Pat Tammen died late last month. Bob and Pat Tammen have spent so much time and energy working to keep Minnesota a great place to live, and to leave for the next generations. I met them hen working against Excelsior Energy’s Mesaba Project, and in many different contexts, about many different issues, ran into them so many times at the legislature, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the Environmental Quality Board, and the Public Utilities Commission, and at the EPA HQ up in Duluth. They’re two of the finest people around, and their efforts have made a difference here in Minnesota. Pat Tammen will be sorely missed.

Soudan Snowbirds – Bob & Pat Tammen

Minnesotans protest planned PolyMet mine at Toronto shareholders meeting

And from the MPCA:

Obituary of Pat Montana Tammen

Pat Montana Tammen was born March 22, 1937 in Missoula, Montana to Victor and Margaret Anderson (Quirk) and passed away May 27, 2024 after years of coping with congestive heart failure. The family returned to High Landing, MN shortly after Pat was born.

Pat’s mother died when Pat was ten and her dysfunctional father was usually absent. Her grandmother raised Pat and her sister but died when Pat was twelve. Another relative who turned out to be abusive stepped into Pat’s life and Pat ended up in Gillette Children’s Hospital for ten months at the age of fifteen with severely damaged hips in the days before hip transplants. The doctors repaired her to the point where she made many trips into the Boundary Waters in her adult years.

Pat worked herself through Mayville State Teachers College and then went to Bemidji State University for her Master’s Degree. She taught for a couple of years in Minnesota and then accepted a teaching position in Nenana, Alaska where she married Dean Larson who was killed in a car accident five weeks after their wedding.

Pat then accepted a teaching position in Ely, MN and in 1974 married Bob Tammen. During the 1980’s the Iron Range economy was in bad shape so Pat took a leave of absence and went along wherever Bob found work and taught in the local schools. She taught the children of the Mormons in Utah, miners in upper Michigan, loggers in Wisconsin and farmers in South Dakota.

She tried to help students understand, as we all should, that failed families do not have to produce failed children. We can all make a difference.

Pat returned to the Ely school system and retired in 1997. In retirement, Pat enjoyed the lakeshore on the South Kawishiwi River and worked tirelessly to defend her lakeshore and all of Minnesota’s natural resources.

Pat is survived by husband Bob, sister Therese, nephews Paul and Joe, great nieces Vanessa and Rachel, and great nephew Dalton.

Please send any memorials to your favorite environmental organization.

No public service is planned.

Leave a Reply