Ida Fattore Cerkvenik 86, of Virginia, MN died peacefully on Friday, May 23, 2008 at the Virginia Convalescent Center. Ida was born July 30, 1921 in Eveleth, Minn., to Pasquale and Gaetanina Fattore. Growing up, her parents stressed to her the importance of education, hard work, and an appreciation of music. She graduated from Eveleth High School and the Eveleth Junior College before graduating from the University of Minnesota in 1944 with a degree in Home Economics. From 1944 to 1950 she worked as a human resources manager for the Cluett Peabody Company in Chisholm, California, and New York. In 1950, she began her teaching career at Park Rapids, Minn. High School. After teaching in Park Rapids for two years, she returned to the Iron Range to teach home economics at Mt. Iron High School from 1952 to 1957. Later, she returned to teaching home economics, reading, and other subjects as a substitute and remedial education teacher in Mt. Iron from 1970 to 1977. In the 1970's she worked with others in Mt. Iron to form an AFS organization bringing international students to Mt. Iron High School. On June 15, 1957, she married Frank P. Cerkvenik. They lived first in Buhl and later in Mt. Iron, where they raised their four children. Ida was a terrific teacher, cook, seamstress, wife, and mother. She doted on her children and her many nieces, nephews, and grandchildren, always encouraging them to be avid readers and dedicated students. Her cooking and baking was legendary. She had a great curiosity and thirst for understanding about all kinds of subjects, places, people, and ideas, and was a fabulous cross-word puzzler. She made a great impact on her students, many of whom stayed in touch with her for the remainder of her life. She played piano and organ, serving for a number of years as the organist for the Mt. Iron Catholic Church and in her later years as the organist for Catholic and other church services at Edgewood Vista. She was preceded in death by her parents; her sisters, Antoinette, Cecilia, and Julia; and her step-father, Charles Perry. Ida is survived by her four children, Teena (Paul) Bacigalupi of Pine City, Minn., Paul (Kathleen Murray) of Virginia, Minn., Donna of Mounds View, Minn., and Steven (Ann Mulholland) of St. Paul; her sister, Ann Brown of Eveleth, Minn.; 14 grandchildren, Cara (Douglas) Zenger, Gina (Kurt) Kastel, Amy (Mike) Zimmerman, Tony (Meg Hobday) Bacigalupi, Mark (Jacqueline) Bacigalupi, and Daniel Bacigalupi; Manuel, David, and Lily Cerkvenik; Nancy Cerkvenik; and Sofia, Mary, Frankie, and Ruth Cerkvenik; and seven great- grandchildren, Todd and Matt Zenger; Mike, Joseph, and Daniel Zimmerman; and Kathleen and Andrew Bacigalupi; sisters-in-law, Rose Buria and Ann Cerkvenik, and numerous nieces and nephews. MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL:was held in Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Mt. Iron, on Tuesday, May 27, 2008 with Father John O'Donnell and Father John Doyle celebrating. Visitation was before the Mass in the church. Internment at Lakeside Cemetary in Buhl following services. Funeral arrangements through Range Funeral Home, Virginia.Memorials preferred to Marquette Catholic School in Virginia or the United Way of Northeastern Minnesota for its Imagination Library program which encourages reading by providing books to children from birth to age five.
This obituary was originally published in the Duluth News Tribune.