Caring Announcements

Dee's family invites you to celebrate Dee's passing into eternal life at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, on Saturday, Jan. 16. Visitation will be at 10:30 and services at 11:30, with a lunch following. Dee passed on December 15, 2015 after a brief but courageous battle with cancer.

A special thank you to Dr. Stover and the nursing staff at North Shore Hospital and Care Center. The care and love shown to Mom was top notch, making her last days as comfortable as possible. Thank you to the wonderful Cook County community for all of your calls, cards, prayers, food, and hugs as we continue to grieve the loss of our Mother, Sister, and Grandmother. We love you all!


Mother of Glenn Hellner of Grand Marais. Passed away on December 21, 2015 at 94 years old.

Celebration of her life was December 29th, 2015 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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Join us Wednesday, January 6th at 11:00am to celebrate Nancy Benson's life.

Margaret Ann (Nancy) Benson, age 98, of Grand Marais, Minnesota and Redmond, Washington, died peacefully at home  with her family on November 11.

Nancy was an active member of the Grand Marais Garden Club, Eastern Star and the 1st Congregational Church along with other local organizations.  She and her husband Harold were local business owners of Midway Service raising their son Max in the community.

The service will be held at the First Congregational United Church of Church 300 W 2nd St in Grand Marais.

Max and his family invite you to join them for a luncheon following in the church basement. 

George H. "Whitey" Dockan

Whitey Dockan, 93, of Grand Marais, passed away at the North Shore Care Center at 6:45 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 2015. 

He was born July 20, 1922 to Andrew and Annette (Anderson) Dockan in St. Paul.  In 1929 his family traded their home for a farm and relocated to Willow River, MN where he attended school.  After leaving school, Whitey joined the Carlton CCC Camp and then served in the U.S. Navy for several years aboard the USS Memphis.  After returning from the service, Whitey moved to Chicago where he worked in a steel mill.  

He then moved to Grand Marais in 1947, where he worked as a logger with his Norwegian uncles John and Ludwig, helped in the construction of Erie Mining in Silver Bay, and worked for the City of Grand Marais for 30 years in the Public Utilities Department, until his retirement in 1984.  Whitey enjoyed camping with the family, long walks, bowling in the league, and swimming.  He also enjoyed making people laugh.  He attended Bethlehem Lutheran Church, and was a lifetime member of the VFW and the American Legion, where he served in the Honor Guard for many years.

He is preceded in death by his parents Andrew and Annette, sisters Edna and Judith, and brother Andrew Jr.  Whitey is survived by his wife of 65 years, Gladys, sons Gerald (Bonnie) of Mt. Pleasant, TX, Gary (Claire) of Dallas, TX, Rodney (friend Carah) of Grand Marais, Steven (Belinda) of Pasadena, TX, sisters Lola Ouradnik of Moose Lake, MN, Shirley Christensen of Oakdale, MN, several grand and great-grandchildren, and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Visitation one hour before the 1:00 p.m. memorial service at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Grand Marais on Thursday, December 3rd, 2015.  Burial at Maple Hill Cemetery.  Arrangements by Cavallin Funeral Home.





Heather Spry and her son "Gator" lost all their belongings in a fire on Thanksgiving Day. If anyone has young boys clothes in Size 9-10 and Size 2 shoes in good condition they would be willing to donate please call or text 218-370-0628. An account has been set up at the North Shore Federal Credit Union for monetary donations. Thanks in advance!


Margaret Ann (Nancy) Benson, age 98, of Grand Marais, Minnesota and Redmond, Washington, died peacefully at home with her family on November 11.  She had been active and enjoying good health until she suffered a small stroke on July 5.  From that point on her health steadily declined.  Her last trip back to her beloved Grand Marais home was this August.

Nancy was born November 15, 1916 in Knapp, Wisconsin to Louis and Clara Bruckner.  She spent her early years in Lemington, Wisconsin, where her parents operated a general store and post office.  Later she moved with her family to Hammond, Wisconsin, where she graduated from high school. 

As a young woman Nancy lived at home and worked as a stenographer for the Rural Electrification Administration.  She enjoyed her work and made lifelong friendships with coworkers.  It was in those years that she became acquainted with Harold Benson, the man who would later become her husband.

In 1953, Nancy and Harold married and settled in Grand Marais.  Harold and his brother Sherman owned and operated Midway Garage, later known as Midway Service Station.  Nancy quickly came to love this little town on the shores of Lake Superior as well as the lakes, streams, and forest that surround it. Nancy became a devoted homemaker and a year later mother to their son Max.   No child could wish for a happier, more loving, or more supportive home than the one Nancy and Harold provided.

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Norma L. Wilson age 73 of Cloquet, passed away Wednesday November 4, 2015 in Solvay Hospice House surrounded by her family. She was born July 19, 1942 in Duluth to Edward and Marion (Bardsley) Jacobsen.

Norma grew up on the North Shore and graduated from Cook County High School in 1959. She had worked as a waitress for the Grand Portage Lodge and Casino for 23 years. Prior to that, Norma had lived and worked in Arizona and California. She moved back to Minnesota in 1983 to be near family. After retiring in 2008, Norma moved to Cloquet.

Norma’s hobbies included gardening, knitting, reading books, working complex jigsaw and crossword puzzles, watching the MN Twins and old movies. She especially loved to be with her grandchildren.

Norma was preceded in death by her parents; husband Franklin in 1972; and brother Nicholas Jacobsen in 2015. She is survived by her sons James (Julie) Wilson of Ballinger, Texas and Rodney (Carrie) Wilson of Esko; brother Stephen Jacobsen of Hovland; and her grandchildren Cote, Jesse, Emilee and Owen.

Visitation will be Wednesday, November 11, 2015 from 1:00 p.m. until the 2:00 p.m. memorial service at Nelson Funeral Care in Cloquet, 1004 Cloquet Ave., Cloquet, MN.

If you have questions, please call Steve Jacobsen, 218-370-9640.


Longtime Pike Lake seasonal resident Barbara Schliep passed away peacefully at their home on Friday.


The gathering for Gerald Parent will be at 1:00 p.m. at the Schroeder Town Hall on Saturday, September 19, 2015.

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Gerald Parent of Schroeder and Deerwood, Minnesota passed away on Monday evening August 31, 2015 at his home. He is survived by his loving wife Theresa of 60 years and his children: Jeanne (Mark) Tobolaski, Ricky (Darla) Parent, Jerelyn Parent and Robert Parent and several other family members. There will be a Memorial Service held on Friday September 11, 2015 at 11:00a.m. at Bible Baptist Church 515 Main Street in Crosby, Mn. and a gathering of family and friends to celebrate Gerald's life on Saturday, September 19, 2015 at the Schroeder Town Hall 124 Cramer Road Schroeder, Mn.


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.