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Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Obituaries: April 14, 2023

Posted 4/12/23

Patricia Mason Patricia Griffis Waisanen Mason made her final boarding call and “slipped the surly bonds of earth” on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023. She died at home in Albany, Ore., with her …

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Obituaries: April 14, 2023


Patricia Mason
Patricia Griffis Waisanen Mason made her final boarding call and “slipped the surly bonds of earth” on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023. She died at home in Albany, Ore., with her copilot and husband Bill Mason by her side. Over the last six years he walked each step of the “long goodbye” with her, lovingly caring for her until the end.
Pat enjoyed a good laugh and a good story. Her family invites you to join them for both at a celebration of Pat’s life from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 16 at the Embarrass Town Hall. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to the hospice of your choice.
Pat had many roles in her life. She was an RN, Nurse Practitioner, MSW Counselor, and Hospice Social Worker. She was also a wife, mother and grandmother. While in high school she met and married George Waisanen. Over the next 21 years they raised five children on the farm in Embarrass.
Pat was an adventurer and lived the adage, “Life is not a spectator sport!” She became a private pilot in her 40’s and spent the rest of her life having fun while checking off items on her bucket list. They included piloting her plane into Oshkosh for the annual fly-in, joining a mariachi band when possible, and spending most weekends at fly-ins all over the south. In 1995, she fulfilled a dream to see Alaska from a single-engine plane. She piloted her Cessna from Texas to Arizona, up the coast of California to Oregon, where she picked up her co-pilot Bill Mason. They explored Alaska together and were married upon their return to Minnesota. Pat and Bill spent the next 27 years traveling the USA and Mexico in airplanes they built together.
Pat and Bill retired to Oregon where they continued to build airplanes and explore the west coast. Together they flew to visit children and friends around the USA and Mexico until she was 80 years young.
It was during her years as a Hospice Social Worker in Texas that Pat met many military pilots. Most of them had walked away after the war, never having the opportunity to fly again in the planes they piloted with such heroism. Pat started the One More Flight program in Rockport, Texas. She arranged for veterans to get a last flight in the plane they piloted whether it be a B17 or a Huey. She was recognized as the Hospice Social Worker of the year for the Texas-New Mexico Hospice Association, in part for this program.
Pat is survived by four children, Candace Dale, George Curtis Waisanen (Jill), James Waisanen (Wendy) and Holly Waisanen; three brothers, Donald, Harold (Dick) and Curtis Griffis, all of Montana. She was predeceased by her daughter, Valerie.
She is also survived by and will be missed by her seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. She passed on the value of a good prank to her grandchildren, who learned to check their beds for “short sheets” or “cereal” if Gramma was visiting. They grew up looking to the sky when a plane passed over, hoping Gramma was back.

Dolores M. Erickson
Dolores M. Schmidt Erickson, 89, of Virginia, longtime resident of Lake Vermilion-Tower, died in peace at the Virginia Hospital on Monday, April 3, 2023, following complications from a fall in her apartment. She was in the presence of her loving family. Her personal request was to not have a funeral. Her family will celebrate her life at a later date. Arrangements are with Landmark Funeral Home in Virginia.
She is survived by four children, Jerry Erickson (life partner Kathy) of Sandy Township, Cheryl (Debbie) Erickson of Duluth, Debra (John) Suhadolc of West Eveleth and Amy (Mike) Fasulo of Buhl; eight grandchildren; and thirteen great-grandchildren.

Viola I. Hollenbeck
Viola “Vi” Irene Eidal Hollenbeck, 93, of Aurora, longtime resident of Embarrass, died on Saturday, March 25, 2023, at Carefree Living in Aurora. A prayer service will be held at 2 p.m. on Monday, April 17 at Ziemer-Moeglein-Shatava Funeral Home in Aurora led by Pastor Barbara Hegfors. Family and friends may gather one hour prior to the service. Inurnment will be in Waasa Cemetery in Embarrass at a later date. Memorials are preferred.
She is survived by her children, Diane (Bob) Gihl of Shoreview, Peggy Koivisto of Pequot Lakes and Rob Hollenbeck of Dallas, Texas; seven grandchildren; several great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; five siblings; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Karen A. Brandt
Karen Ann Brandt, 83, of Tower, passed away on Wednesday, April 5, 2023, at her residence. Arrangements are pending with Range Funeral Home in Virginia.

Leif Selkregg
Leif Selkregg, 67, of Ely, died on Wednesday, April 5, 2023, at home.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.