Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Jean Alice (McDonell) Erspamer

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Jean Alice (McDonell) Erspamer, age 96, died in Minneapolis, on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022. She was a former resident of Hurley, Wisconsin, Duluth, Grand Rapids, Chetek, Wisconsin, and most recently the Twin Cities, specifically the Friendship Village in Bloomington.

Jean was born in the then-mining community of Montreal, Wisconsin, in 1926, and graduated from Lincoln High School in Hurley, in 1943. She was admitted to the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps at St. Mary's Nursing School in Duluth in 1944, graduating in 1947.

She and Ernest Gordon "Bud" Erspamer were married on July 4, 1950. They had eight sons, Daniel, David, Gordon, Michael, Paul, Peter, Roy and Martin, as well as 14 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

Jean was a registered nurse throughout her adult life, working most recently at Itasca Memorial Hospital in Grand Rapids, from 1974 to 1980.

Jean's focus and her pride and joy in life, above all else, was her family. She also enjoyed the great outdoors (particularly the Lake Superior region), travel, literature and the fine arts. She was especially a fan of the music of George Gershwin and of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

Jean was preceded in death by her husband, Ernest G. "Bud" Erspamer; three sons, Daniel of Duluth, Gordon of Moraga, California, and Peter of Rochester; her parents, Donald R. (Dan) McDonell and Alice McDonell; two brothers, Donald McDonell of Munster, Indiana, and Bill McDonell of Denver, Colorado; and sister, Kathleen D'Lugo of Chula Vista, California.

Jean made it her life's work to aid, support, and inspire others, particularly children and those most vulnerable. "To thine own self — be true." She spoke those words often, but far better, she lived them to the benefit of all whom she touched. She will be missed.

A service will be held for her on Sunday, Sept. 25, at 10 a.m., at Friendship Village, 8100 Highwood Drive, Bloomington, MN 55438.