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Devoted to dad

Jackie Kohn and her father, Carl Stevens, on their last camping trip at Cass Lake.1 / 14
Danelle Dulinski and her dad, Daniel Dulinski2 / 14
Stephanie Dunaiski and her dad, Rob Dietrich3 / 14
Rylee Kuberra and her dad, Tom Kuberra4 / 14
Rev. Robert J. Munson5 / 14
Ashley Gilbert and her dad, Roland Zengel6 / 14
Marie Wehri Janecek and her father, George Wehri7 / 14
Heidi Schroeder Boortz and her dad, Fritz Schroeder8 / 14
Ariel Kainu and her dad, Clay Jackson9 / 14
Tim Junger with Dominick and Barrett10 / 14
Lee Bos and his daughter, Abigail11 / 14
Carol Ovind and her dad, Carroll Ovind12 / 14
Brenda Gilbert Anderson and her dad, Tom Fearnall13 / 14
Leilani Polaski (left) pictured with her dad, Nathan Hawkenson, and mom, Amanda Brown14 / 14

My father, Carl Stevens, will always be a special part of my dearest thoughts and memories.

The many fun times we had as a family on camping trips and visits to his home on the Gunflint Trail and in Arizona for weeks at a time, loving every minute of his fun, witty ways.

I'm grateful for all his hard work — often working three jobs at a time — and all the visits to see his very sick children at hospitals for years — never complaining. When asked to slow down he would say, "Oh, I'm a tough Swede." He shared our disappointments, listened to and helped us work out our problems and feelings about so many things that troubled us.

I will never forget when I walked into his room at Benedictine Health Center and he'd say, "And here comes my darling daughter! Gosh you look cute in that hat!" It was all I could do to hide the tears. I'm glad I had the hat on.

The things we thought we could count on too soon became the past. The years pass so quickly, but each and every one leaves so many treasured memories, all as close as yesterday. Each memory brings thoughts of you today and every day.

Dad, with all my heart I feel grateful for having been your daughter. for your wisdom and knowledge, and supporting me every step of the way.

My father — my friend — passed into heaven Sept. 10, 2006. He's taking care of mom and our sister, Nancy. Until we meet again, Dad.

Your loving daughter,

Jackie Ann

Submitted by Jackie Kohn of Duluth

At 21, my father, George Wehri, contracted tuberculosis and spent as much time as possible outdoors in the clean air of western North Dakota, where he lived. During that year he studied ornithology and could imitate bird calls and identify prairie birds throughout his life.

He raised a pet coyote that followed him like a dog and learned to do simple tricks. The last trick he learned — unlatching his kennel gate upon command — also ended his life. One night, the coyote left his kennel, wandered miles to the neighbor's chicken yard and gained access to the confined chickens. His natural instincts took over and a killing rampage began. Hearing the commotion, the neighbor did what farmers do when a coyote invades a chicken yard — he shot the coyote.

My dad and his brother often rode the range land moving cattle for several days at a time. To pass time they developed their shooting skills. Family legend says my dad could light a farmer's match secured to a fence post — without shattering the match stick.

A true Renaissance man, my father's library consisted of poems by Skelly, scientific journals, ecology and Zame Grey. He made his own photo film developer, built one of the first crystal radios in the area, used a telescope with ease, spoke a foreign language and "witched' for water. He conversed comfortably with the church bishop, Haiti's governor and strangers who stopped for directions. He had an infectious Santa Clause laugh, threw a rope with accuracy and rode a horse with dignity.

The greatest gift he instilled in me was to be innovative when looking at a problem and in dealing with life's daily surprises. I'm sure heaven has been more interesting since he joined the ranks of the angels.

Submitted by Marie Wehri Janecek of Grand Rapids

My dad is Clay Jackson of Biwabik, and this is a picture of the Corvette he had to sell because he had no space in his garage. I'll never forget the first time he took me for a ride in it. It was so close to the ground, and when he started going fast I freaked out. I have no idea why I freaked out, but he laughed and went down the highway going faster and faster, telling me we were fine. Looking back, it was one of the funnest rides ever.

Another time, Dad went to the Virgin Islands to help build a hotel and called me every day to tell me how nice the weather was and how I should come there. He brought me back a shell necklace and a couple other small presents. He said he left early because they told him they would feed him but all they ever gave him was Ramen noodles.

The last time I had talked to Dad was a few days after the horrible storm we had in 2016. He was checking up on me to make sure I had power. He told me how proud he was of me, how much he loved me and that I made him happy. I will forever cherish those words, especially since it was our last conversation before he passed away last July.

I love you, Dad.

Submitted by Ariel Kainu of Duluth

My dada, Lee Bos, is the best dae Ever. He gets up with me at night, he rocks me to sleep, he lets me climb all over him and pull his chest hair. He loves Mama and me to pieces. I can't wait to grow up and learn to do so many wonderful things from him! Happy First Father's Day, Dada!

Love Momma & Abigail

Submitted by Echo Bos of Duluth

Little girls often see their dads as heroes. In my case, my dad truly was; he saved my life. And, through his faith, love and strength of spirit, he gave me a pride in him that will last forever.

My dad, Carroll Ovind, became my hero in 1963. I was not quite 4 years old when our home started on fire. In the chaos that ensued, both my parents thought the other had gotten me out. It wasn't until they heard me screaming that they realized I was still inside. My dad and brother kicked in the front door that was off the living room, which is where I had been (and luckily, hadn't moved). Dad crawled in and carried me out. My parents were told that if I had been in the house even a minute longer, I could have died from smoke inhalation. As it was, I had third-degree burns on the top of my right foot, my knees, knuckles, and the top of my head.

The first time I really remember being extremely proud of my dad was in 1972. Back then, personal problems weren't really discussed. My dad was a functioning alcoholic. He wasn't mean or obnoxious but his drinking obviously had an effect on our family. On Feb. 11, 1972, things changed. He saw his addiction and what it was doing, and said enough is enough. He put himself into treatment at Miller-Dwan and never touched another drop. He was sober 30 years when he died.

My dad was one of the kindest, gentlest souls I have ever encountered. He always had a twinkle in his eye and a joke to tell. I'll love, respect and admire him always.

Submitted by Carol Ovind of Lawsonville, N.C., formerly of Duluth.

Our daughter, Heidi Schroeder Boortz of Edmond, Okla., wrote this about her dad, Fritz Schroeder, a few years ago. I thought it appropriate for sharing today.

My Dad Smells

I remember my dad coming home from a trip; it was the only time he'd use the front door. We'd hear the door open and know he was home. We'd run to hug him. He was so handsome in his uniform. He smelled like stale airplane air and Doublemint gum. Sometimes he'd have a special gift for us.

There were the times he'd come in from the garden, smelling like pipe tobacco and soil, and sometimes, Off, and carrying an ice cream bucket full of the harvest. He'd set the bucket down on mom's clean counter and head for the shower.

When he came home from hunting his clothes smelled like fall: woodsy and crisp, like leaves. The absence of tobacco smoke smell was rare; assumingly he didn't want to alert the deer of his presence. His bounty, if any, was left outside.

After a fishing trip he smelled like bug dope and cigars, with just a hint of fish and two-stroke exhaust. If we were lucky, the ice cream bucket would be back, filled with fresh fillets.

When he'd come through the door after berry picking, his fingers would be stained purple. There'd be fresh scratches all along the backs of his hands and up his arms, and, despite the distinctive smell of bug spray, he'd have fresh bleeding bites on his face. He'd smell of sweat and sunshine, and pipes.

Freshly showered, about to take Mom out, he smelled of soap and aftershave, and he'd have the rare aroma of clean clothes. If a person can smell handsome, my dad did.

I haven't lived with him for nearly 20 years, but I can't think of him without smelling him. All his hobbies, his interests, his roles, each carried with it the residual odor that reminds me of him.

I think I probably have one of the smelliest dads in the world.

Submitted by Penny Schroeder of Minong.

My parents, Daniel and Darlene Dulinski, met at a roller rink in Central Hillside in 1962, when they were 14 years old. Dad worked hard to provide for his family and was always busy around our home. He shared two of his greatest passions — music and automobiles — with his family often. I attended country western concerts with him and learned to differentiate hubcaps and fender skirts better than any teenaged boy my age. Dad fostered the importance of having passions and balance in my life.

A klutzy kid even into my teenaged years, my parents still joke about the time I set off on my bike only to do a complete somersault off it and wind up with horrific road rash on the side of my face. Guess who was there waiting with the band-aid and to offer a sympathetic shoulder? My dad...

The last few years have brought difficult transitions to me and my parents. Watching them age has been cause for reflection, wisdom gained and gratitude. I observe Dad as a model of grace and love, taking care of my mother as she struggles with health issues; their commitment to each other spanning 55 years. For this, he's my hero.

Dad struggles to maintain my childhood home, and tries so diligently because it represents 40 years of memories and a legacy of love.

Every time I need him — even when I fall from grace — he is waiting, once again, to offer the band-aid to this now middle-aged woman. Sometimes he rips that band-aid off quickly so I get up and live up to his legacy. Other times, he gives that sympathetic shoulder.

I'm grateful to have had this wonderful man in my life for 44 Father's Days. Happy Father's Day, Dad.

Submitted by Danelle Dulinski of Duluth

We could start this letter out by thanking our dad, Roland Zengel, for things such as the roof over our heads or the food on the table. But when we sit back and think about how truly thankful we are to have you as not only our grandpa but also our father, those things barely scratch the surface.

What we really want to thank you for are the countless times you carried us on your shoulders — even when we were getting too big to be up there.

For every compliment you gave Grandma, because from you we learned what it truly means to love your spouse.

And for being the first man we will ever love. We would be completely lost in this world without you and we are wholeheartedly convinced that God knew exactly what he was doing when he chose you to be our dad.

We love you to the moon and back, Daddy!

Always and forever your little girls,

Ashley and Amber Gilbert

Submitted by Ashley Gilbert of Duluth

My dad is Rob Dietrich of Ashland. I've always looked up to him and as I've gotten older, I see just how alike we are. The last few years have been difficult for our family, but I know it has made our relationship stronger.

Here we are at the Bryan Adams concert at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. We had so much fun, I'll never forget it!

Love you, pap!

Submitted by Stephanie Dunaiski of Duluth

My first love has taught me so many different things: to walk, to talk, to dream, to work hard, to always remember my foundation, to keep my fists up and properly punch (if necessary and only in defense), to keep my eyes peeled for a buck, to shoot a bow and arrow, to appreciate art, to love war movies, to listen to my mother even when we disagree, to bake, to cook, to find alternative solutions, to appreciate U2 and Tom Petty, to never give up, to trust that even when I doubt that I'm not loved I always am and always will be, to pop zits (not a good habit, but nonetheless), to build a fire, to fish, to make colorful fishing spinners, to take a mean nap, to stick to whatever I want to try (dance for one year, and one year only), to know that I am supported, to trust, to know that heartbreak will end, to cry because emotions are important, to be strong, discipline, that perfection is an illusion, that we all make mistakes, that sometimes just watching someone gut a deer is okay you can just eat the venison roast, how to love your mom the same way that he loves his, how to be friendly and give the benefit of the doubt to everyone, to know that I always have something to give, and ultimately to be the most beautiful person that I can possibly be and remember to always thank God.

My dad, Tom Kuberra of Hermantown, has exemplified and lived the most extraordinary life in my eyes, he is my best friend, my confidant, and an incredible man who has so much love to give in this world.

I love you, Papino, Happy Father's Day.

With double infinity love,

Bug

Submitted by Rylee Kuberra of St. Augustine, Fla.

This is technically my husband Tim's first Father's Day, as our son Barrett was born March 16, 2017; however, he has been an amazing step-father to our 9-year-old son, Dominick, for many years. He has raised Dom and been there for him for everything from teaching him to fish to coaching his basketball team. All three of us are so lucky to have the best dad in our lives! His positivity and infectious smile inspire us every day. We love you!

Submitted by Emma Junger of Proctor.

My dad, Rev. Robert J. Munson, was a hard-working man; a Jack-of-all-trades, master of some. While in the Navy and stationed in San Diego, he met Mom when her church group performed a service onboard his ship and invited the sailors to a church picnic. Liking Mom, Dad "accidentally" left his camera in the car while riding back to the ship and had to see her again. They were married 61 years when we lost Dad to cancer.

With five kids to raise Dad worked many jobs — sometimes two or three at a time. As a child I would get up and go on the door-to-door milk route with him. He also drove a bread truck that went through neighborhoods and housewives would come out and purchase fresh baked goods.

As we children got older they decided to leave the big city and move to Minnesota, where Dad grew up. In addition to farming and milking the cows, Dad worked with his brother in a furniture shop upholstering furniture, making mattresses and repairing sewing machines; all while continuing his true calling as minister of a local church.

Eventually the farm was sold and Dad pursued ministry full-time at Grace Baptist Church in Two Harbors, where he was when he retired. After retiring he opened a small sewing machine/vacuum repair shop and worked with the tourist information giving tours of the museum, lighthouse and Edna G.

A sailor at heart, he loved being back on the water sharing information on the Edna G. and giving people the knowledge he accumulated.

He loved the Lord and continued to counsel people, perform marriages and preside over funerals.

His ship left its earthly port and he's now residing in heaven with his reward. Fair winds and following seas, sailor; job well done.

Submitted by Sherrill Munson of Duluth.

My dad, Nathan Hawkenson, is the best because he always takes me places and does fun stuff with me. He's always active even though he has a bad knee. We go swimming in the summer and play in the pool in Naples, Fla., in the winter. He also takes me to zoos, Sea World and shopping in the girl stores even when he doesn't want to. But the best thing I love about him is his smile, his laugh and that he is my dad.

Happy Father's Day!

Love,

Leilani

Submitted by Amanda Brown of Superior.

"Profanity makes ignorance audible," author unknown.

Every single grandchild of Tom Fearnall of the Fond du Lac neighborhood recognizes this quote.

Dad has been a pillar for old-fashioned manners, hard work, a job well done, steadfast love, independence and education. He always encouraged all of us to never back down or give up our dreams. Dad encouraged me to start my own business 26 years ago. In fact, he has encouraged all three of his adult children to follow their dreams. He's been there for encouragement, trusted advice and often financial support over all our lives and the lives of his five grandchildren.

Every adult grandchild remains close to this amazing man, not because they have to but because they value their relationship with him. He has been a loving, loyal spouse to my mom for 66 years of marriage and most recently a patient and tireless caregiver to her as she battles advanced Parkinson's Disease.

Though a traditionalist, he was there with support for every adult child, grandchild, friend or stranger — even those with differing opinions or lifestyles. All have been welcomed and accepted. This wonderful man is loved by so many simply because of how he treats others with care and respect. His children and grandchildren strive to be the best people we can to earn that respect.

I get my positive outlook on life from this man who, despite some tough times, has always been there with a smile and a solution. I am feeling blessed to celebrate my 56th Father's Day with this hero I call Dad.

I love you, Dad.

Submitted by Brenda Gilbert Anderson of Duluth

My dad, Roger Joppa, is a wonderful person in my life. He's always there for me whenever I need to talk or need advice on anything. I love you, Dad. Happy Father's Day!

Love, Mary

Submitted by Mary Joppa of Duluth

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