Category Archives: Death

R.I.P. Ray ‘Jake’ Jacobson. His legacy of public sculptures has helped to make Northfield a vibrant place

Ray 'Jake' Jacobson with his Harvest sculpture on Northfield Sesquicentennial PlazaSculptor Ray ‘Jake’ Jacobson died earlier this week.

Services will be next Saturday, May 12, at Carleton’s Skinner Memorial Chapel, on the Carleton campus.

Michael Garlitz at Northfield Patch has a very good summary of Jake’s life:

Jacobson was creator of two of Northfield’s most prominent works of art, the Bridge Square Fountain and the bronze sculpture “Harvest” in the city’s riverfront Sesquicentennial Legacy Plaza. He was 91…

Jacobson had been a vital member of Northfield’s art scene since 1955, when he began his teaching career at Carleton College. In addition to teaching art for more than three decades, he designed and constructed public art structures seen throughout Northfield, as well as Minnesota and beyond.

See Dave Machacek’s ArtOrg slideshow that features Jake’s 10 public sculptures around Northfield.

See all my Ray ‘Jake’ Jacobson blog posts and photo slideshows of his Northfield-related activities going back to Aug. of 2007.

Trial approaching for man charged in death of Shea Stremcha; sign up now to attend and show support

Jeff and Leanne Stremcha would appreciate a show of community support at the upcoming jury trial. (For background, see this July 20, 2011 blog post, R.I.P.: Former Northfielder Shea Stremcha shot and killed in his Minneapolis home.)

Shea StremchaA trial date has been set for Semaj Williams, one of two men charged with first degree murder in the death of Shea Stremcha.  Jury selection is expected to begin on Tuesday, May 15 with the trial itself likely beginning on Monday, May 21. Shea was killed during an invasion of his home located in an otherwise quiet residential neighborhood in south Minneapolis on July 20, 2011.  Williams has pleaded not guilty of the crime.

We (Shea’s parents) are hoping that approximately 15-20 friends will attend each day of the actual trial as a show of support for Shea. Jury selection is expected to last 3-5 days w/ the trial following. The trial is expected to last 5-7 days.

Shea Stremcha Trial Attendance Signup FormTo that end, an online sign-up process has been established to help facilitate attendance to the proceeding and to try to prevent over/under attendance.  The courtroom will have a total of 42 ‘observer’ seats and roughly one-third will be reserved for immediate family members on each side of the case.  After that, seating is on a first come, first served basis. Anyone planning to attend, is asked to complete this online sign-up form.

All trial activities are held in room 1456, Tower C, of the Hennepin County Govt Center on S 6th Street between 3rd Ave S and S 4th Ave in downtown Minneapolis.  Hennepin County District Judge, The Honorable Marilyn Kaman, will hear the case which will be prosecuted by Assistant County Attorneys Therese Galatowitsch and Sarah Hilleren.  Williams is being defended by Katie Rindfleisch of the Kamrath Law Group.

Jeff and Leanne Stremcha

R.I.P.: Former Northfielder Shea Stremcha shot and killed in his Minneapolis home

Shea Stremcha
Posted to the StarTribune earlier this evening: Man shot, killed in Minneapolis home

A 25-year-old man who recently landed a new job at Ameriprise Financial and was engaged to be married was shot to death in his south Minneapolis home overnight, and police tracked a bloody trail from the crime scene in pursuit of the killer.

Shea Stremcha may have been killed after interrupting a burglary, but Police Sgt. Stephen McCarty said that "at this point in the investigation it is too early to rule out all other possible motives."

Shea graduated from Northfield High School in 2004. For many years, he worked at Witt Bros Service with his uncles, Mark Witt and Mike Witt. He’s survived by his parents, Jeffrey and Leanne Stremcha and his siblings, Jesse and Amanda.

Shea’s public LinkedIn profile has information about his work and education background.

R.I.P.: Northfielder Bjorn Norgaard dies in accident on Chequamegon Bay

I got a phone call 5 minutes ago, alerting me to this sad news:

Ashland, Wisc. Current: Deceased Skier’s Name Released To Northland College Students

Northland College students learned that their friend and fellow classmate passed away this weekend as a result of being hit by a vehicle while skiing on frozen Chequamegon Bay.

In an email to the college community, Northland College President Michael Miller informed all faculty members, staff members, and students that Spring 2010 Northland College graduate Bjorn Norgaard will be remembered at a prayer service tonight at the college.

Cross-Country Skier Found Dead On Ice

The body of a young man was discovered by a snowmobiler early Sunday morning adjacent to an ice trail between Washburn and Ashland. The trail was designated for the “Book Across the Bay” ski race on Saturday evening. Bayfield County Sheriff’s Investigators believe the deceased left Washburn sometime after the race ended and was skiing to Ashland. There was substantial evidence collected near the body to indicate the man was struck by a vehicle traveling on the ice trail toward Ashland. The skier is believed to have traveled the Book Across the Bay route Saturday evening but did not actually take part in the race. The race begins in Ashland and ends in Washburn. He remained in Washburn until race festivities ended and planned to ski back to Ashland via the race route.

On Sunday afternoon an Ashland man reported in person with his father to the Bayfield County Sheriff’s Office identifying himself as the suspect vehicle driver. He has been cooperating with the investigation. There was also a passenger in the vehicle who witnessed the event. The vehicle involved in this incident is being processed for evidence.

R.I.P.: photographer Fran Hall, Northfield native

I got this email from Bart de Malignon last week:

Northfield native and photographer Fran Hall died on Thursday, December 2 in Boulder, Colorado. There will be a memorial service in Boulder about a week before Christmas and a service in Northfield after Christmas.  Details to be announced.  Fran would have celebrated his 96th birthday on December 18 and was an active photographer of nature until the end of his life.

I first heard of Fran Hall when I was working on a blog post about Henry Fisk and Clark Webster showed me his photo of Henry Fisk, taken by Fran Hall back in 1960.

R.I.P.: Warren Ringlien

warren-ringlienI just saw Jim Bierman’s post on Northfield.org that Warren Ringlien died last week. I got to know Warren via his regular participation on the old Northfield.org ISSUES discussion list… and later discovered he was a fairly close neighbor of ours.

(I took this photo of Warren at the 2005 Home and Garden Show. Click to enlarge.)

Back in the spring of 2004, Warren posted this to the ISSUES list:

An operation that I think needs attention, is the method of burning brush at the compost site. When the wind is from the southeast, the long smoldering fire really fouls the air, especially during inversion conditions, way up to the High School.

My experience using the open mic at council meetings is that it’s not an effective tool; in the case of the air pollution, talking to the attendant at the recycling site had no impact. I have been told that a “critical mass” or a group effort is required for being noticed, and a voice of one is no voice at all. Is that true?

Subsequent online discussion led to us hosting an online forum examining the issue. That web forum, Warren’s subsequent appointment to the EQC, and the work of that commission with then Director of Public Works/Northfield City Engineer Heidi Hamilton all contributed to getting the policies about burning brush changed. I blogged about it here.

Thanks in part to Warren, we all breathe a little easier here in Northfield.