Caring Announcements

Our friend and employee at the Gun Flint Tavern, Tom Miller did not show up for work Monday morning, which has never happened before, and when Terry went looking for him he was found unresponsive in his apartment after suffereing an apparent anurism. He was airlifted to St. Paul and is in good hands at United Hospital, room 436. He is doing better, responding to familiar voices and even tried to pull his breathing tube out when he woke up after being under sedation. We will keep you posted with his recovery. You can also follow his progress at, under Thomas D. Miller. Get well, buddy!

There will a funeral service for Gloria Lampel on August 29th at 11:00 a.m. at Bethlehem Lutheran Church. Family and friends are invited to a meet and greet at 10:00 a.m. There will be a luncheon following the service.

Former West End resident; Arlene (Nelson) Grage, 86, passed away peacefully at her home in Plymouth, MN, on August 3, 2015. Born to Leslie and Marion (Peterson) Nelson on September 27, 1928, in Fergus Falls, MN, Arlene grew up in Ottertail County, where she attended rural school, Fergus Falls High School, and Teacher Training. She later graduated from Moorhead State College and taught schools in Ottertail County, St. Louis Park, and Cook County, MN. On September 3, 1949, she married Neal Grage in Fergus Falls. They raised five children, and most of their married lives they resided on the North Shore. Arlene was active in church, Christian Women's Club, and 4-H.

Arlene is preceded in death by her parents, her brother Leland, an infant sister, and her husband, Neal.

Surviving are brothers Willard (Elaine) Nelson and Arnold (Joyce) Nelson; children Becky (Glenn) Kerr, Steve (Robyn) Grage, Dave (Roz) Grage, Kathy (Steve) Geyen, and Shelly ((Mark) Rosbacka; 11 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

Funeral service at Parkers Lake Baptist Church, 14720 County Road 6, Plymouth, MN, on Saturday, August 8 at 11:00 a.m.; visitation at the church at 10:00 a.m.

Memorials may be made to Northwest Bible Church Building Fund, 5898 Main Ave NE, Albertville, MN 55301

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Nicholas Jacobsen, 68, of Grand Portage MN passed away peacefully on Friday, July 31, 2015 at his home. He had been declared cancer free after intensive treatment last fall but his body was overwhelmed by COPD.

Nick was born in Duluth on March 16, 1947 to Edward and Marion Jacobsen.  He graduated from Cook County High School in 1965 and lived most of his life in Cook County.  He proudly served in the United States Army from 1966 to 1969.  He spent the entire year of 1967 serving his country in Vietnam. After his discharge he worked for Edwin Thoreson Inc.  He then went into business for himself as a logger.  After many years, he switched business careers and opened a gift store in the lobby of the Grand Portage lodge. He then opened a refreshment stand to serve the original bingo hall and developing casino.

He is preceded  in death by his father on May 22, 1962, his mother on September 4, 1994, his Uncle Ralph Jacobsen, his Aunt Dagny Johnson and cousin Dale Johnson.

Nick is survived by his children Nicole (Chad) Spry, Edward Jacobsen, Rosalie Nelson, Sharon Morrison and Stella Morrison; his grandchildren Samantha Jacobsen, Leah Utities, Alyssa and Nicholas Spry, Alex and Jordan Jacobsen, Riley Kirmse, Tommy and Wyatt Nelson, Vallen Cook, Kendra and Kiley Murray ;  sister Norma Wilson;  brother Stephen Jacobsen; nephews James (Julie) and Rodney (Carrie) Wilson; great niece Emilee Wilson; great nephews Owen Wilson, Cote and Jesse Deeds; cousins Mary Lou and Franklin Rabold.

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Mary L. McElevey

Mary L. McElevey, age 80, peacefully passed away Sunday evening, July 19, 2015, after fighting a noble battle with ALS. She was born to Nick and Alma Anderson in Two Harbors, Minnesota, on February 18, 1935. She grew up on the shores of Lake Superior as a commercial fisherman’s daughter. Mary graduated from Two Harbors High School in 1953 and went on to study Elementary Education at St. Cloud State University. After graduating, she taught 2nd grade and special education but fell in love with teaching kindergarten. After retirement, Mary continued to share her love for children by substitute teaching as well as organizing Vacation Bible School at Bethlehem Lutheran Church. She had a passion for berry picking, baking and was known for her delicious ‘Grandma Buns’ and homemade pies. She volunteered countless hours in her church and community as a member of the Lioness Club and Hospital Auxiliary. Mary is survived by her loving husband, John; sisters, Peggy Rolfe and Mabel Zimmerman; daughters, Janie Dahl (Steve), Lynn Schulte (Craig), and Lee Ann Bonin (Phil); grandchildren, Erika, Kai, Kaleb, Emily (Kyle), Ahna, Nick, Steven (Afton), Joel, and Charlie, and great-granddaughter, Kyli. Her parents and brother, Johnny, preceded her in death. A celebration of Mary’s life will be held Saturday, July 25th, 2015, 11am, at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Grand Marais, Minnesota. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations to Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Grand Marais, MN or the ALS Association of MN. Memories of Mary will be cherished forever!



Michael C. Tofte, 65, of Duluth, passed away on Sunday, July 5, 2015 at Bayshore Health Center following a long battle with stomach cancer.

Michael was born in Duluth, on Aug. 12, 1949 to Orton and Margaret (Anderson) Tofte.

He graduated from Cook County High School in 1968 and attended St. Cloud University. Following college he served his country in the U.S. Navy. Michael spent the majority of his career as a landscaper, first for the city of Duluth and then as the owner of his own business.

He is preceded in death by his father on Feb. 3, 1990; mother Margaret Tofte on July 15, 1991; sister-in-law Sally Tofte on Aug. 19, 2002 and brother-in-law David Wilks on April 4, 2014.

Michael is survived by significant other Kelly Moore; daughter Ginger Garske; granddaughter Cassidy Garske; brothers, Orton (Karen), Terry (Rebecca), Kirk (Barb), Greg (Meg), Brian (Kelly) and Scott (Brenda); sisters, Margaret Tofte-Wilks and Ellie (Jeff) Holte and 23 nieces and nephews.

A special thank you to the staff at Essentia (St. Mary's) Hospital and Bayshore Health Center.

GATHERING OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS: 2 p.m. until the 3 p.m. memorial service on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 in Cremation Society of Minnesota 4100 Grand Ave. Duluth. Roger Livdahl will officiate. Interment will take place at a later date at Tofte Cemetery. Services entrusted to Cremation Society of Minnesota 218-624-5200

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Orrin John Richards, Jr. (Jack Richards) passed away February 3, 2015 at the Avow Hospice in Naples, Florida at age 93. 

Jack was born January 4, 1922 and was the only child of Orrin Richards, Sr. and Carmen Nelson Richards of Minneapolis/Dunedin, Florida. He enlisted in the Army while at Hamline University, serving as a Captain in both WWII and recalled for Korea. He served a total of 14 years.

While at Hamline, he met his future wife, Doris Anderson (Richards). After WWII he and Doris moved to Brainerd, Minnesota and started a taxi business and fuel oil company. When the Korean War broke out, he was recalled to the military and had to sell his businesses and relocate to Georgia. In 1952, he was released from service and moved to Grand Marais, where he built the Bayview Oil Co. and Mileage Gas Station. He was a great mechanic, and delivered fuel oil to the logging camps all winter in his red Jeep pickup.

He enjoyed the North Shore since he was a teenager, when he and his cousin hitchhiked from Minneapolis to Grand Marais, sleeping outside and fishing the creeks.

In 1962, he sold the gas station to the corporate office and moved for a short time to St. Anthony Village, Minnesota. In 1963, he took ownership of the Tee-A-Way Country Club in Ladysmith, Wisconsin. Jack was a great golfer and also loved taking care of the greens and improving the golf course. They sold Tee-A-Way in 1968 and moved to Minnetonka, Minnesota. While working in the metro area, Jack met his future friends and employers who asked him to move to Florida to manage a condominium development.

HERBERT MILTON HEDSTROM, Grand Marais, Minnesota

April 23, 1917 - June 4, 2015

Herbert M. Hedstrom died Thursday, June 4, at the North Shore Hospital in Grand Marais after a short illness.

Born April 23, 1917 to Andrew and Alma (Berglund) Hedstrom, the 10th of 13 children, Herbert grew up with his siblings on Maple Hill, attending school there and in Grand Marais.

After graduating from high school in 1936, he went to work for the family lumber business, mainly at sawmills in the woods. He enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard and served throughout World War II, returning to Cook County in 1946 to work at the Hedstrom Lumber Company.

In 1948, he married Margaret Jane Tonkin, a Duluthian, who was the great love of his life and his heart's companion. They built a home on Maple Hill where they raised their 3 children. Herbert and Jane were partners not only in marriage but in quiet, deep and powerful faith, devotion to family, to community service and to hospitality. There was music in their home. The duets they often sang symbolized the harmony they strove to achieve in their life together. They moved to their home on the shore of Lake Superior in July 1980 and Herb resided there until his last day.

In business, Herb managed the retail operations until he retired in 1982.  In his final year, Herbert was pleased to celebrate both the 100th anniversary of the business founded by his father and the birth of his great-grandson.

Have a wonderful birthday, SHARI BAKER!!!!!

Herb Hedstrom, age 98, life long resident of Grand Marais, passed away early Thursday morning at the North Shore Hospital surrounded by family.

A memorial service will take place Saturday, June 13 at the First Congregational Church in Grand Marais.

 A more detailed obituary will follow in the coming days.


Brian Backstrom Memorial Service:


Saturday, May 2, 2015

Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Grand Marais

10:00 a.m., Visitation

11:00 a.m. Service

Lunch to follow upstairs

There will be a Mass of Christian Burial for Park Johnson on Monday, April 27th at St. John's Catholic Church. Visitation is at 10:00a.m. Followed by the funeral service at 11:00 a.m. A luncheon will follow the service.

June Olsen, 93, of Grand Marais, died Tuesday, March 31, 2015 at the Cook County North Shore Care Center, after a brief illness.

A memorial service for June will be held at 11 AM on Saturday, April 4, 2015 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Grand Marais.   A Luncheon will follow the service prepared by friends and family.

There will be a funeral service for Lucas Coe, son of Bryan and Erica Coe; Grandson of Paul and Barb Coe on Saturday, March 7, 2015.

10:00 am Visitation

11:00 am Funeral

Heritage Assesblies of God, Baxter, MN 


Gertrude A. Erickson, 83, Grand Marais, Minnesota, died Sunday February 8, 2014 in Cook County North Shore Hospital.

She was born July 28, 1931 to Arthur and Alta (Miles) Allen in Duluth, Minnesota.  She grew up and attended school in Grand Marais and graduated from Cook County High School in 1949.  Gertrude was a homemaker through the years and her family farmed on Maple Hill.  She moved to Silver Bay in l986, and also lived in Brainerd and Two Harbors, returning to Grand Marais in 1998.                           

Gertrude was preceded in death by her husband, Warren “Bill” Erickson in 2013, and a grandson, Brandon.

She is survived by a son Brent (Marja) Erickson of Grand Marais, and grandchildren Shane, Brandi and Kaj Erickson.

Services will be held at 3 o’clock on Saturday February 14th at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Grand Marais. Burial will be in Maple Hill Cemetery.  To sign the online register book please visit

 Michael George Zender, 62, of Fergus Falls died peacefully on Friday, February 6, 2015, at his home, as a result of his long term medical condition.
Michael was the 2nd of 8 children, born to George and Phyllis (Strand) Zender on the 30th of December 1952 in Tracy, MN.   The Zender family moved to Fergus Falls in 1962, where he graduated from Fergus Falls High School in 1971.  He attended Fergus Falls Community College and attended Varnet bike school in Colorado Springs, CO.  
In 1990 he and his family moved to Grand Marais, MN where he bought Wilderness Waters Outfitters.  Wilderness Waters was  a canoe outfitters and he guided people into the BWCA.  Mike and his family owned and operated WW for a year before expanding with x-country skis and Trek mountain bikes, when he opened a second store, On the Edge Sports.  Mike and his family ran the store for 10 yrs before returning to Fergus Falls.  Upon his return he went back to work in the family business, Coca-Cola 7-up Bottling Co. Fergus Falls, inc.  He worked until semi retirement, then going into his life long love of woodworking.  He then went to work installing beautiful, antique wood flooring.  Mike enjoyed his work and did everything to perfection.  

Jane Backstrom, 93, passed away Thursday, February 5, at the North Shore Care Center.

Survivors include daughter Nancy (Russell) Smith, sons, Larry (Judy) Backstrom and Scott Backstrom.

A family gathering will be held in the spring.


John Joseph Foster

Topsham, VT - John Joseph Foster died January 16th after a short illness.  He was with his family during his illness and at his death.  John was born in Marion IN, February 24, 1933.  He was predeceased by his parents John Morrill Foster and Eleanora Lutz Foster.  He is survived by his wife of fifty-seven years Sue Miller Foster; a brother and sister-in-law Robert Lutz Foster and Faye Gorman Foster, Austin NV and Sea Island GA; four children, John Miller Foster and his wife, Virgina Hansen Foster; Jane Foster, Hopkinton, MA; David Robert Foster, Providence RI, Christopher James Foster, Parsonfield, ME and three grandchildren, David Edward Mahoney and wife Mikaela Bitner Mahoney, Richmond TX; Abigail Marie Foster and Jeffrey Hansen Foster, Hopkinton MA. 

John attended schools in Marion and Wabash College, Crawfordsville IN.  He worked for Foster-Forbes Glass Company at the glass factory in Marion, as Plant Manager of their glass factory in Burlington, WI, and as Regional Sales Manager in their office, Newton Lower Falls MA.  After retiring from the family business, founded in 1846 in Stoddard NH by John's great-great grandfather Joseph Foster, John and Sue moved to East Topsham, where they raised Scotch Highland Cattle for almost twenty years at Twinflower Farm. 

John served in the Army during the Korean conflict and was in the Military Police while stationed on Okinawa. 


On July 30, 2014, Barrett Lloyd Chenevert was born to Jessica and Nolan Chenevert of Lutsen.

Barrett Lloyd Chenevert was born July 30, 2014 at 2:49am at 8lbs 3.1oz at St. Lukes Hospital in Duluth, Minnesota. After a very long labor and fetal distress, the decision was made to do an emergency C-section. The entire day, Barrett was what seemed to be a healthy newborn baby with lots of visitors. It wasn’t until 10:00 PM that we decided that we were going to try and get some sleep and Barrett could hang out in the nursery until he was hungry. At 10:30 PM, the nurses came in and told us Barrett developed cyanosis (skin turned blue) and his little pulse was down into the 30s. He was intubated an transferred to the neonatal unit of Essentia and was being prepped to be lifeflighted down to Minneapolis Children's Hospital where he would be diagnosed with transposition of his great arteries- Which is a reversal in the position of the two main arteries carrying blood out of the heart. This means during his hearts development, the two main arteries (the aorta and the pulmonary) were swapped- which changes the way his blood circulates through the body, leaving a shortage of oxygen rich blood flowing from the heart to the rest of his body. It was impossible to watch him struggle, impossible to say goodbye not knowing if we would ever see him alive again, it was impossible to sit there and be unable to do anything to help him, impossible to wait to hear any news.

To read more about Barretts fight visit his caringbridge at:

Mass of Christian Burial for Maybelle Skou (103 yrs of age) is Saturday, January 17th with visitation at 10:00 a.m. and the service at 11:00 a.m. at St. John's Catholic Church. Luncheon to follow in the social hall.