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Obituary: Jake Demenge

Larry "Jake" Demenge was born on April 12, 1953, to Gottlieb "Ole" and Bernice (Lee) Demenge in Cloquet. He graduated from AlBrook High School in 1971. Jake was married to Elizabeth Maki on Oct. 27, 1979, and the two shared nine years of marriage. Jake began his career in the oil fields and also worked for Brenny-Dahl. He was employed with the Hallett Dock Co. for 41 years. Jake began his own business in 1990, Jake's Grading. The company later combined with Dust Doctor and Kivi Trucking to form Jake's Companies, which he owned until the time of his death. On Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2023, Jake passed away peacefully, surrounded by loved ones at St. Luke's Hospital in Duluth, at the age of 70 years, 5 months, and 22 days.

Jake was an avid outdoorsman with a passion for hunting and fishing. He was a member of the Minnesota Darkhouse Spearing Association, Minnesota Deer Hunters Association, and Pheasants Forever. He made up for his lack of luck in the field at the numerous fundraising banquet raffles he attended throughout the years. He also loved playing Smiley with his Brookston card players. Many of Jake's co-workers and business partners knew him by his nickname, "Bear," aptly earned for his strong will and tenacious skills in debate.

Jake will be remembered by his stepsons, Ken (Lisa) and Tim Maki; stepgrandchildren, Alicia, Eero and Anja Maki; siblings Edward (Kathy), Robert, Linda Carlson, Frank (Margo), Joanne (John) Buskala, Gary, Susan (Gerald) and Mark (Brenda); and countless nieces and nephews. Though they may have lacked a biological connection, Jake also had a chosen family near and dear to his heart, including Rick (Katie) Kivi and their children, Layla, Leena, and Lennie; and Shay Dahl and his children, Jacob, Jayden, and River.

He was preceded in death by his parents; siblings Gregory, Randy and James; siblings-in-law, Ron Carlson and Debbie; and beloved dog, Henry.

A gathering of friends and family will be held 1-3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13 at Nelson Funeral Care in Cloquet. Those wishing to join Jake's loved ones afterward are invited to a celebration of his life that will continue at 5 p.m. at Houle'igan's Saloon, 8780 McCamus Road in Brookston. To sign an online registry, visit http://www.nelsonfuneralcare.net.

Pine Knot News, Oct. 13, 2023

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