A Kabetogama couple killed in a plane crash Saturday in Washington were located Wednesday after they did not arrive at Orcas Island, Wash. Gail and Bob Nevalainen left in a small airplane last week from International Falls on their way to Orcas Island, Wash. They were reported missing by family members Tuesday night. Washington State Department of Transportation launched a search Wednesday morning in the remote wilderness of the northwestern mountains of Washington state. The wreckage of the plane was found about 40 miles east of Bellingham on Twin Sisters Mountain later that day.
Bob and Gail Nevalainen were joined in marriage on Feb. 17, 1979, in Chisholm, Minn., and passed away together on July 11, 2015, on the Twin Sisters Peak in the North Cascades Mountain in Washington State.
Bob, 62, was born Jan. 29, 1953, in Chisholm, to Richard and Gloria Nevalainen. He worked for St. Louis County for 39 years, retiring in 2010, and became the chairman of the Kabetogama Township where he helped accomplish many projects for the good of the community.
He was an outdoor enthusiast with a gift of gab, so whenever subjects of fishing, flying or hunting were brought up, the conversation usually ensued for hours. Bob was enthusiastic about including others in his passion for flying.
Gail, 58, was born March 11, 1957, in Sterling, Ill., to Harry and Blanche Stouffer. She was a stay-at-home mom until her three children entered school. Her love for children inspired her to become a paraprofessional for 17 years until she retired in 2014 to be “Nana” to her four grandchildren.
Gail loved her rock garden, the outdoors and expressed her artistic talent through extravagant, handmade greeting cards. She had a gift of making a complete stranger feel like family, and was an amazing and compassionate woman who would do anything for others. Her quick wit always brought a smile to your face.
As a couple, Bob and Gail were residents of Kabetogama since 1972 and both volunteered on the Kabetogama Fire Department and EMS, as well as being very active in the community.
They cherished their children, grandchildren, family, friends, and were equally admired and loved beyond words.
They will be deeply missed and their absence will leave a void in the many lives they touched.
Bob and Gail are preceded in death by their parents, Richard and Gloria Nevalainen and Harry and Blanche Stouffer.
Bob and Gail’s surviving family include their three children, Chad (Sarah) Nevalainen, Kari (Cole) Hraban, and Heather Nevalainen; grandchildren, Kali and Brielle Hraban and Hunter and Harper Nevalainen; Bob’s siblings, Terry (Tammy) Nevalainen, Cheri (Mike) Baron, Diane (Rick) Swearengin; Gail’s siblings, Marcia (Mark) Stouffer, Keith (Kathy) Stouffer, and Kenneth (Sophie) Stouffer; and many nieces and nephews.
Memorial services will be conducted at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, July 25, in the Falls High School gymnasium. Visitation will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the school. A celebration of life will begin at 3 p.m. at Ash-Ka-Nam banquet hall on the Ash River Trail.
In memoriam donations would be preferred to the Nevalainen Memorial Fund: Nevalainen Memorial Fund, Border State Bank, 1414 Hwy 71, International Falls, MN 56649.
Condolences may be left at www.greenlarsen.com.
Arrangements are with Green-Larsen Mortuary Inc., International Falls.
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