Obituaries

Vernon "Mickey" Holmestad, 86, of International Falls, Minnesota, died of Alzheimer’s,
on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 at the Littlefork Care Center.
Mickey was born on March 7, 1933 in International Falls to parents, Obert and Selma
(Hill) Holmestad.
Mickey was united in marriage to the former Helen Bzdok.
He lived all of his life in International Falls.
He was employed with Boise Cascade Paper Mill as a paper tester until his retirement.
Mickey was preceded in death by his parents, Obert and Selma; one brother, and two
sisters.
He is survived by his wife, Helen Holmestad; son Bruce Holmestad; granddaughter,
Carrie Holmestad of Denver, CO; brother, Richard (Sandi) Holmestad of International
Falls; sisters-in-law, Julie Holmestad of International Falls, and Renie Hall of Baudette,
MN.
Per his wishes there will be no funeral.
Condolences may be left at www.greenlarsen.com.
Arrangements are with Green-Larsen Mortuary, Inc.

 

Richard Arthur Stapleton was born on July 30,1923 in Donald, WI to Arthur and Marion
(Miller) Stapleton. He had five siblings: Charlie, Virginia, Garnet, Carol and Cecil (aka
Ginger). He died on March 3, 2020 due to pneumonia and kidney failure. His wife of 71
years, Marian Rose (Benson) Stapleton preceded him in death on August 7, 2019.
Their family includes: their son, Russell Arthur (deceased) (Lynn), and their children;
Nathaniel (Adriel), Katie (Steven Martens) and Christopher (Ashley),
their daughter, Mary Louise (John D. Wenger Jr.) and their children: John D. III (Donna),
Summer, Judah (Kyndra) and Timothy,
their son, Michael Jay (Tresa) and their children: Olivia, Michaela (Christian Gonzolez),
Hannah (Peter Thompson) and James (Lacey),
their son, Kenneth Lynn (Cindy) and their children: Karin (Matt Smith), Erik (Rachel)
and Jennifer (Luke Urbach),
their son, Richard Edward (Marcy) and their children: Naomi (Gabriel Long), David,
Luke, Joel and Anna, and
their daughter Ruth Ellen (Kevin Pound) and their children: Lydia, Rachel, Rebekah
and Stephen.
He is also survived by 21 great-grandchildren: Saffron, Jiah, Isaac, Silas, Kinsey,
Jacob, Johnny, Russell, Walter, Kai, Javen, Logan, Alaina, Ava, Amelia, Adele, Noura,
Esker, Eleanor, Chloe and Leah.
In 1927, at the age of four Richard, also known as Dick, moved with his family to
Ladysmith, WI. There he grew up enjoying hunting and fishing. He also was musical
and began to develop as a trumpet player, playing in the high school band as a solo
trumpeter.
One incident which occurred during his childhood concerned a railroad trestle a quarter
of a mile long near his home. He and a group of his friends were shooting firecrackers
off between the ties one day, when the trestle caught fire. Fortunately the fire
department put it out and no one ever found out who was responsible.
He graduated from high school in 1941. After graduation he went to sheet metal trade
school in Rhinelander, WI. In December, WWII broke out, and in 1942, he moved to
Bremerton, WA to work in the shipyards, where he helped repair damaged ships and
construct new ones.
In 1943, Richard enlisted in the U.S. Navy. As a member of the Naval Construction
Battalions (SeaBees) he was stationed in Virginia and Maine. After taking a year of
naval officer’s training at Williams College in Williamstown, MA, he was stationed in
Boston and Rhode Island. He shipped out from Norfolk, VA to go overseas. His
voyage took him to Guam via Puerto Rico, the Panama Canal, and the Hawaiian

Islands. He was based on Guam for seven months before coming back to the U.S.
through San Francisco in 1946 and being discharged at Bremerton.
From the spring of 1948 until the autumn of 1949 he went to the University of
Wisconsin. On June 20, 1948, he was married to Marian Rose Benson. After his term at
the U. of W., he transferred to the University of Minnesota. He stayed there for two
years and received his Bachelor of Science degree in forestry.
Upon finishing school, he went to work for the state of Minnesota and in the process
ended up in Littlefork, MN. He worked on the crew of the Koochiching County Lands
and Forestry department and, in 1969, he became Koochiching County Land
Commissioner.
Richard was an active member of the Littlefork Baptist Church and personal faith in
Jesus Christ was the central part of his life. He taught Sunday School, was a leader at
Awana boys club, a member of the Gideons, led the church choir and was on the
church board of directors. His family knew him as a steady, peace loving, gentle
influence. His faith was as authentic at home as it was in public.
In his retirement years, he and Marian traveled to many places visiting their children and
grandchildren. For the last eight years of his life, he suffered the effects of a stroke
being confined to a wheelchair in the Littlefork nursing home. His wit, laughter and
stories will be greatly missed by family and friends.
Condolences may be left at www.greenlarsen.com.
Arrangements are with Green-Larsen Mortuary, Inc.

 

Roberta JoAnn Kockelman, 71, of International Falls, Minnesota, died on Monday,
March 2, 2020 at the Good Samaritan Society-International Falls.
JoAnn was born in International Falls on January 13, 1949 to parents, Robert and
Florence Bradley.
She grew up in International Falls and graduated from Falls High School with the
Class of 1967.
JoAnn was united in marriage to Gerald “Jerry “ Kockelman on April 25, 1970 at
First Lutheran Church.
She worked as a secretary at Falls Memorial Hospital and in later years she was
employed at Snyder Drug Store.
JoAnn enjoyed crafts, volleyball, golf, softball, and making stained glass.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Jerry; sister, Judy Rish;
brothers, Ronald Bradley and David Bradley.
JoAnn is survived by sons, Todd (Beth) Kockelman of Stillwater, MN and Craig
(Bethany Palmer) Kockelman of Princeton, MN; daughter, Cindy (Marty) Ryll of
Eveleth, MN; grandchildren, Cole, Karissa, Michael and McKenzie Kockelman,
Jonah Ryll, Kaitlyn Kockelman and Emily Ryll: and extended family, Koa Combs,
Kristen Combs, and Khloe Battalion.
A visitation will be held at Green Larsen Mortuary on Sunday, March 8th, 2020
from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Funeral Services will be conducted at First Lutheran Church on Monday, March
9th, 2020 at 11:00 a.m.
Interment will be at Forest Hill Cemetery in International Falls.
Condolences may be left at www.greenlarsen.com.
Arrangements are with Green-Larsen Mortuary, Inc.