Verna Marie Erickson Samich

Verna was born in Duluth to Mina (Abrahamson) Erickson and Axel Victor Erickson. She was the couple's only child together. Verna's mother died when she was eight years old, and Verna lived with relatives on the family's farm near Cotton, Minn., and in Buffalo, N.Y.. She returned to Minnesota to finish high school. She graduated from Morgan Park High School in 1946. She married Peter Samich in 1948 and enjoyed raising children and grandchildren in Gilbert and has said that this was the best part of her life.

In 1965 she started selling real estate and in 1978 she became the first female real estate broker on the Iron Range. She owned and operated East West Realty in Midway. She retired from real estate at the age of 82, due to the effects of dementia. She helped countless Iron Range families through the years, and it brought her much joy and a sense of purpose.

Verna was a selfless giver, and showed us how to love unconditionally and forgive repeatedly. She believed in the power of the human will, and taught us that we can do, think or be anything we put our minds to. Her fierce determination required some feistiness, which she used often to promote social justice within her family and the families she served through her work. She was a consummate fashionista, a fun trait she passed on to many of her descendants.

She loved traveling and having new adventures, which she was able to do regularly with her family caregivers, and in the last years of her life was able to cruise, visit Sweden, and spend warm winters in Mexico.

Verna passed peacefully, feeling deeply loved, fortunate and content. She will be deeply missed by those that knew and loved her.

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