We mourn the passing of Monty Lee Wilkes, local boy who made good.
Noted writer Jim Northrup died Aug. 1 from complications with kidney cancer. He was 73.
A U.S. Marine veteran of the Vietnam War, Northrup attributed his cancer to exposure to Agent Orange, a defoliant used by the U.S. military in herbicidal warfare.
Northrup was a member of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. The Duluth News Tribune notes he “was an ardent keeper of Anishinaabe tradition. He and his wife started a summer Ojibwe language camp on the reservation, made birch bark winnowing baskets, took part in the yearly sugarbush to make maple syrup and harvested wild rice on the reservation’s lakes.”
In 2004, Shawn was part of a short-lived band called “CUD,” who recorded an album at that time that went unreleased due to various technical issues. With Shawn’s diagnosis, it was decided that the album should be completed as a way of attracting monetary donations that will help his wife and two-year-old child in some small way. With the assistance of talented engineer Jake Larson, the CUD album was completed, and it is now available to purchase on Bandcamp. Fans of Ministry, the Melvins, and guitar harmonies might particularly enjoy the record.
Please visit cudduluth.bandcamp.com to purchase this album. (Streaming is free, but keep in mind that no money goes to the cause for streams.) 100% of the money donated will go to Shawn’s wife and child. The album is pay-what-you-can, and any amount is welcome. Thank you.
Walter H. Pederson, a Duluth native and member of the Plaisted Arctic expedition, died Friday in St. Cloud at the age of 88.
Pederson served as mechanic on Ralph Plaisted’s crew, which reached the North Pole by snowmobile in 1968. The subject gained new attention last month when the New York Times published an account of the expedition. In early April the Hollywood infotainment website Deadline reported Will Ferrell will star in film about the Plaisted expedition.
Pederson’s obituary in the St. Cloud Times notes he was a “sailor, cowboy, mechanic, racer, teacher, businessman, inventor, explorer, author, politician, entrepreneur, scientist, private eye, hero, friend, husband, father and grandfather.” Services will be held Friday in Milaca.
After 20 years in business, the Timber Lodge Steakhouse in Canal Park is calling it quits. Bruce Taher, CEO of Timber Lodge’s parent company, Taher Inc., says he regrets having to make the decision. He hoped to close the restaurant for the winter and reopen it this spring, but a number of challenges precipitated the restaurant’s demise.
Professional wrestling great Nick Bockwinkel died Saturday night at age 80. The image above is from what was probably his last appearance in Duluth, as special referee during a World Wrestling Federation card at the Duluth Arena in 1987. (WWF is now World Wrestling Entertainment; Duluth Arena is now the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center Arena.)
Within six months of acquiring the Jade Fountain, Bill Kalligher locked the big red doors to the iconic Chinese restaurant. He reached the decision in September, fed up with a dirty kitchen he says he’s still trying to clean, alleged poor product quality from food suppliers and a box filled with bounced checks from customers.
Longtime Denfeld High School economics teacher Dick Gastler died on Thursday, Oct. 15, at the age of 79. Among many great teachers at Denfeld, Mr. Gastler would have to be considered the most famous of his era. He was a ham. He broke into song all the time. He frequently digressed into stories about growing up in Chaska. He wore cheesy leisure suits, famously sporting the same one every day during a stretch of 1984 when he was raising money to fight hunger — a stunt that landed him on Good Morning America. The suit was burned when Mr. Gastler reached his fundraising goal. The ashes are still in a trophy case at the school.