Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Edward Thomas Verhelst

BESSEMER, Mich. — Edward Thomas Verhelst, 74, of Bessemer passed away suddenly but peacefully at home Tuesday, April 12, 2022.

Ed was born on April 6, 1948, at Twin City Hospital in Ironwood, to Clarence and Lucille (Newby) Verhelst.

Ed was a proud Navy Veteran who served his country for 22 years (both active and reserve). He was third in charge of the flight deck on several aircraft carriers, including the USS Saratoga, USS Shangri-La, and the USS Nimitz. He did two tours of Vietnam.

Ed was united in marriage to Lisa Sandene on July 12, 1986, at Wesley United Methodist Church in Ironwood. His brother, Bill, a minister, performed the ceremony. They made their home in Hastings, Minnesota. Ed worked for Jostens as a machinist for 20 years. He was proud to have done the machining on many Super Bowl and World Series rings. They moved back to the U.P. in 2018 after Lisa retired.

Ed enjoyed golf, fishing for muskies, woodworking, painting and spending time with family and friends. He will always be remembered for his sense of humor and his generosity. It always made him happy if he could help someone else.

He is survived by his wife, Lisa; daughters, April Claudio (Ray), Shannan Muse (Chris) and Tess Verhelst; his grandchildren, Lyndsey Neel, Rayna Claudio, Raymond Claudio, Aubree Muse, Logan Muse, Tyler Mljenek, Angelina Mljenek, Jake Banning and Autumn Mlejnek; three great-grandchildren, Alexis, Alaina and Adelyn Neel; his sister, Janice Hlavacek (Bill); and brother, William (Sue); as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, Clarence Jr. and Robert; and his sisters, Joan Bigari and Carol Porter

A celebration of life will be planned for July 2022.

The family has chosen Ketola-Burla Funeral Home of Ironwood to honor Edward’s legacy of life. You can leave a condolence or a tribute at