R.I.P. Posts

R.I.P. Robert’s Home Furnishings building

The former Robert’s Home Furnishings building at 2102 W. Superior St. in Lincoln Park was torn down last week. Robert Rothenberger launched furniture retail business in 1987 and closed its doors in October 2018 upon retirement. Roberts was part of  the “big three” furniture stores that anchored the West End for decades. The building was constructed 1890 as a lumber warehouse. Rachel Development, based in St. Michael, Minn., plans to build a four-story, 74-unit housing project on the site. Rothenberger died in November. Photo by Mark Nicklawske.

Leif Brush – “Terraplane Chorography I”

Artist Leif Brush, who taught at the University of Minnesota Duluth from 1976 to 2002, died on March 15 at the age of 88. His obituary can be found on cremationsocietyofmn.com.

The video “Terraplane Chorography I,” embedded above, is a performance with audio tape and live piano, shot at the Tweed Museum of Art in 1979 and digitized from videocassette in 2011.

“Big Friendly Mike” was friend to many

Obits are not common on Perfect Duluth Day, but Mike Hruza wasn’t a common person. He was known to hundreds, thousands of Duluthians as “Big Friendly Mike” because he worked for decades selling games and comics, or because he played games and talked comics with anyone who would listen (including the times I sat next to him on the bus).

A look at Duluth-area food and drink spots we lost in 2020

Left: Maggie’s restaurant in Bayfield marked 40 years in business in August and announced its closure in October. Right: The Crooked Spoon Cafe in Grand Marais was destroyed by fire in April. (Photos via Facebook)

The scourge of COVID-19 has challenged restaurant and bar owners at every level. The temporary closures during the pandemic are too long to list, and the industry outlook for 2021 is filled with uncertainty, but surprisingly few businesses announced they were calling it quits in 2020.

Two of the region’s most notable restaurant losses occurred in small towns away from Duluth, and COVID-19 was perhaps only loosely to blame.

R.I.P. Sue Sojourner

On a bridge in 1965 (photo by Henry Sojourner) | Holmes County Community Center, February 1965 (photo by Elaine Howmiller, Nashville Tennessean) | Portrait, 2012 (photo by Sam Alvar) | Right to Vote March in Jackson, June 15, 1965 (photo by an unknown civil rights worker)

Author and activist Susan Hasalo Sojourner died in Minneapolis on Dec. 4 at the age of 79. She lived in Duluth for more than two decades, beginning in the mid 1990s.

Sojourner fought tirelessly for justice throughout her life — for civil rights in Holmes County, Miss. and also for women’s liberation and LGBTQ+ rights during her years in Washington D.C. and Duluth. A complete obituary can be found on the Hodroff-Epstein Memorial Chapels website.

R.I.P. Mark Sertich, world’s oldest hockey player

Duluth’s Mark Sertich, the world’s oldest hockey player, was still skating on his 99th birthday in July. He died on Monday from complications of a stroke.

R.I.P. Dr. Robert Powless

Dr. Robert Powless (Photo by Ivy Vainio)

Dr. Robert Powless, former director of the American Indian Studies Program at the University of Minnesota Duluth, died on April 25.

Upper Deck restaurant at Bong Airport will become hangar

The Upper Deck Restaurant at 1415 N. 46th St. in Superior has been closed for more than a year. Its contents were auctioned off on Jan. 31. According to the Superior Telegram, the new owner will be turning the building into an airplane hangar.

R.I.P. Louis Jenkins

Moms & Dads Today, Duluth.com magazines fold

A pair of Duluth publications reached the end of their roads earlier this year. Moms & Dads Today and Duluth.com magazines have been absent from shelves since the July/August issues.

Cloquet’s Northeast Bar & Grill calls it quits

The Northeast Bar & Grill, also known as NE BBQ & Smokehouse, formally announced its closing on Facebook today. The last day of business was Oct. 12.

“We so loved our patrons and are so very sad to end the business that we loved so well,” part of the message read. “Unfortunately, we are receiving more inquiries now than we ever did while in business. That said: If you love a place, support it and patronize often. We have several surviving businesses in town that need that type of support.”

R.I.P. Merritt Park Recreation Center Building

This week the field house at Merritt Park joined the growing list of historic West Duluth buildings demolished in recent years. The 2,016-square foot building was constructed in 1939.

R.I.P. Xavier Bell, Family Freedom Center founder

A celebration of Xavier Bell’s life will be held on Saturday, Nov. 2, 3 p.m., at Peace United Church of Christ. Visitation is at 2 p.m. All are welcome.

R.I.P. Amendola Building

Demolition work on the Amendola Building in Downtown Duluth. (Photo by Mike Creger)

The Amendola Building at 405 E. Superior St. was demolished today to make way for Essentia Health’s Vision Northland project.

Amendola Building, Google Maps, 2018

Letica’s Iron Mug to close Sept. 14

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