Lucy Vlajnich Kirtland


Lucy was born on Feb. 29, 1932, in Eveleth, Mn and died in Boise, Idaho, September 7, 2020 from complications brought on by dementia.

The daughter of Joe Vlajnich, an immigrant iron ore miner and Mary, a seamstress, she started nursery school in Eveleth at age three and kindergarten at four. It was there she learned English, which she would later teach to her parents who spoke the Croatian language at home. After graduating from Eveleth High School, and Eveleth Junior College, Lucy fulfilled her dream of becoming an educator by earning her degree from Bemidji State Teachers College in Bemidji, Mn. She met her future husband, William F. Kirtland, at Bemidji State as well. After graduation, they began their teaching careers, which spanned many years and helped thousands of children and young adults. She taught school in Minnesota, Kansas, Arizona and Idaho.

She was also an entrepreneur who helped to start and grow Idaho Book and School Supply, which served Southern Idaho for nearly 50 years.

Additionally, Lucy helped her husband write and edit two books, Billy, A Story of a Minnesota Boy Growing Up and Billy Remembers.

A tireless worker, she raised four sons, Bill, John, Rick and Craig. Some of the numerous highlights of her life were to attend as many as four football games a week, traveling throughout Southern Idaho for high school games and later to Moscow, Idaho and Minneapolis to watch her boys play football at the University of Idaho and University of Minnesota.

She was a devout Catholic who was a member of Saint Marks Catholic Church in Boise and Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Wilton, Mn.

She enjoyed music, traveling, sporting activities and being around people.

Lucy is survived by three sons, Bill (Bonnie), Rick (Valerie) and Craig (Lorna) and a granddaughter Amaia (Ben). She is proceeded in death by her husband William, son John, mother, Mary, father Joseph and brother John. Lucy’s family would like to commend the staff at Mountain View Crossing and Harrison Hospice for their wonderful treatment of her during this difficult time.

A Mass celebrating Lucy’s life will be held at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Wilton at a future date. Remembrances may be made to: Sacred Heart Church of Wilton, P.O. Box 1897, Bemidji, MN 56619

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