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Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Obituaries: December 3, 2021

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Melba L. Toivonen
Melba L. Toivonen, of Gheen, passed away on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, at the Cook Care Center in Cook, at the age of 100 years and eight months. There will be no services in accordance with Melba’s prearranged funeral trust agreement.
Melba was born in 1921 in the Township of Whiteford in Marshall County, to Jacob and Elline Anderson. She was one of twin girls. Melba said they were so small that they were kept in shoe boxes for a long time.  
Her father ran logging operations, so they traveled extensively from one logging town to another in northern Minnesota, finally ending up in Cusson. There Melba met and married Andy Laine of Myrtle Lake. Unfortunately, a few years later, Andy was killed in a car accident.  
Melba then married Karl Toivonen of Orr. They lived in the Cook-Orr area for several years. Then they moved to Oregon where they managed a hotel for a number of years. They returned to this area and worked for Dr. Grahek at his resort in Ely. Melba often talked Norwegian to Fritz (Walter) Mondale (presidential hopeful) when he was a guest of Dr. Grahek.  
When they finally decided to retire, Karl and Melba moved a trailer house to Gheen, next to Melba’s older sister Alvina, who also had a trailer there, situated on the property of Shirley and Ernie Lund. Once settled, Melba began cooking and baking and she baked and cooked until she moved into the Cook Care Center, where they did the cooking and baking and took wonderful care of her for the rest of her life.
Melba is survived by her son, Andy Laine of Oregon; daughters, Karen Halliday and Theresa Lemke, both of Bloomington, and Glenda Brekke of Mora; nieces, Joanne Stewart of Homosassa, Fla., and Beverley Johnson of Minneapolis; many, many grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and many friends.
She was preceded in death by her first husband, Andy Laine; second husband, Karl Toivonen; sisters, Alvina Rooney and Edna Anderson; brothers, Gilmer and Allbert Anderson; sons, Thomas and Charles Toivonen; nephews, Ernie Lund and Gerald Anderson; and nieces, Elaine McGunnigle and Margaret Narum.

Richard A. Bush
Richard Albert “R.B.” Bush, of Cook, passed away on Monday, Nov. 22, 2021. A celebration of life gathering will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 3 at Mlaker Funeral Home in Cook. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society.

James R. Herberg 
James Richard Herberg, 64, of Virginia, passed away peacefully on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021, at Waterview Pines in Virginia. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 4 at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Babbitt. Arrangements are with Range Funeral Home in Virginia.
He is survived by his father, Lloyd G. Herberg of Babbitt; daughter, Tara Herberg of Virginia; and six siblings, Linda Warnke of Emerado, N.D., Gary Herberg of Babbitt, Janet Rasmussen of Ely, Barb Palmer of Babbitt, Lloyd B. Herberg of Ely and Debora Bingham of Emerado, N.D.

John E. Huntbatch
John Edward Huntbatch, 48, of Ely, passed away at Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital on Friday, Nov. 19, 2021, from complications related to COVID-19. His family plans to hold a celebration of life in 2022. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home in Ely.
He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Janelle Baier Huntbatch; daughter, Jordan; and son, Jace, all of Ely; mother, Kay Huntbatch; and sister, Andrea (Heath Rossin) Gierok, both of Winona; father-in-law, Bob Baier Jr. of Ely; brothers-in-law, Bob (Sandy) Baier of Ely, Dan Baier of Moose Lake and David (Lissa Roberts) Baier of Hibbing; and nine nieces and nephews. 

Margaret B. Campbell
Margaret B. Lindberg Campbell, 69, of Embarrass, passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021, at her residence. Per her request, no services are planned at this time. Arrangements are with Range Funeral Home in Virginia.
She is survived by her husband, Bob; four children; seven grandchildren; and three brothers.

Scott E. Stangland 
Scott E. Stangland, 58, of Marble, originally of Ely and Babbitt, passed away on Friday, Nov. 19, 2021, at United Hospital in St. Paul. Funeral services were held on Sunday, Nov. 28 at Dougherty Funeral Home of Hibbing with Pastor Jim VonWald officiating.
He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Lori Pelkey Stangland; son, Richard; daughter, JoDee (Sandro) Lopez; mother, Janet; brother, Doug; sister, Terri (Allen) Stevens; grandchildren, Alexis, Dakota, Cash, Alondra, Anthony and Achilles; nephews and nieces.

Mike Picek 
Mike Picek, 88, of Cook, passed away surrounded by family on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. Funeral services were held on Tuesday, Nov. 23 at First Baptist Church in Cook with Rev. Brian Haynes and Rev. Jared Bangs officiating. Pallbearers were Ben Picek, Hayden Picek, Gary Picek, Ron Picek, Mark Pascuzzi, Warren Mlaker, Gary Baumgartner and Brent Bystrom. Military Honors were accorded by the combined Honor Guards of Cook VFW Post 1757 and Orr American Legion Post 480. Spring interment will be at the Cook Community Cemetery. Arrangements were with Mlaker Funeral Home of Cook.
He is survived by his wife of 67 years and the love of his life, Donna Helstrom Picek; son, Tim (Jackie) Picek of Cook, and their children Ben (Jessica Berglund) and Hayden (Maija Maki) Picek; daughter Terri (Bruce) Larsen of Britt, and their children, Laura (Karl) Stauty and Lance (Lynda) Larsen; great-granddaughter, Ava Stauty; sisters, Helen Arola of Virginia and Katie Aune of Cook; sister-in-law, Margaret Picek of Virginia; many nieces, nephews, extended family and a host of wonderful friends.

Robert S. Aronen Sr.
Robert “Bob” Stanley Aronen Sr., 93, of Cottonwood, Ariz., originally of northeastern Minnesota, passed away peacefully on Monday, Oct. 25, 2021. The lives of Bob and his late wife, Doris Marcella Erickson Aronen, will be honored sometime next summer in Minnesota.
He is survived by his sons, Mitchell (Christina), Daniel (Kazumi) and Robert Jr. (Christine); daughter, Carol Hagberg; grandchildren, Nathan, Tommy, Jacob, Isaac, Emiko and Arthur; five sisters-in-law; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Edith A. Tawyea
Edith Angeline McDougall Tawyea, 80, of Hibbing, a member of the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa in Nett Lake, passed away on Friday, Nov. 26, 2021, at Vermilion Senior Living Center in Tower. A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 6 at Dougherty Funeral Home of Hibbing. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the funeral home. Private interment will take place at a later date at the Maple Hill Cemetery in Hibbing.
She is survived by her children, Raymond (Tracey Hall) Tawyea of Hibbing, Renee Johnson of Chisholm, Jamie (Cindy) Tawyea of Peoria, Ariz., and Joseph Tawyea of Britt; siblings, Fred (Mary) McDougall of Hibbing, Dale Werman of Minneapolis and Vivian Werman of Hibbing; grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

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