Cover photo for Lee "Butch" Eli Pontinen's Obituary
Lee "Butch" Eli Pontinen Profile Photo
1948 Lee "Butch" 2024

Lee "Butch" Eli Pontinen

July 11, 1948 — June 6, 2024



Memorial service will be 11:30 a.m. Thursday, June 13, 2024 at the Ziemer-Moeglein-Shatava Funeral Home in Gilbert with Pastor Jeanne Madsen officiating.  Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.  Inurnment will be in the Gilbert Cemetery.  Memorials are preferred in lieu of flowers.

Lee Eli Pontinen, 75, of Gilbert died Thursday, June 6, 2024 at the Diamond Willow Assisted Living in Mt. Iron.  

Lee was born on July 11, 1948 to Eli and Aune (Lintula) Pontinen in Virginia.  He graduated from the Gilbert High School, Class of 1966.  Lee furthered his education at the University of Wisconsin-Superior where he was the Captain of the Yellowjackets Hockey Team and earned a bachelor degree.  He was united in marriage to his high school sweetheart, Kathie Koskie.  The couple raised two sons and later went their separate ways, remaining lifelong friends.  Lee worked at Erie Mining for several years until a shutdown in the 1980’s at which time he returned to school and became a Police Officer for the City of Eveleth.  He subsequently returned to LTV Steel where he retired after the company’s closure.  Lee enjoyed casinos, especially his travels to Las Vegas and Laughlin, NV as well as going for drives in his many sports cars.

Survivors include his two sons: Todd and Ryan (Stacy) Pontinen both of Virginia; three grandchildren: Kyle Pontinen of Tower, Gray Pontinen of Menomonie, WI, and Annika Pontinen of Virginia; his fiancé, Karen McCue of Eveleth; brothers: Bob (Joy) and David Pontinen, both of Sparta; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by two sisters: Sandy Buncich and Karen Knaus; brothers-in-law: Peter Buncich and Bill Knaus; and his parents.

Lee’s family would like to thank the staff of Diamond Willow and the Essentia Hospice Team for the excellent care and compassion he received.

To order memorial trees in memory of Lee "Butch" Eli Pontinen, please visit our tree store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Thursday, June 13, 2024

11:30am - 12:30 pm (Central time)

Ziemer-Moeglein-Shatava Funeral Home - Gilbert

108 Broadway, Gilbert, MN 55741

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