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Betty Lessard, who started one of the North Shore’s best-known restaurants, has died at age 90. Carl Ehlenz, the current owner of Betty’s Pies, said the family called him Friday morning to deliver the news that Lessard had died Thursday night. Scott Storms, a nephew of Lessard, said she had broken her hip a while back and had a hard time recovering.

Lessard started selling pies at her dad’s fish shack on the Stewart River in 1956. Soon the pies became more popular than the fish, and Betty’s Pies was born. Betty’s Pies became a landmark between Duluth and Two Harbors, and a must-visit location for many tourists. She watched as the original restaurant was torn down in 2002 to make way for an expansion of State Highway 61.

“The fondest memories…all of the wonderful people I’ve met, all of the friends that I’ve made that I wouldn’t have gotten to know,” she said while watching the demolition. “And I had people from all over coming here.”

Lessard sold her iconic restaurant years ago, but was still a presence at the shop. Her recipes were even published in a cookbook. A memorial service is planned for Monday, April 6, at 11 a.m. at Sunrise Memorial Funeral Home in Hermantown. This is from http://www.WDIO.com .

betty-lessard-2002

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