In memory of
Richard "Mel" Ivonen
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In memory of
Richard "Mel" Ivonen
Richard 'Mel' Ivonen, 80, of Hibbing, formerly of Chisholm, died Saturday, June 4, 2005 in the Fairview University Medical Center-Mesabi. He was born Jan. 7, 1925 to Risto and Anna (Salmi) Ivonen in Kettle River, Minn. Mel graduated from Ely High School in 1943 where he was a State Champion and All-American High School swimmer. After graduation he enlisted in the US Navy serving as a radioman aboard the USS Wisconsin during World War II. He attended the University of Minnesota where he was the captain of the swimming team, setting many records. Mel taught school in Chisholm from 1951 to 1987 and coached swimming from 1951 to 2002, inspiring 20 of his former swimmers to become swimming coaches. Mel was a member of the Faith Lutheran Church ELCA, Chisholm, University of Minnesota M Club, was inducted into the Minnesota Swimming Hall of Fame, past president of the Chisholm Jaycees and American Legion Post 247, Chisholm. Mel enjoyed spending time at his family cabin where he shared his love for sauna, the water, fishing and all things Finnish with his children and grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; and daughter, Linda Jean Ivonen. Grateful for having shared his life, wife, Jean, Hibbing; children, Richard R. Ivonen, Duluth, Susan (Jim) Sutherland, Ely, Pamela Ivonen (Craig) Zbacnik, St. Paul, Jon (Elizabeth) Ivonen, Arlington, Texas, and David Ivonen, Minneapolis; grandchildren, William Ivonen, Karen and Kristen Sutherland, Kathleen Tait, Anna, Domenico, Carla and Jon Zbacnik and Jordan Ivonen; brother, Clarence (Eila) Ivonen of Virginia, Minn.; and niece, Kristina Smith. FUNERAL SERVICE:11 a.m. Wednesday, June 8, 2005 in the Faith Lutheran Church ELCA in Chisholm. Pastor Bob Ierien will officiate. Visitation will be from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 7, 2005 in the Range Funeral Home in Hibbing and will continue for one hour prior to the 11 a.m. funeral service in the church. Memorials preferred to the Chisholm Elementary Playground Project. Arrangements are with the Range Funeral Home, Hibbing.
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3702 Second Avenue W. , Hibbing, MN 55746
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