Browsing The Northern Cross


Deacon James ‘Jim’ Edwin Vande Kamp

James ‘Jim’ Edwin Vande Kamp, of Northome, was greeted by his Lord and Savior on Dec. 6, 2021. He was born to Robert C. and Mary (De Hamer) Vande Kamp on June 1, 1943, at the family farm near Prairie City, Iowa. Jim worked as a welder, dairy route driver, and farmhand in high school. While close with all his siblings, he shared a special bond with his sister, Jan, through working together on the family farm. Jim and Jan double-dated with Judy and Lee, and their fun at the roller-skating rink and other shenanigans led to lifetime loves. He was united in marriage to Judy A. Van Zee on April 8, 1963, in Pella, Iowa. This union begat two daughters, Juldie Lynn and Kathy Jo.

Deacon James Vande Kamp

Jim was a proud U.S. Navy Seabee veteran. He joined the Navy in 1962 and served active duty for two years followed by 20 additional years in the Naval Reserve. Jim was a man of varied interests and passions and was trained and worked in numerous fields over the years. He was a lab technician, salesman, truck driver, construction worker, architectural draftsman, emergency medical technician, and deacon.

Jim and Judy moved to Minneapolis in 1966 where Jim attended school and worked at Eitel Hospital, as well as the University of Minnesota as a lab technician. He had very fond memories of his time there (except for his experience of being in a locked room when his dog attacked him after developing a brain tumor, ripped all his clothes off him, and bit a hole in his leg … he kept that leg for decades to come for the record but always told people it is where he was shot during WWII, The Big One). In the early 1970s Jim started working in construction building houses for several contractors. He loved building and working with wood. He built commercial buildings and homes, including several that his family lived in around the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Jim and Judy remained in the Twin Cities area while Juldie and Kathy were in school. Faith was a priority for the family as was time together swimming, going to their cabin near Big Falls on the Sturgeon River, riding three-wheelers, playing pool, watching Disney or Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom with Totino’s Party Pizza, playing board games, and hanging out with the family dogs.

Jim was a huge dog lover. He always had dogs that he loved dearly and, it appears, he passed that affliction to his offspring. Jim was an amazing whistler, probably the world’s best, and would always be heard whistling some old “country and western” song; Vern Gosdin and The Statler Brothers being perennial favorites. Jim could shoot a mean game of pool. Jim had a few vices: Certs or Wintergreen LifeSavers, smoking Camels, and drinking Pepsi. He gave up the cigarettes with pride, the LifeSavers faded, but the Pepsi remained dear.

In 1990, Jim and Judy moved to Northome. During retirement, Jim enjoyed spending time outdoors and working on their farm, rebuilding classic Fords, and woodworking in his shop. He also worked locally doing various remodeling and construction projects and was a first responder. He loved country western music and spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Jim was ordained into the permanent deaconate on Aug. 7, 2004, where he served the local tri-parish, with St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Northome being his home church. He was proud to have the honor of participating in the confirmation, baptism, and First Communion of some of his own grandchildren. He was a great conversationalist and made friends wherever he went; people appreciated his humor, sarcasm, and wit. He maintained a positive outlook on life despite challenges, always keeping his humor and leaning on his faith in God.

Jim is preceded in death by his parents Robert C. and Mary (De Hamer) Vande Kamp and his much beloved service dog, Snoopy.

He is survived by his wife, Judy; siblings, Robert (Norma) Vande Kamp, Donna (Keith) Hoekwater, Larry (Lavonne) Vande Kamp, and Janet (Lee) Klyn; daughters, Juldie (Timothy) Bohmer and Kathy (Steven) Janousek; grandchildren Natasha Vande Kamp, Kayla LaTarte, Savannah LaTarte, Alexander (Katrina) Bohmer, Anika Bohmer, Austin LaTarte, Lexus Janousek, and Abby Janousek; great-grandchildren Naveah Vande Kamp, Scarlett Lenk, and James Moran, as well as numerous other family and friends.

Mass of Christian Burial was held Thursday, Dec. 16, at 11 a.m. with visitation starting at 10 a.m. at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Northome. Burial at Fort Ripley will take place at a later date.

Father David Tushar

Father David Tushar, 72, died on Dec. 23, 2021, in Las Vegas, Nev., where he was living in retirement. He was born in Eveleth on April 13, 1949, to William and Julia (Jamnik) Tushar. Father Tushar attended the Crosier Seminary in Onamia, the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, the Gregorian University in Rome, the Catholic Theological Union, and Loyola University in Chicago, Ill.

Father David Tushar

Father Tushar was ordained to the priesthood for the Congregation of the Holy Cross on April 24, 1976, by Archbishop Lawrence Graner at Sacred Heart Church in Notre Dame, Ind. He returned to the Diocese of Duluth in 1985 and became a priest of the diocese on March 3, 1998.

Father Tushar served at St. Joseph’s Church, Grand Rapids; St. Augustine Church, Cohasset; St. Joseph Church, Chisholm; Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church, Buhl; St. Theresa Church, Effie; Our Lady of Snows Church, Bigfork; St. Paul’s Church, Warba; St. Lawrence Church, Duluth; Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary, Duluth; Queen of Peace Church, Cloquet; Holy Family Church, Cloquet; St. Francis Church, Carlton and Sts. Mary & Joseph Church, Sawyer. He also held several diocesan positions. Father Tushar retired in 2020.

Father Tushar is preceded in death by his parents, William and Julia Tushar. Survivors include an aunt, Delores Schweiger, and many cousins. Private funeral services will be held at St. Francis Church, Carlton; arrangements are pending. Burial will be at Gilbert Cemetery in Gilbert. Arrangements are with Nelson Funeral Care, Cloquet.

Father Jon Wild

Father Jon Wild, 75, died on Dec. 28, 2021, while a resident at Benedictine Living Community in Duluth. He was born in Duluth on May 9, 1946, to Alfred A. and Gertrude M. Wild. Father Wild attended Holy Cross Seminary High School in La Crosse, Wis., then went on to study philosophy and theology at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul.

Father Jon Wild

Father Wild was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Duluth on May 22, 1982, by Bishop Paul F. Anderson at St. Joseph Church in Duluth.

In his many years of faithful service to the Diocese of Duluth, Father Wild served at Resurrection Church, Eveleth; St. Francis Church, Brainerd; St. Casmir Church; Cloquet; Queen of Peace, Cloquet; Sacred Heart Church, Virginia; Sacred Heart Church, Mountain Iron; St. Benedict Church, Duluth; St. Joseph Church, Chisholm; Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Buhl; St. Elizabeth Church, Duluth; and St. Margaret Mary Church, Duluth. Father Wild retired in 2014.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Alfred and Gertrude Wild, as well as sisters Gretchen Wild and Janice Snoody.

Survivors include his nieces, Catherine Snoddy, Julie Snoody, brother-in-law, David Snoody, and several cousins.

Visitation was held at St. Joseph Church in Duluth on Jan. 4, from 5-7 p.m., with wake prayers at 7 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. Joseph Church in Duluth on Jan. 5, at 11 a.m., with visitation one hour before. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery in Duluth. Arrangements are with Dougherty Funeral Home in Duluth.

Sister Melanie Gagne, OSB
Sister Melanie Gagne, OSB

Benedictine Sister Melanie Gagne, born May 7, 1925, died Dec. 11, 2021. From 1946 to 1990 she was a beloved elementary and middle school teacher in Duluth, Chicago, Phoenix, Cloquet, and Hibbing, and later a chaplain at Benedictine Living Community in Duluth. She will be remembered for her beautiful smile and for living fully in the present moment. She was preceded in death by her parents Andre and Lumina (Laviolette) Gagne; her brothers Rene Joseph, Robert Lee, and Alfred John; and her sisters Marie Patricia Gagne and Irene Graham. She is survived by the Benedictine Sisters, brother Rev. Ronald Gagne, sister Mary (Gagne) Jaeb, and many nieces and nephews. Wake and funeral Mass were on Dec. 18 in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel at the Monastery, with Father Ronald Gagne as Presider. Interment in Gethsemane Cemetery. Arrangements by Dougherty Funeral Home. Memorials preferred to St. Scholastica Monastery. See for full obituary.