John Nevanen

John Nevanen, 85, of International Falls, Minn., died July 29, 2019, at Keystone Bluffs Assisted Living in Duluth.

He was born on Aug. 24, 1933, in Ely, to Wesley and Dorothy (Casey) Nevanen and grew up in Chisholm.

He graduated from Chisholm High School, served in the U.S. Army and graduated from St. Cloud State College.

John married Yvonne Sullivan on Nov. 9, 1957, in Hibbing, and they moved to International Falls in 1960 when John began his teaching career. He taught Junior High civics and social studies for 32 years and was also a football coach and Drivers’ Education teacher. He retired in 1992.

He was a fixture behind the net for many years as a goal judge for Bronco hockey games. He was an active and loyal member of Elks Lodge #1599 and was a past exalted ruler. He enjoyed watching sports, sharing stories, spending time with friends and being with his children, grandchildren and greatgrandchildren.

John was preceded in death by his wife, Yvonne, in 2018, and his brother and sister-in-law, Jerry and Kathleen “Kay” Nevanen.

He is survived by four sons, David (Cathy) of Duluth, Howard (Michelle) of Hastings, Paul (Denise) of International Falls, Brian (Martha) of Eagan; a daughter, Jonelle (Tim) Mellstrom of Windom; 10 grandchildren, Matthew (Anne) Nevanen, Kaari (Patrick) Flannery, Lauren Nevanen, Kate Nevanen, Lucy (Ladd) Corrin, Frank (Anja) Nevanen, Molly Nevanen, Andrew Nevanen, Jack Mellstrom, Lily Mellstrom; and four greatgrandchildren, Owen Wilcox, Oliver Nevanen, Eleanor Nevanen and Rowan Flannery.

Visitation will be 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8, at Green-Larsen Mortuary in International Falls.

A celebration of his life will be at 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 9, at Green-Larsen Mortuary.

Memorials are preferred to the Falls Education Foundation or the Purple Pride fund.

The family thanks the staff at Keystone Bluffs for their kind and caring attention to John’s needs in his final months.

Condolences may be left at

Arrangements are with Green-Larsen Mortuary Inc.

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