Cover photo for Bartholomew Fena's Obituary
Bartholomew Fena Profile Photo
1961 Bartholomew 2021

Bartholomew Fena

July 26, 1961 — June 11, 2021

Bartholomew John Fena’s family gave him many names, most famously “Boots” and “Bartski”

and “Lalow,” the last because his younger siblings could not quite pronounce his full name. His

kind and gentle soul was born into the world on July 26, 1961, the eighth child in our large

family.  Bart Died in his sleep on June 11, 2021 in Proctor, MN. His absence leaves a hole in our hearts.

Sadly, as a very young adult, Bart began a life-long struggle with mental illness which started in

the spring of his freshman year at the College of St. Thomas in 1980. Several years later, his

illness was compounded by a serious seizure disorder. Finally, in early 2020, he was diagnosed

with ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, which caused his death. He would have been 60 years old next


Throughout his life, Bart was engaged in family and community life. He was a playful brother

who loved a good joke, a proud and generous uncle, a loving and devoted son. To his high

school friends, Bart was known as “Bulldog” because of his short stature and great strength. He

was the strongest man per pound on the HHS 1978 state qualifying football team. He carried a

strong work ethic throughout his life, willingly moving rocks, splitting and piling wood,

shoveling after a snowstorm, crushing cans and offering to lend a hand as long as he could. He

visited cousins and family members in the hospital. He collected coins and antiques. When he

was 16 years old, he spent the summer making and selling wild blueberry pies with his sister

Sue for a resort at Side Lake.

Bart graduated from Hibbing High School, was accepted at the college of St. Thomas and

completed an Associate of Arts degree in accounting practices at Vermillion Community college

in May, 1985. He was a member of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Hibbing where he

served as an altar boy. He held to his Catholic faith and attended St. Raphael’s parish in Pike

Lake. Much of his adult life was spent in the Duluth area. He owned a home in Morgan Park for

several years, lived at Seville House in Saginaw, and most recently, he lived at Lifestone Assisted

Living Center in Proctor.

Bart was preceded in death by his parents, Jack and Kay Fena of Hibbing. He is survived by his

brothers: Jim Fena, Hibbing; Peter Fena and Andrew Fena (Libby), Duluth; and Christopher

Fena, Stillwater; and sisters: Marianna Nelson, Minneapolis; Lynn Fena (Jerry Bakke) and Susan

Fena (Lee Holte), Duluth; Sally Fena, Kansas City, MO; Margaret Coldwell (Bill), Excelsior; Mary

Ann Benke (David), Gilbert, AZ, and many nieces, nephews and cousins who knew him well.

Our family appreciates the support and care Bart received over the years from community

support programs in our area and in particular the kindness of staff at Lifestone in Proctor

through the particularly difficult days of the pandemic during the last year. We are grateful as

well for the Northern Minnesota ALS Support Group services available to our family. In lieu of

flowers, donations to the Northern Minnesota ALS Association are recommended.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, June 17, 2021 at the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Hibbing, MN at 12:00PM.  The Reverend Father Gabriel Waweru will preside over services.  Visitation will take place one hour prior to the mass at church at 11:00AM.  Interment will take place on Friday, June 18, 2021 at the Chisholm Cemetery at 10:30AM.

Arrangements are with the Dougherty Funeral Home of Hibbing.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Bartholomew Fena, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, June 17, 2021

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)



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Mass of Christian Burial

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Starts at 12:00 pm (Central time)

Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church (Hibbing)


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Friday, June 18, 2021

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

Chisholm Cemetery


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