Stanley J Bezek Jr., MD, of Ely, MN and Oro Valley, AZ (formerly of Virginia, MN) passed away on December 10, 2020, at home with family by his side after two years of treatment for pancreatic cancer. He was a goliath in the eyes of those who knew and loved him and his legacy will sustain his memory. Stan, born in St Paul, Minnesota on February 22, 1947, moved to Virginia’s South Side as a baby and was a true Iron Ranger at heart. He attended Horace Mann Elementary and Roosevelt High School graduating as co-valedictorian in 1965. After graduating from St. John’s University, Stan graduated from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine then finished his Family Medicine residency at Cleveland Metro General Hospital and the University of Colorado Hospital. He became board certified in Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine. In 1974, he married Carrie McDermott of Chagrin Falls, Ohio. He soon began to chase the infinite quest to balance work and home life while practicing in a medically underserved area in Panguitch, Utah with the National Health Service Corps. Stan’s true career passion had always been rural family medicine because of the privilege it affords in caring for that person’s total spectrum of care from birth to death. He honored the challenge and art of medicine. Stan often said he would “try to treat each patient as if he was seeing the face of God” in order to energize himself and overcome challenging situations. His charge to give the best care for his patients drove him to be a lifelong learner with a quiet humble spirit and an unyielding work ethic. He had the gift of conversation, seemingly having a font of knowledge on most any topic, but he was just as good of a listener as he was a talker. If you had a query, he may have an interesting article on the topic clipped out and ready to hand you from his home office. Stan and Carrie decided to raise their growing family in Virginia close to their Iron Range roots. Stan practiced first at the East Range Clinic in Virginia, then as a tribal physician in the Bois Forte Indian Reservation, and ultimately in Emergency Medicine in Hibbing for the next 28 years. His duty to his patients was only rivaled by his respect for his nursing colleagues, work partners, hospital support staff, and students. His work team gave him immense joy and lifelong friendships. His medical contributions to the Iron Range community are far reaching. Stan’s days off allowed for raising his family which he called “one of the greatest joys in my life.” He saw his six kids through church activities, music, sports, and academics and into the next generation being a grandparent. He was the great nurturer of talents with his time and devotion. He taught his children and grandchildren compassion, hard work, kindness, to be inquisitive, and above all, love. He was a master at corn ball humor and was known throughout the family and Range wedding circuit for being a unique and spontaneous dancer. He loved his winter sauna after a long day’s work. He would entertain us with a hearty guffaw. He reveled in making lasting relationships and worked to nurture them over the years. Stan’s happy place has always been “the lake” – from Lake Vermilion as a youth to Farm Lake near Ely as an adult. He loved heading to his cabin whenever he could and tended to the wilderness with Carrie and the rest of his family. He routinely would be seen with a chain saw clearing brush, planting white pine, barbecuing, canoeing in the BWCA, and teaching the grandkids how to toast the perfect marshmallow. Running marathons was a challenging outlet that combined his love for the outdoors and working consistently to attain a goal. He enjoyed a good story and was a voracious reader, becoming more avid as his children became adults. Stan led a spiritually-focused life, and in his final time he was able to appreciate all the lives he touched and was thankful for all the blessings he had in this life.
Stan is survived by his loving and caring spouse, Carrie Bezek, six adult children and nine grandchildren: Sarah (Jamal Dhaini) Bezek, grandchildren Laila and Leith; Sam (Laury) Bezek, grandchildren Elliana and Kaycee; Maggie (Charles) Spivey, grandchildren Clayton, Sienna, and Samuel; Emily (Nick) Andrisevic, grandchildren Isaac and Abigail; Hannah Bezek, and Molly Bezek. Stan is also survived by his sister Janice (Steve) Malin, his Uncle Edward (Marian) Skalko; many in-laws, nieces and nephews, and cousins.
He is preceded in death by his parents Stan and Julia (Skalko) Bezek of Virginia.
The Funeral Mass will be offered at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 7 at the Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Virginia, with Rev. Fr. Brandon Moravitz, Celebrant. A gathering time for family and friends will begin at 10:00 a.m. at the Church. A lunch will follow in the Holy Spirit Social Hall. Interment will take place in the Biwabik Lakeside Cemetery.
To express condolences on-line please see: www.baumanfuneralhome.com. Memorial contributions are preferred sent to the AEOA Senior Services Program located at 702 3rd Ave South, Virginia, MN 55792, or directly via phone at 218-735-6899.
Family Services are provided by Bauman-Cron, a Bauman Family Funeral Home, in Virginia. To share condolences online, please see: www.baumanfuneralhome.com .
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