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Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Obituaries: November 19, 2021

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Sharon J. Phillips
Sharon Joan Phillips, 67, surrounded by her family, passed away from cancer at her home in Hibbing on Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021. She was the light of her family’s life. A memorial service was held on Tuesday, Nov. 16 at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Hibbing. Arrangements were with Mlaker Funeral Home of Cook.
Sharon was born in Hibbing on March 12, 1954, to Lester and Lois Plante. She was the third youngest of seven brothers and sisters. Her father was killed in a mining accident when she was seven years old. Her mother Lois later remarried Thomas Paull, joining two families and adding three step-siblings. Upon graduation from Hibbing High School in 1972, Sharon moved to the Twin Cities for a short time. She worked for 3M and the DNR before deciding to return to Hibbing, which undoubtedly broke many hearts in Minneapolis. After marrying Tim Rasch in 1975, Sharon stayed home and raised her boys. Wade and Troy could not imagine a more loving and caring role model to guide them through life. It was during her boys’ early years that she developed a love for fishing, which lasted her entire life. Oftentimes, she would go fishing on the Little Fork River during the day and race back to be home when the kids got off the bus. 
Sharon was a part-time aerobics instructor while the boys were young and returned to the workforce full-time for Fena Advertising in 1986. “Full-time” is a term used generously here...because Sharon was not a morning person. Still, she poured so much of herself into her work. Sales calls with Sharon would oftentimes turn into visits where many customers became dear friends. She remained selling for Fena Advertising until she retired in July of 2018. This meant virtually an entire lifetime supply of pens, pencils, and other advertising specialties with the Fena Advertising logo. In 1992, Sharon married Jay Phillips. They would have celebrated their 30th anniversary next year. Never far from her side, Jay skillfully navigated the waters of a blended family and provided Sharon, the boys, and grandkids a lifetime of love and affection. 
Retirement from the workforce provided more free time, which led to new hobbies. Sharon approached each of her passions with the same zeal and dedication she had for her family and friends. From fishing, dollhouses, sewing, knitting, and creating - she never slowed down. After discovering her love for miniatures, she created elaborate dollhouses for all her grandchildren and even a miniature cabin for Jay. Each one of these labors of love required hundreds of hours, and contained countless one-of-a-kind creations. Of all her many creations, Sharon was definitely the proudest of her family. Sharon was a cherished light that her family depended on so heavily and she viewed that dependency as a blessing, not a burden. She lived a selfless life of generosity and kindness and will be sorely missed by everyone who knew her. 
Sharon is survived by her devoted husband of 29 years, Jay Phillips; sons, Wade (Lori) Rasch and Troy (Mary) Rasch; grandchildren, Laura, Connor, Michael and Natalie Rasch; step-grandchildren, Ella and Erin Greenwalt; sisters, Linda (Tom) Taylor, Marilyn Cerar, Elaine Sweeney, Bobbie and Jo Ann Paull; brother, Ron Plante; and brother-in-law, Lee (Lynne) Phillips. 
She was preceded in death by her mother, Lois Paull; father, Lester Plante; stepfather, Thomas Paull; brothers, Wayne and Gary Plante; stepbrother, Tom Paull; and mother and father-in-law, Eleanor and Raymond Phillips. 

Philip M. Christensen
Philip “Phil” Martin Christensen, 91, of Orr, passed away peacefully at his home on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 19 at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Orr. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the church. Lunch will be served after Mass. Interment will be at the Orr Cemetery. Arrangements are with Mlaker Funeral Home of Cook.
 Phil was born on Aug. 22, 1930, in Virginia, to Colburn and Josephine (Lorbecki) Christensen. He attended Orr High School and graduated in 1948. After high school, Phil held several jobs over the years, working at the paper mill in International Falls, the mines in Virginia, and for the Canadian National Railroad. Phil served in the National Guard, was an EMT, and also worked for the Border Patrol at the Mexican border. For 27 years he served as a lineman for the Rural Electric Association, as well as a policeman for the cities of Orr and Cook for many years. Phil and Barbara were married on Nov. 19, 1977, in Orr. In 1980, Phil and Barbara purchased the Orr Café and ran the business for two years. Phil was a member of the Leiding Township Board for 20 years, retiring in 2016.     
Throughout the years, Phil enjoyed working as a gunsmith, was an avid hunter and fisherman, loved reading, watching shows about Bigfoot, and traveling - especially to bluegrass festivals and gold mining in South America near the Amazon River. He cherished taking rides out to his shack on the four-wheeler, loved playing music, and was well known for his dobro skills. Phil treasured time spent with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, especially his birthday buddy, Maverick Wright.
 Phil is survived by his wife of 44 years, Barbara Annen Christensen; siblings, Danny (Debbie) Christensen and Elaine (Christensen) Granholm; children, Michael (Sandra) Christensen, Kathie (Michael) Hanson, Mary Lohn, Patrick (Anne) Christensen and Annie (Dane) Frances; stepchildren, Scott (Angela) Wright and Sean Wright; and numerous special grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
 He was preceded in death by his parents, Colburn and Josephine Christensen; three sisters, Bernice Christensen, Dorothy Jackson and Agnes “Aggie” Benko; son, Joseph “Joe” Christensen; stepson, Wesley Wright; granddaughter, Kristen Gustafson; and grandson, Alex Cook.

Scott E. Carlon
Scott E. Carlon, 68, of Ramsey, went to be with The Lord on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021. Funeral services were held on Friday, Nov. 12 at Washburn-McReavy Funeral Chapel in Crystal. 
Scott was born in Soudan and raised in Tower. He proudly worked in Materials Management at Allina Hospitals for 44 years. He was a devout Christian and served as a Song Leader and Head Trustee at Good Shepherd Fellowship in Brooklyn Center for more than 20 years. He was known by family, friends, co-workers, and strangers as a man of hospitality, friendship and generosity. Scott’s only mission in life was singular: “Others.” He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Scott is survived by mother, Carolyn; wife, Naomi; five children, Grace (George), Esther (Adam), Stephen (Bethany), Loyal, and Faith (Jordan); and seven grandchildren. Scott is also survived by his brothers and sisters, Keith, William, Lyle, Lowell, twins Violet and Elizabeth, and Ruth.
He was preceded in death by his father, Bill.

George G. Marmas
George G. Marmas, of Cook, passed away on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021. A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 20 at Mlaker Funeral Home in Cook. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service.

Donald J. Larson
Donald “Donnie” J. Larson, 85, of Cook, passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021. Per his wishes, there will be no service. Arrangements are with Mlaker Funeral Home of Cook.

Lisbeth J. Yapel
Lisbeth “Beth” J. Yapel, 83, of Virginia, and Glendale, Ariz., formerly of Tower-Soudan, died on Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021, in her home in Virginia. A private graveside service at Lakeview Cemetery in Tower will be held early next summer. Family services are provided by Bauman-Cron, a Bauman Family Funeral Home in Virginia.
She is survived by her sisters, Suzie (Dick Maddern), Dorothy (Don Ferdig) and Michele (Paul Maertens); brother, John Yapel; numerous nieces, nephews, great- and great-great nieces and nephews.

Dennis L. Minier
Dennis L. Minier, 62, of Ely, a longtime umpire, passed on Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021. He went to the home plate in the sky. Per his wishes, there will be no service or celebration of life. Cremation was entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.
Survivors include Sue Schroeder of Ely; sister, Debra Minier of Floodwood; brothers, Daniel (Linda), Michael (Deb) and Edward, all of Ely; and numerous nieces and nephews.

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