Caring Announcements



There will be a service for Palmer Westerlind on Thursday at 2:00 pm at the Cornor Stone Chruch (on the new Gunflint trail above the Law Enforcement Center)


Lt. Cmdr Cory Paul Johnson, 43, passed away unexpectedly, Friday, February 28, 2014.

Services will be held at 11 AM Saturday March 22, 2014 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Grand Marais.  Burial with military honors will be held at a later date.


Lieutenant Commander Cory Paul Johnson, 43, passed away unexpectedly, Friday, February 28, 2014.  Cory was a native of Grand Marais and a resident of Poquoson, Virginia since 1993. 

After enlisting in the Navy at 18, he tested and was found highly qualified for the Navy’s Nuclear Power School in Ballston Spa New York.  The Navy awarded Cory scholarships and he earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from North Carolina State and his master’s degree in nuclear engineering from Duke University.  He attended Officers Training School in Pensacola, Florida, where he was commissioned a naval officer in 1998. 

He served on several nuclear power vessels, participated in several mid-east cruises, and was a “Plank Owner” on the USS George Washington.

He was preceded in death by his beloved grandparents, Frank and Doris Foster of Grand Marais. 

He is survived by his loving wife Kelli Gutherie Johnson; sons, Corbin Johnson, Alex Johnson; and stepson, Jason Petry.  Also left to cherish his memory, parents, Bonnie and George Johnson of Grand Marais; stepparents, Bobbe and Marty Clark of Duluth; sisters, Laurie Schiller, Randi Kimball and husband Kevin, Julie Hannahs, Sheryl Toland and husband Ron and Jeannie Johnson; brothers, Darrell Johnson, Ray Johnson, Charles Nylund and Michael Johnson and wife Debbie; his former spouse and mother of Corbin, Charmaine Joyner Johnson. 




A memorial service will be 11:00 a.m. Saturday, March 1, 2014 at the Wenner Funeral Home in Cold Spring, MN for Ruth M. (Schouviller) Backlund, age 89, who died Tuesday at the St. Cloud Hospital.

Ruth was born in Richmond, MN to Bernard and Mary (Zumwalde) Schouviller. She married Wesley Backlund on November 21, 1947 in Grand Marais, MN. Ruth worked as a teller for many years at the Grand Marais State Bank. She enjoyed bowling, walking, playing cards and beating her daughters at cribbage.

Survivors include her daughters, Katherine Kaye Backlund (friend, Ron Lick), Maralee (Clinton) Park, Peggy Backlund (friend, Juan Carlos Ortega), Lori (Mark) Sundman; grandchildren, Brianna (Mitch) Collins, Jamie (Dan) Hedburg; step-grandchildren, Olivia (Jay) Sundman-Rogers, Becky (Andy) Strand, Janice (Travis) Brown, Ryan Park, Travis Park; great-grandchildren, Henry Collins, Baby Collins, Baby Hedberg; step-great-grandchildren, Sadie and Colin Sundman-Rogers, Peyton Strand, Baby Strand, Kainoa Taylor Quia-Park, Logan K. Oliver Park; siblings, Lillian Sichak and Eleanor Jordahl.

Preceded in death by her husband, Wesley; siblings, Roy, Ray, Bernie, Anna Marie, Viola Brinkman, Theresa Katherine and 1 infant sibling.


Mathias Hueltner, 82, of Grand Marais died Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at the Cook County North Shore Hospital.

He was born February 21, 1932 to Anton and Helene (Letfus) Hueltner in Yugoslavia where he grew up and attended school. In 1952 he moved to Austria where he lived for 4 years. In 1955, he came to the United States and married Barbara Wirth the following year. He enlisted in the Army and was stationed in Germany until his return in 1957. He lived in Wisconsin and Port Washington before moving to Grand Marais in 1993. Mathias was a member of the American Legion and loved fishing and hunting.

Mathias is preceded in death by his parents, and two sisters.

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Barbara of Grand Marais, children, William (Peggy) of West Bend, Wisconsin, and Anthony of Kewaskum, Wisconsin; granddaughter, Rochelle (Adrian) Reed of Phoenix, AZ; grandson, Erik Hueltner of Florida, great-grandson, Evan Reed; and many nieces and nephews.

Memorial Service will be held at a later date


Irma J. Larsen, 94, of Grand Marais, died peacefully Sunday, February 23, 2014, at the Cook County North Shore Care Center in Grand Marais, with her family by her side.

She was born January 22, 1920 to John and Amanda (Stokke) Haugen in Virginia, Minnesota, where she grew up and graduated from high school. Irma attended cosmetology school in Duluth, and worked herself through school at a local bakery. She moved to Grand Marais in 1939, and worked in a beauty shop in town for many years where she met Lawrence Larsen. They were married in February of 1942, and they made their home in Croftville, where Irma ran her own salon for over 25 years, and also ran Larsen’s Lakeview Cabins. She was a member of Royal Neighbors, and American Legion Women’s Auxiliary. Irma enjoyed doing crossword puzzles, playing cards, and reading.

Irma is preceded in death by her parents; her husband Lawrence in 1996, 2 brothers, 2 sisters, and a son-in-law.

She is survived by her children, Jackie Hyovalti of Anoka; Lawrence Jr. (Cathy) of Grand Marais; and Curt (Colleen) of Two Harbors; sister, Judy Towle of Virginia; 8 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

Memorial Service will be held 1 PM Saturday, March 8, 2014 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Grand Marais. A graveside service will be held at a later date.



Clemence J Gresczyk, 79, Grand Marais, died peacefully, with his children at his side, on February 17, 2014 at Essentia Health of Duluth.

Clem was born on November 23,1934 in Moose Lake, Minnesota to Eleanor and Tony Gresczyk. He grew up on the family farm in Rutledge and graduated from Willow River High School. Clem married Carol Aakhus in 1954 and moved to Grand Marais where they raised their family.

Clem’s work was his passion. He so enjoyed meeting and working with the people of Cook County. Clem and Carol bought North Shore Jobbing service in 1959 and operated the business until 1974. He continued with the vending portion for another ten years. In 1975 he began G&G Septic Service and later partnered with his son. Clem took pride in his business, especially the reputation of his clean portable toilets.

In later years, he enjoyed being at the shop with his Labrador friend Harley. He spent hours fixing things, messing up the shop, and waiting for his next friend to stop and visit. Clem enjoyed fishing at Isle Royale, hunting, especially with his great friend Pootie Drouillard. He loved country music, the Dallas Cowboys and was a compassionate lover of animals. He was preceded in death by his parents, Eleanor and Tony Gresczyk, five sisters Veronica Taylor, Barbara Gresczyk, Mary Ann Gresczyk, Irene Balut and Martha Wallace, and a brother Tony Gresczyk Jr.


Funeral Mass for Clemence John Gresczyk, 79, will be held on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at St. John's Catholic Church at 11:00 a.m. Visitation from 10:30-11:00. Luncheon will follow the service.


Funeral services will be held Saturday, Feb. 22 at 1 p.m. at Bethlehem Lutheran Church for Chris Nicolaison. Chris passed away Feb. 13 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. 


Dwight 'Dite' Reisinger, age 61, of Silver Bay, MN,  passed away on Wednesday, February 5, 2014, at Solvay Hospice House in Duluth. Dwight’s dear wife, Joi Electa was at his side.

In 2013, Dwight was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that has no known cure, nor are its' causes well understood. Joi was his loving and dedicated full-time caregiver throughout his illness.

Dwight graduated high school in Silver Bay and lived most of his life there.

He is preceded in death by his parents, John 'Jack' and Lillian (Brown) Reisinger, and his brother, Mike Reisinger.

He is survived by his wife, Joi; a son, Daniel Reisinger of Arizona; stepsons, Mike and Troy Baker of North Dakota, as well as three grandchildren.

A gathering to celebrate Dwight's life was held on Sunday, February 16, 2014.

Memorials preferred to Dwight’s family, in care of:
Joi Electa
41 Garden Drive
Silver Bay, MN  55614


Complete obituary and guest book:


Irma Lorrain Toftey passed away on Saturday February 1, 2014 at 91 years old.  A funeral is planned for Saturday February 8th at 1PM at the Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Grand Marais.  Memorials to the BLCW.


Phyllis Josephine Kettunen, 76, passed away on January 22, 2014 at the North Shore Care Center, after a difficult battle against breast cancer.

Phyllis was born March 19, 1937 in Fancher, Wisconsin to Florian and Regina (Stankowski) Groshek. She attended St. Michael’s Grade School and graduated from Newman High School in Wausau, Wisconsin in 1955.

She lived in Grand Rapids in the late 1970s and worked at the Grand Rapids Public Library.

Phyllis and her then-husband Ken Kettunen owned and operated the locally owned Cook County News-Herald for over a decade, working with their sons, Hal and Jon. Phyllis served as receptionist and more.

After the Kettunens sold the paper, Phyllis retired to Grand Rapids until moving back to Grand Marais to be near family in November 2008. She was delighted to be able to see her son Hal and his wife Deidre continue the family tradition and take ownership of the Cook County News-Herald.

Phyllis was a wonderful cook and enjoyed cooking for friends and family when her health allowed. She especially enjoyed eating the fish caught by her family.

Her favorite activities were watching her soap operas and playing Yahtzee and the dice game 5000.

Phyllis was preceded in death by her parents and son, Jon Kettunen.

She is survived by son Hal Kettunen (Deidre), grandchildren, Carrie (Pete) Czerwony of West Chester, Pennsylvania, Andrew Kettunen of West Chester, Pennsylvania and Nathan (Bre) Kettunen of Grand Marais and great-children, Gaige, Hunter, Payton and Kadum and brothers Robert (Marilyn) Groshek, Frisco, Texas, Kenneth (Joyce) Groshek, Weston, Wisconsin, Anthony (Barbara) Groshek, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Lawrence (Emily) Groshek, Kronenwetter, Wisconsin and Alan (Jane) Eland, Wisconsin.


Thelma Peterson , 88 of Grand Marais, died Sunday, January 5th 2014 at the Cook County North Shore Care Center in Grand Marais.

She was born February 12, 1925 to Christian and Agnes (Blomberg) Rude in Grand Marias, where she grew up and attended school. On February 16, 1946 she married Douglas Peterson in Floodwood, Minnesota and they made their home in Grand Marais. Thelma worked at Mable’s Café and LeSage’s Café, before working at the North Shore Hospital as an aide. She later got her LPN’s license and worked until her retirement in 1995. After her retirement, she did some private duty nursing for many years.

Thelma was a member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church, and the American Legion Women’s Auxiliary. She enjoyed listening to country music, traveling, camping, fishing, and taking care of people.

She is preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Douglas; and sister, Alice Brisson.

Thelma is survived by her children, Ronell (William) Lyght, Lenore Fleming, Crystal (Rocklin) Smith, Russell (Linda) Peterson; sisters, Carol (Alton) Berglund, Shirley Ellquist; brothers, Gerald (Nancy) Rude, Bradley (Sandy) Rude; seven grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held 1 PM Friday, January 17, 2014 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Grand Marais.


On Friday, January 17, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. there will be a Mass of Christian Burial for Father Stephen White, followed by a luncheon.


Friday January 17th 1:00pm at the Bethleham Luthran Church