Kelly Ray Vainio, Native Name: Naawigiizis, 53, formerly of
Bear River, died Friday, December 27, 2013 at his home in Alango, Minnesota.
He was born January 9, 1960 in Chisholm, Minnesota. He grew up in
Bear River and attended school in Cook. Kelly completed the wel ding
course at Eveleth Vo-tech. He worked as a welder for Hancock
Fabrication for a time and was a welder in California for several years.
He enjoyed the outdoors including hunting and fishing. He was known
for his many stories and great sense of humor. His most memorable
times were those spent with family and friends.
He is survived by his two children: Jesse Vainio of Virginia; Julie
(Kevin ) Flack of Cook; 2 Grandchildren: Hailee Heurkins of Cook and Braedon Flack of Cook;
brothers and sisters: Arne (Ivy) Vainio, MD of Duluth; Brandon (Debbie) Vainio of Esko, Mn.;
Sherri Monroe of Duluth; Carla (Pete) Gargano of Side Lake; Scott Thompson of Duluth, and his
significant other, Mary Suomala of Cook.
He was preceded in death by his mother Mabel Durant Thompson, his father Arne Vainio Sr. and
his sister “Shelly” Durant.
SERVICES: Traditional services will be held 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, (December 31, 2013) at the
East Lake Community Center, near McGregor. The wake will begin on Monday December 30th
at 6:00 p.m. at the center. The spiritual advisor will be Larry “Amik” Smallwood. Burial will be at the East Lake Burial Grounds. Arrangements are with the Mlaker Funeral Home of Cook.