DEERWOOD - John Rudolph Spalj, age 81, of Deerwood, died on Feb. 3, 2009, at the Cuyuna Regional Care Center in Crosby. He was born on Sept. 13, 1927, in Crosby to Tomo and Antonia (Tomljanovich) Spalj. He married Natalie K. Gerbich on Dec. 1, 1951, in Crosby. He graduated from the Crosby-Ironton High School class of 1945. He was a U.S. Army veteran. John was a retired contractor of Spalj Construction and Rice Lake Contracting. He was a member of the Myrin-James American Legion Post No. 443, Ironton; member of St. Joseph's, Crosby; past member of the Crosby-Ironton School Board; Crosby-Ironton Hockey Association; board member and past president of the Cuyuna Country Club; Deerwood Bank Board; Power and Communication Contractors Association of America and Northland Communication Boards.
He is survived by his wife, Natalie; two sons, J.R. (Jane) Spalj, of Deerwood, Luke (Leslie) Spalj, of Deerwood; two daughters, Heather (Jack) Tooker, of Arvada, Colo., Heidi (Brian) Anderson, of Zimmerman; one sister, Alice (Glen) Schleimann, of Plant City, Fla.; two sisters-in-law, Verna Spalj, of Crosby, and Nancy Spalj of Iowa City, Iowa.
He is preceded in death by his parents; and two brothers, George and Thomas Spalj.
Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Crosby. Burial will be at the Lakewood Cemetery in Crosby with full military honors given by the Myrin-James American Legion Post. Friends may call on Friday from 4-8 p.m. at the Koop Funeral Home in Crosby with a rosary at 7 p.m.
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