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Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Obituaries: June 7, 2024


Pat M. Tammen
Pat Montana Tammen, 87, passed away on Monday, May 27, 2024, after years of coping with congestive heart failure. No public service is planned. Please send any memorials to your favorite environmental organization.
Pat was born on March 22, 1937, in Missoula, Mont., to Victor Anderson and Margaret (Quirk) Anderson. The family returned to High Landing, Minn., shortly after she was born. Pat’s mother died when Pat was ten and her dysfunctional father was usually absent. Her grandmother raised Pat and her sister but died when Pat was twelve. Another relative who turned out to be abusive stepped into Pat’s life and Pat ended up in Gillette Children’s Hospital for ten months at the age of fifteen with severely damaged hips in the days before hip transplants. The doctors repaired her to the point where she made many trips into the Boundary Waters in her adult years.
Pat worked herself through Mayville State Teachers College and then went to Bemidji State University for her master’s degree. She taught for a couple of years in Minnesota and then accepted a teaching position in Nenana, Alaska, where she married Dean Larson who was killed in a car accident five weeks after the wedding.
Pat then accepted a teaching position in Ely, and in 1974 married Bob Tammen. During the 1980’s, the Iron Range economy was in bad shape so Pat took a leave of absence and went along wherever Bob found work and taught in the local schools. She taught the children of the Mormons in Utah, miners in upper Michigan, loggers in Wisconsin, and farmers in South Dakota. Pat tried to help students understand, as we all should, that failed families do not have to produce failed children. We can all make a difference.
Pat returned to the Ely school system and retired in 1997. In retirement, Pat enjoyed lakeshore on the South Kawishiwi River and worked tirelessly to defend her lakeshore and all of Minnesota’s natural resources.
Pat is survived by her husband, Bob; sister, Therese; nephews, Paul and Joe; great-nieces, Vanessa and Rachel; and great-nephew, Dalton.

Raymond M. Syrjanen
Raymond Mathew Syrjanen, 97, of Embarrass, died on Dec. 20, 2023, A memorial service be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, June 12, 2024, at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Virginia, preceded by visitation at 10 a.m. A luncheon will be served in the church fellowship hall immediately upon completion of the service. Pastor Zachary Klumpp will officiate the service. A private burial for family will follow at the Vermilion Lake Township Cemetery. Arrangements are with Landmark Funeral Home in Virginia.

Jeanne A. Burgess
Jeanne Anita Burgess, 95, longtime resident of Tower, passed away peacefully at Pine View Care Center in Black River Falls, Wis., on Jan. 19, 2024. A celebration of life memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 15 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Tower. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to any animal cause of your choice, or a tree can be planted in Jeanne’s memory anywhere of your choice. Buswell Funeral Home of Black River Falls, Wis., is assisting the family with arrangements.

Dwight F. McConnell
Dwight Franklin McConnell, 93, of Ely, passed away peacefully at the Boundary Waters Care Center on Saturday, April 22, 2024. Dwight and his family are deeply grateful for the steadfast care and endearing friendship the staff and residents of Boundary Waters Care Center gave him the past two years. They are also grateful for the tender and immediate attention given by the hospice staff who provided comfort to Dwight and his family during his final week. A private graveside memorial service was held on Memorial Day weekend. A celebration of life for his community, friends and extended family is planned for 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 14 at Grand Ely Lodge. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.
He is survived by his two daughters and six grandchildren, Cindy (Tom) Noble, Benjamin, Alex (Cami) and Debbie (Neil aka Rudy) Okerlund, Jesse, Phoebe (Bryan), Rachael (Ken) and Jacob; cousins, Carol (Ron), Emily, Mark, Joann and Trish; great-grandchildren, Skylar, Braylen and Sadie; and a vast community of friends.

Mary E. Pryatel
Mary Elaine “Bubsy” Leustek Pryatel, 82, a lifelong resident of Ely, died at Ely Carefree Living Memory Care on Friday, May 31, 2024. A special acknowledgment and thank you goes out to the nurses and staff at Carefree Living of Ely. The staff took great care of Bubsy. She loved them and appreciated the kindness and compassion they bestowed upon her. At her request, there will be no funeral services. Arrangements are with Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.
She is survived by her son, Joseph Pryatel of Hibbing; sisters, Geraldine Corsiatto of Bethesda, Md., and Patricia Marty of Babbitt; sister-in-law, Cissy Leustek of Ely; two grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews; cousins and friends.

Deborah L. Minier
Deborah L. Minier, 64, of Ely, passed away on Tuesday, May 28, 2024, in the Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital. Funeral arrangements are pending with Landmark Funeral Home in Virginia.