on to be a multi-million-dollar producer for Lutheran Mutual/ CUNA. He started his own agency and mentored many others and was very successful because of his near photographic memory and the ability to remember people’s names and important things about them.
In 1989, he was convicted of mail fraud and was sentenced to 22 months at the Duluth prison. Ken took this as a  sign to change the direction of his life. He spoke to others about what led  him to this spot and got very involved with Prison Fellowship. He had the opportunity to travel, but still called Minnesota home. He was often found sitting and talking, helping others when he could. He had a strong relationship with many Amish; he liked their simpler life and would often give them rides and take them to appointments. He even had the opportunity to join in on some barn raisings and truly enjoyed that.
 Ken was married to Karen Lamp on May 5, 1968, and they had two children, Eric and Sara. Their marriage was dissolved in 1990. He was very proud of both his children and would often speak of them with great pride and passion.
In Ken’s life he led church youth groups, mined for gold, owned and raced horses, hunted and fished, served as Mayor of West St. Paul, loved to ride his barstool go-kart, traveled, built office buildings, homes and restaurants, and took adventures with his dog, like their trip to Alaska in a van with 230,000 miles on it. He sold insurance, garage doors, bathrooms and cars; he was a passionate man of Minnesota sports and had the opportunity to work with the Vikings, Twins and Wild.  He loved to visit the Texas  hill country.
In Ken’s last year, he was blessed to be living at the Thief River Care Center. He was cared for graciously and kindly. Many thanks go to all the staff. He took time to get to know the other residents there and would ask residents and staff alike if they knew Jesus and would share his faith.
No matter where Ken called home, he would work extra hard to get involved, meet his neighbors, and join a church family. Within a very short time everyone knew who he was, and he would know all of their names, what they did, and what they needed help with. He was the first to step up to help and to recruit others to help when needed. His heart was great, and he shared his faith in Jesus far and wide.
A very special thank you to the family that adopted him as an honorary grandfather - Lori, Pat, Shandi, Kinsley and Mathew. Thank you for caring for him and bringing him into your family. Ken’s journey on this earth now is done; many were blessed by the intersection of their lives with his. He told many jokes and the lucky ones even got to hold his stool sample. We surely hope heaven is ready for his passion, work ethic and sense of humor. Maybe the angels will not notice when he plays his harmonica a bit off key.
Ken is survived by his children, Eric (Amy) Kube and Sara Kube; grandchildren, Jake, Lucy, Addison and Megan Kube; ex-wife, Karen Matheney; and long-term companion, Dee Dee Miller.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and sister, Carol Kube.

Russell A. Edman
Russell Allen Edman, 97, longtime resident of Babbitt, died on Tuesday, May 7, 2024, at Heritage Manor in Chisholm. A celebration of life will be held at the Babbitt Beach Pavilion on Tuesday, July 2 from 2 to 4 p.m. Family services are provided by Bauman-Cron, a Bauman Family Funeral Home in Virginia.
He is survived by his sons, Russell Edman Jr. of Virginia and Bruce (Lynn) Edman of McKinney, Texas; grandchildren, Jeff (Christie) Edman, Katie (Matt) Hiti and Ross (Brittani) Edman; six great-grandchildren; numerous nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

Marion Kangas
Marion Skala Kangas, 86, of Ely, passed away peacefully on Sunday, May 19, 2024, in the Boundary Waters Care Center in Ely. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 24 at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Ely. Visitation will be for one hour before. Burial will follow in the Ely Cemetery. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.
She is survived by her son, John; daughters, Linda (John) DeBeltz and Barbara (Gary) Torgerson; and grandchild, Braden Torgerson.

Chester C. Leathers
Chester C. Leathers, 84, of Cook, passed away on Thursday, May 2, 2024, at his home. A private family burial will be held at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery at Saginaw. A celebration of life will be held at the Cook VFW on Saturday, June 29 from noon to 3 p.m. Arrangements are with Landmark Funeral Home in Virginia.
He is survived by  his special friend, Joanne Minnetti of Bloomington; son, Steve (Bobbi) Leathers; daughter, Mari  Beltezore (Steve Blanck); grandchildren, Camryn and Andrew Beltezore; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Gary J. Starkman
Gary J. Starkman, 80, of Ely, passed away on Friday, May 10, 2024, at his home. Private services will be held and burial will be in the White Iron Cemetery. Arrangements are with Landmark Funeral Home in Virginia.
He is survived by his sons, Michael (Sherry) and Dan; grandchildren, Dylan and Danica; and sister, Kathy Douglas.

Bernard T. Mettler
Bernard Thomas “Bernie” Mettler, 60, of  Long Prairie, formerly of Embarrass, died tragically in a UTV accident on Saturday, April 13, 2024.
A memorial service was held on Monday, May 20 at the Evangelical Free Church of Embarrass with Pastor Marlin Bjornrud officiating. Memorials are preferred and may be sent to Joshua Mettler, 5606 E Taylor Rd, Embarrass, MN 55732.