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Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Obituaries: October 14, 2022


Maxine J. Sandberg
Maxine Joan Sandberg, 70, of Cook, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022. A visitation will be held on Saturday, Oct. 15 from noon to 2 p.m., followed by a Celebration of Life at 2 p.m. at the Cook Community Center in Cook. Arrangements are with Mlaker Funeral Home in Cook.
Maxine was born to Archie and Clara (Barrett) Kersting on March 11, 1952, in Grand Rapids. Maxine grew up in Bear Lake and attended Bigfork High School. She was united in marriage to Merl Sandberg on April 26, 1969. They lived in Bear River where they raised their three children, Sheldon, Brad and Stacey.
 Maxine worked various customer service jobs until she and Merl built the Viking Bar in 1984. Her personality attracted countless amounts of people from near and far. After retirement, her inability to sit still led her to cleaning cabins where customers became family. Maxine was known for her upbeat, kind and caring nature. Even during her struggle with cancer, she was always positive and never gave up. She enjoyed spending time with family and friends. For years she never missed an event, from her oldest son to her youngest grandchild. Her favorite pastime was traveling, which included numerous Mexican adventures and winning big in Vegas or pretty much anywhere she went.
 Maxine is survived by her husband, Merl; son, Brad (Dee Ann) Sandberg; daughter, Stacey (Steven) Ratai; daughter-in-law, Taryn Sandberg; brother, Joe (Arlayne) Kersting; sisters, Nancy (Roger) Kjendle, Sharon (Ike) Nelson, Arlene (Gene) Chilman and Judy Geisen; grandchildren, Jaret (Destinie) Sandberg, Alli Sandberg, Jahna Sandberg, Hanna Sandberg, Regan Ratai and Kaden Ratai; great-grandchildren, Grayson and Leah Sandberg; and numerous nieces and nephews.
 She was preceded in death by her parents, Archie and Clara; son, Sheldon; and brother, Jerry Kersting.

Nathan A. Ehrich
Nathan Allan Ehrich, 40, of Cotton, died on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, near his home. A graveside service will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 17 at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Duluth, followed by a celebration of life at his home at 6818 Comstock Lake Road. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the American Heart Association or Disabled American Veterans. Arrangements are by Ziemer-Moeglein-Shatava Funeral Home of Gilbert.
Survivors include his wife, Haley; sons, Gunnar, Griffin and Gage; mother, Roxi Jensen of Hoyt Lakes; father, Alan (Debbie) Ehrich of Tower; sisters, Nicole Ehrich of Duluth and Brandi (Kenneth) Hascall of Wright; grandmother, Eldwin Haskell of Redfield, S.D.; nieces and nephews; in-laws, Ralph Hall and Kitty Hall; sister-in-law, April (Josh) Lewis; numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and friends; and his military family.

Richard Niemi
Richard (Richie, Rich, Papa Roach) Niemi, 59, of Babbitt, loving son, father, grandpa, brother, uncle and nephew, went to sleep at his home and never woke up on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022. A celebration of life will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12 at Hope Lutheran Church in Embarrass. Visitation will be at 2 p.m. Burial will be at the Waasa Township Cemetery. Arrangements are with Range Funeral Home of Virginia.
He is survived by his daughter, Ashley (Dustin) Finner; son, Benjamin Niemi; granddaughter, Keira Finner; mother, Ellen Joyce Niemi; sister, Carol (Tom) Sundberg; and nephews, Leighton and Ian Sundberg.

Leo A. Kainz Jr.
Leo “Cubby” Andrew Kainz Jr., 66, of Ely, died unexpectedly on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, at his home in Ely. Funeral services were held on Thursday, Oct. 13 at First Lutheran Church in Ely with Pastor Zach Burgdorf officiating.
He is survived by his stepchildren, Brandi (Kevin Kovall) Richards of Babbitt, Bill (Jeff Juncewski) Richards of Sauk Rapids and Brittany (Eric) Howe of Nisswa; daughter-in-law, Tracy Anderson-Zupancich of Tower; grandchildren, Michael Berger, Sydni Ross, Lilli Berger, Nikolas Berger, Kael Richards, Ty Richards, Madelyne Roderick, Rustin Carlson and Miley Schwarz; great-granddaughters, Paisley Berger and Kaia Richards; nephews, Barney Swanson and Jeremy Swanson; aunt, Doreen Bistis; many cousins, nieces and nephews; close friends, John Lincicome and Dave Moats; and his Jack Russell Terrier, Martha.