Caring Announcements


Richard “Dick” Eckel, 82, of Grand Marais, died Sunday November 24, 2013.

He was born March 25, 1931 to Thomas J. and Bertha (Sivertson) Eckel in Duluth, and was a life-long resident of Grand Marais. He made his first trip to Isle Royale in a fish box when he was three months old and continued spending summers there through his childhood and as a young man. During the Korean War, Dick served in the army. Fishing was his work, his hobby, his life. He fished commercially from Duluth to Canada on Lake Superior, and also in Alaska, and was looking forward to setting another net next summer.

Richard is preceded in death by his parents; step-mother, Linnea; brother, Tom; and sons, Mark and Greg.

He is survived by his wife Barb; daughters, Patty (Tom) Nelson of Grand Marais and their daughters Jessica and Kari, and Jody (Brad) Sanford of Northfield and their daughter, Andrea; a sister, Patti (George) Nelson of Lutsen; and his dog Spencer.

A gathering of family and friends will be held in January. Date and place will be announced in coming weeks.

Eleanor Matsis passed away in the Cook County North Shore Care Center on November 19, 2013.

She first came up to Cook County in the early 1950’s after getting a summer job at Gunflint Lodge as a dishwasher. With her bachelor’s from Smith College and her master’s from Iowa State University, Eleanor was somewhat over qualified for the position. It was, however, a good fit for all concerned. Eleanor (or Mat as she quickly became) would be a member of the Grand Marais Community for the rest of her life. Life on the Gunflint Trail allowed Eleanor to come to love the surrounding woods. She hiked, canoed, and snowmobiled throughout the area.

There was another love in her life. Eleanor was a born teacher. If you wanted to learn, she would teach you. She had high standards and you would rise up to them. Late in life, she said, “All my students were the best.” This love of teaching led her first to Cook County High School and then to West High School and North High School in Minneapolis. Eventually she would be given The Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching at the White House in 1988.

While living in the Twin Cities, Eleanor joined St. Luke’s Episcopal Church of Minneapolis. With typical dedication and hours of work, she quickly became a valued member of the congregation. Among other things, she kept the boiler running which was no simple chore. Eleanor would become the Senior Warden at St. Luke’s.

As part of a busy life, Eleanor travelled all over the world. First on her own and then with her great friend, Faye Domke, there were few places that didn’t attract her. And always she stopped to visit the overseas military graves of our troops from World War II.

Roy Mattson (husband of Dorothy Donek Mattson) of Thunder Bay, Ontario, passed away on November 17, 2013.  A memorial service will be held at Calvary Lutheran Church in Thunder Bay on Thursday November 21, 2013 at 11:00 am Canadian time.

 Charles V. Sevelin 82 of Silver Bay, formerly of Hovland, died Thursday November 7, 2013 at the Minnesota Veteran’s Home in Silver Bay.

He was born, raised, and attended schools in Des Moines, Iowa until age 15, when he his family moved to White Bear Lake, where they lived close to relatives. Upon graduation, he joined the Navy Reserves (the Kiddie Cruise) spending 10 years, with one year of active duty in Korea. Chuck started working at 3M company at age 18, where he worked his way up to Division Scientist in traffic control materials. He worked in foreign countries as well as many facilities in the U.S., receiving awards for outstanding developments, mainly reflective. Chuck retired after 40 years but was called back to start a factory in Italy, where he was able to take his wife Marian “Snooks” with him. His final retirement was in 1991.

Robert S. Pye , 86, of Grand Marais, formerly of St. Paul, died Friday October 25, 2013 in Grand Marais.

Bob was born June 28, 1927 to Ernest and Bess (Hayek) Pye in St Paul, where he grew up and attended schools. During World War II he served in the Navy and Marines. He married Martha Thell on April 3, 1948, and they made their home in St. Paul. Bob was employed by 3M Corporation for several years, and then worked as a firefighter for the St. Paul Fire Department from 1958 until his retirement in 1985. After retiring he moved to Grand Marais, where he enjoyed sailing on Lake Superior.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Martha; daughters, Barbara Ann and Susan Marie; and sisters, Jeanette and Marguerite.

He is survived by his son, Gregory (Peg) Pye of St. Paul; a granddaughter, Christina (Andy) Johnson of Rosemount and children Daniel and Michael; a grandson Brian (Alison) Pye of Farmington and children, Alex, Matty, and Tony; and nephews.

Funeral for Robert Pye will be held at St. John's Catholic Church on Wednesday, October 30, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. with a viewing at 10:00 a.m. Luncheon following in the social hall.

Saturday, October 19th  1-4pm

Betsy Bowen's Studio

Please join us as we celebrate our Mom's life with memories, 
laughter and refreshments on Sunday, October 13th, 3:00 pm at the Schroeder Town Hall.  
Bring your best stories! Bill, Linda and Tim.


Lorraine Duininck, 89, of Grand Marais died Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at the North Shore Care Center in Grand Marais.

She was born April 18, 1924 in Franklin, Minnesota to Charles and Lula (Waters) Seaman. She was baptized at the Church of Christ in Redwood Falls. She grew up in the rural Hector area where she attended District 115 School and graduated from Hector High School in 1942. Later she went on to graduate from Paul's hairdressing Academy in Minneapolis and worked for Jean's Beauty Shop in Minneapolis for 3 years.

Sheena Cherie Sherer

Sheena Cherie Sherer, 29, of Duluth, passed into the spirit world on Oct. 4, 2013.

She loved and had a passion for being a hair stylist.

Sheena is survived by her children, Shania and Angelina; mother, Joan Johnson; father, Ricky W. DeFoe; stepfather, Ray Johnson; siblings, Ashley, Pierre and Jared; also numerous other relatives.

Visitation: Monday, Oct. 7, 2013, at 7 p.m. and continuing throughout the evening until the 10 a.m. Traditional Service Tuesday in the Grand Portage Community Center, 73 Upper Road, Grand Portage, MN. Interment in Grand Portage Cemetery. To leave an online

condolence for Sheena’s family, please visit Arrangements with Handevidt Funeral & Cremation Service, Cloquet, (218) 879-4636.

Arlene May Backlund Jurek ended her four year battle with breast cancer on Sunday, October 6th, 2013 after a brief stay in the North Shore Care Center.

Arlene was born on May 25, 1932 to Jonas and Ellen Backlund in Colville, Minnesota.  She was lifelong resident of Cook County.   She knew many people in our community through her service at the Grand Marais State Bank where she worked for 41 years.  Many will remember her for her exceptional baking skills, her large garden and of course, her delicious raspberry jam.

Arlene is survived by daughters Karen Bicking, Linda Kratt and son-in-law Mike Kratt; sister Lois Young, grandchildren Daniel, Kristen, and Kara Bicking, and Nicholas, Jillian and Travis Kratt.  She is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews and lifelong friends.

Arlene was preceded in death by her parents Jonas and Ellen, husband Joseph Jurek, and sister Betty Blackwell. 

A celebration of life will be held on Thursday, October 10 at 10:00am at First Congregational Church in Grand Marais, Minnesota with Pastor EvaLyn Carlson officiating.  The family wishes to thank Dr. Steve Kuross and the healthcare team at Essentia, Dr. Sandy Stover and staff of the North Shore Care Center, and the support of many family members and friends during her courageous battle.


Family and friends will celebrate Kelly's life at Snowflake Ski Area in Duluth on Saturday, October 12th, at 10:30am

All are welcome to join us for the celebration and potluck.


There will be a memorial service for both Betty and Bill at St.Johns Catholic Church on Sunday September 29th at 2:00 pm. All are welcome to honor and celebrate the life of these two beautiful people.

Joan White, 75, of Grand Marais died on Friday, September 20, 2013 at Essentia Health St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth.

She was born on January 30, 1938 in Boston, MA to William and Marie (O’Neal) McGillivray. She grew up in Quincy, MA; graduating from Arch Bishop Williams High School. Joan worked for the Town of Carver and lived the most of her life in North Carver, before moving to Duck Lake, Saskatchewan, then Grand Marais. Joan loved Boston sports; the Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox, and Patriots. She also enjoyed reading, traveling, socializing, politics, and watching her grandchildren’s sporting events.

She was a member of St. John’s Catholic Church in Grand Marais. She is preceded in death by her parents and brother, Donald.

Joan is survived by husband, John; son, Jay (Renee) of Cloquet; grandsons, JJ, Jarred, and James; sister, Dorothy of Boston; and brother, Bill of Boston.

Services will be held at 1:30 PM on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at St. John’s Catholic Church in Grand Marais.


Gerhard's memorial will be on the 28th of September at the Cornerstone Community Church from 11am to 1pm.  It will be very casual with a light lunch served.  Since Gerhard was a wonderful storyteller, we want to return the favor and share stories of him and his life.

Gunflint Lodge fishing guide, Dennis Todd, believed to be dead in apparent accidental drowning.

Richard Buch, age 67, entered God’s Kingdom on August 28, 2013, in Grand Marais, Minnesota, where he had lived for the past several years.  He was born October 17, 1945, the son of Marie (nee Kachelmeier) and Nicholas Buch, of Slinger WI.   Rick spent his high school years at St. Francis Prepatory Seminary, graduating in 1963.

Collecting polka records was his passion and he enjoyed the time he spent as the host of “The Dick Phillips” polka radio show at WTKM in Hartford.  He also had a true love for vintage steam trains, coin collecting and square dancing, which he engaged in right up to the time of his death.

Richard is survived by 2 brothers, Joe (Christine) and Gerard Paul (Debbie) Buch, nephews, Kevin and Christopher Buch and nieces, Anne (Sean) Moore and Beth (Dennis) Christensen.  He also leaves behind four great nieces and nephews, many cousins and friends.  Parents, Marie and Nicolas, and an infant brother, George, preceded him in death.

A private internment of cremains was held at old St. Peter’s Cemetery, Slinger.  The Memorial Mass, to celebrate Richard’s life, will be held on Saturday, September 21, at 10:00 am, in St. Peter’s Catholic Church, Slinger.

Linda Ravenwind is a frequent visitor to the Grand Marais area and has studied here at the Art Colony. Her acquaintances are aware of her creativity, dynamic spirit and genuine compassion for others.

She was severely injured in an accident on Monday, August 12. Linda was riding home to LaCrosse from visiting her sister in northern Wisconsin when her motorcycle was struck head-on by a car that swerved across the highway centerline.

Linda was triaged and stabilized at Mayo-Eau Claire, WI, then transferred to St. Mary's in Rochester, MN, where she underwent multiple surgeries. On Tuesday, September 3, she was discharged from the hospital and transferred to a skilled nursing rehabilitation facility in Lansing, Iowa.

Please share your positive energy and strength with Linda as she travels an arduous new path of healing.

Geraldine "Gerri" Futterer peacefully passed away on Thursday, September 5, 2013 with family at her side.  A memorial service will be held at 2:00 PM on Monday, September 9 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Grand Marais with visitation at 1:00.  Memorials may be directed to the Tofte Historical Society, Cook County Historical Society or the North Shore Care Center.

Hello Friends

A celebration of Tom Sietsema's life will be held on Sat. August 31 at 2 PM on the patio at the Birch Terrace.  Please come to share stories and celebrate Tom's life.