Range Funeral Homes


Ronald Kenneth Kilpela

09/14/1936 - 07/11/2022

Ronald Kenneth Kilpela, age 85, of Long Lake Makinen, passed away at the Solvay Hospice House in Duluth, MN July 11, 2022 after a brief illness. He was born to Wayne and Aune (Mallula) Kilpela on September 14, 1936. Ron grew up in Makinen excelling in various sports. He graduated from Cotton High School in 1955. He was united in marriage with Geraldine Porthan on June 29th 1957. Together they raised six children.

Ron worked for Erie Mining Company in Hoyt Lakes, Midrex in Portland Oregon, a mining company in Morocco, and Hibbing Taconite as a Plant Process Engineer until his retirement in 2000.

He enjoyed fishing, golfing, bowling, and spending time with family. He always had a humorous story or joke to enlighten people around him. Ron was an outstanding carpenter, which included building numerous homes, which was his passion.

Ron was able to reside with his caregivers; Todd, Joanne, and Landon Kilpela in the home he built in which he was very proud of.

Ron is survived by his children: Renee (Doug) Morin of Superior, WI, Sherryl Salo of Virginia, MN, Scott (Jodi) Kilpela of Aurora, MN, Gary Kilpela (Penny Hage) of Saginaw, MN, Kristin (Michael) Holmes of Mountain Iron, MN, and Todd (Joanne) Kilpela of Makinen, MN; numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.

He is preceded in death by his parents; his wife; brother, Norman; sister, Dorothy; and granddaughter, Kirsty Kilpela.

Ron will be sadly missed by all who loved him.

Services will be held Friday, July 22 at the Palo Congregational Church at 11:00 AM with Pastor Randy Melhus officiating. Visitation will be 1 hour preceding the service. A small luncheon will be served at the Makinen Hall.

Funeral arrangements provided by Range Funeral Home of Virginia, MN. 

3 thoughts on “Ronald Kenneth Kilpela”

  1. Connie Ballance says:

    I’m saddened to hear of Ron’s passing. The memories will be forever in my heart! ♥️ He always had me laughing at some of the things he would say. He was a great person who touched so many lives , he will be missed!
    To the family I’m sorry for your loss, I hope you find comfort knowing how much he was loved and care about by others.

  2. Candace Ballance says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with all of y’all during this hard time. Ron will truly be missed.

  3. John C Koivisto says:

    Worked with Ron for many years at Hibbing Taconite.
    Really enjoyed him.
    Sharp and a real character!
    Sad to hear of his passing.
    My sympathies.

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Friday 07/22/22 at 11:00 AM
Palo Congregational Church, Loop 36, Aurora, MN, USA

Visitation begins at 10:00 AM