|Barbara Joan (B.J.) Hartfield Stoltz (formerly Barbara Avikainen of Ely, MN), age 84, of Apache Junction and Showlow, AZ, passed away peacefully at home on March 13th, 2021 after a brief 5-month struggle with cancer.
Barbara was born in Hammond, IN and graduated from Thornton Fractional High School in Lansing, IL. She was a member of First Lutheran Church in Ely, MN for 20 years. She worked as a photojournalist for the Ely Echo, the Mesabi Daily News, and the Oregon Herald newspapers, and The Lutheran Witness, and spent 20 years with her husband Jim traveling the country in a 5th wheel motor home serving as part of the Mobile Missionary Assistance Program (MMAP). She was known for praying for everyone she knew, and seeing astounding results from those prayers.
Barbara was preceded in death by her parents, Carl and Gene Hartfield of Ely, MN, her former husband Donald Avikainen of Ely, MN, her stepdaughter Mary Stoltz of Gustine, CA, and her brother-in-law, Harry Haapala of Babbitt, MN.
She is survived by her husband Jim Stoltz, daughters Lesley Avikainen Cochran of Chico, CA and Jeannie (Tim) Avikainen Burlowski of Lino Lakes, MN and Mesa, AZ, sisters Ina Haapala of Babbitt, MN and Irene Hartfield of Ely, MN, brother Michael (Wanda) Hartfield of Bend, OR and Surprise, AZ, grandchildren Seth Cochran of San Diego, CA, Meagan Cochran of San Diego, CA, and Matthew Burlowski and Elise Burlowski of Lino Lakes, MN, and by Jacqueline (Daniel) Stoltz-Vazquez and Debbie Stoltz of Gustine, CA, and by David Stoltz of Vacaville, CA, as well as numerous nieces and nephews and countless friends. A memorial service will be held in Ely, MN during the summer of 2021.