MARY ANN "BEBE" (STARKMAN) PORTHANMary Ann “Bebe” (Starkman) Porthan, 80, of Lake Eshquagama, and formerly of Aurora died Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, at the Northern Pines Health Care Center in Aurora.
Mary Ann “Bebe” (Starkman) Porthan, 80, of Lake Eshquagama, and formerly of Aurora died Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, at the Northern Pines Health Care Center in Aurora.
She was born Dec. 5, 1931 in Ely the daughter of Waino and Ile (Isaacson) Starkman.
She was a graduate of the Ely High School, Ely Junior College and received a Bachelor of Science and a Master’s Degree in Nursing from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. She married Sheldon Porthan On April 17, 1954 in Ely. They moved to Hibbing in 1954 and Aurora in 1959 where they lived and raised their children. In 1998, they retired to their lake home on Lake Eshquagama, where they were long time, active members of the Eshquagama Country Club. In her long nursing career, Mary Ann worked in the St. Louis County Public Health system, and was a well-respected nursing instructor in the RN program at Hibbing Community College.
Mary Ann and Sheldon were members of the Polaris Dance Club and numerous bridge clubs. After retirement, they spent many winters in sunny Arizona.
Mary Ann was a member of the Beta Sigma Phi Sorority, enjoyed golf, book clubs, and socializing with her family and friends in the area. She was also a pianist and a vocalist. Among her notable achievements is that of a published author. Her book, “White Iron and Birch Lake 1898 – 1920, First Settlers of Two Rural Communities in Northeastern Minnesota”, details the history of the immigrants from Finland to that area – including that of her family, the Starkmans and Isaacsons.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband Sheldon in 2009; sisters Ruth Stensland and Verna Kalan; nieces Judy Dowler and Suzanne Stensland Raymonda; and nephews Wayne Stensland, Craig Stensland and J. Jack Starkman.
Mary Ann is survived by children Lisa (Larry) Carson of Raleigh, N.C., Caron Porthan of Burnsville, Minn., and John Porthan of Aurora; brother Jack (Mary Ann “Dolly”) Starkman of Ely; grandchildren Daniel, Jeremy, Kaylin (Tom) Walters; great-grandchildren Tristan and Paige Walters; nieces and nephews including Sharon (Tom) Franklin, Marie (Tim) Salerno, Bonnie Starkman, and Colby Stensland; goddaughter Carolyn “Carrie” Landa-Wittry; and many loving extended family including Carol Landa, Marilyn Lindbeck, Susan Hahnen and Harvey Gustafson; and a host of friends.
MEMORIAL SERVICE: was held 10 a.m. Monday, Dec. 3, 2012 in Gethsemane Evangelical Lutheran Church in Virginia and 3 p.m. in Grace Lutheran Church in Ely. Reverends Nathan Sager and Larry Smith will officiate the respective services. Inurnment will take place at the Ely Cemetery at a later date. Memorials are preferred and may be directed to the American Heart Association, the National Kidney Foundation or the donor's choice.
Family Services provided by Bauman-Cron, a Bauman Family Funeral Home in Virginia. To share personal remembrances online, please see: www.baumanfuneralhome.com
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