Caring Announcements

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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.


Ronald Stone, age 74, died peacefully on November 19 at Chris Jensen Health and Rehabilitation Center in Duluth, MN where he had been living for the last year. He is survived by: son Robert Stone of South Saint Paul, Grandkids Thomas Stone USN, Michael Stone and Lynda Stone of South Saint Paul, as well as many cousins in Grand Marais area. He was preceded in death by his wife: Patty Howard, parents: Halvdan and Laura Stone and sister Linda Stone,  A gathering for remembering his life is to be held at the American Legion in Grand Marais on Wednesday November 26 at 3:00.


Mike  Kettleson's funeral will be held at the Bethleham Lutheran church on Saturday November 1st at 1 pm. Emily has an acount at the Northshore Federal Credit Union in Grand Marais.  Any donations would be greatly appreciated for her and the children.


Jean D. Husby, a much-loved member of the Grand Marais community, died on October 5, 2014, at Hillhaven, surrounded by her family. She was 89. Born and raised in McIntosh, Minnesota, Jean Vaatveit was the youngest of four girls. She married Harold Husby in 1944, and the two moved to Kansas City, Missouri, in 1950. Jean received a B.A. in Music from the University of Missouri in 1974. In 1979 she and Harold moved to Grand Marais, and built a lovely home on Maple Hill, with a two-floor greenhouse that she filled with flowers. She was a fine gardener and for years supplied "Jean's greens" to restaurants in the area. She was also one of the Grand Marais "wildflower ladies," contributing to the two-volume Wildflowers of Cook County, Minnesota.

            Jean had wide-ranging interests and a broad circle of friends of all ages. She was an avid reader and an accomplished musician, fiber artist, and author. Her needlepoint tapestry was displayed at the Johnson Heritage Post (1998) and in the atrium of the hospital (2000). Her essays appeared in many magazines, but she was most proud of her two short-story collections, illustrated by her son Scott: Willow Water (2003) and A Return to Willow Water (2011). In the later years of her life, Jean was working on a biography of Fanny Mendelssohn.

             She is survived by her husband, Harold, as well as her four children: Scott (Tracey Cullen) of Grand Marais, Timothy (Barbara) of Broomfield, Colorado, Carolyn Godfrey of Lee's Summit, Missouri, and Peter (Martha) of Alameda, California. She also leaves seven grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Memorial donations may be made to Hillhaven in Grand Marais.


Mass of Christian Burial for Eugene Pearson will be held at St. John's Catholic Church on Saturday, October 18th at 11:00 a.m. followed by a luncheon.


A Celebration of Life for Vikki Elberling will be held Saturday, Oct. 18, from noon to 3 p.m. at the Clearwater Grille (formerly Lakeview Castle), 5135 North Shore Drive, Duluth.

A special Victoria Elberling Memorial Fund has been set up at the North Shore Federal Credit Union, 122 E. Hwy 61, P.O. Box 460, Grand Marais, MN, 55604.


Stanton "Stan" Avery Skrien, 54, of Duluth, passed away on Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014 in St. Luke's Hospital.

He was born in Grand Marais, Minn., on June 3, 1960 to Rolf and Gail (Hunter) Skrien.

He graduated from Central High School in 1981. Stan spent his 30 year working career at Goodwill and UDAC. He was active and enjoyed competing in the Special Olympics. He also enjoyed bowling, traveling with his family to the Gunflint Trail, Alaska, Arizona and Florida and most of all dancing. Stan spent all of his adult life in group homes and enjoyed the time and relationships he built there. "Stan the Man" had a great sense of humor and a unique ability to connect with people which usually included multiple handshakes. He was a wonderful uncle and brought joy to everyone he met.

He is preceded in death by his mother.

Stan is survived by father Rolf; sister Sandy (Wayne St. John) Skrien; twin brother Stuart (Cindy); sisters Susan (Somsak Chumklang) Skrien and Sally (Doug) Derginer; nieces and nephews, Danny St. John, Ella, Ruby, Juel and Ole Skrien, Monroe Chumklang, Tyler and Jennifer Derginer, as well as his group home family, Greg, Steve, Geno, and Rick, and many other extended family members and friends.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to the caring staff at REM and St. Luke's ICU.

GATHERING OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS: 1 p.m. until the 2 p.m. memorial service on Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014 in Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 417 1st Ave. W., Grand Marais, Minn.

A celebration of life will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014 in the Waters of Life Church, 6221 Rice Lake Rd., Duluth. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Special Olympics or UDAC of Duluth. Cremation Society of Minnesota 218-624-5200.