The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Roy Isaacson


December 29, 2018

IRONWOOD, Mich. - Roy Isaacson, 76, passed away on Nov. 14, 2018, at Westgate Nursing Home in Ironwood. Although he battled Alzheimer's and Parkinson's for several years, he lived a rich and rewarding life. His final days were spent surrounded by his family and the loving caregivers at Westgate.

Known as "Dickey" to many of his friends and family, he was born in Bessemer on Feb. 10, 1942, to mother Melvina (Stoor) Isaacson and father Herbert Isaacson. He attended Ramsay Grade School, Roosevelt School in Ironwood Township and graduated from Luther L. Wright High School in Ironwood in 1960. He then worked with his father and brother, Dewey, on the family's charter fishing boat.

He joined the U.S. Navy in 1962 and served his country for four years aboard the USS Constellation. Following his duty, he attended Michigan Tech University, where he earned his degree in electrical engineering.

He had two children, Michael and Michele, with his first wife, Karen (Badovski). They lived in Ishpeming, where Roy lived most of his adult life. They divorced, and Roy later met Nancy (Tuomela) Swanson, and the two of them lived happily together at their home near Teal Lake for more than 35 years.

Roy worked for Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company for most of his life, but also had a short career at Marinette Marine. After he retired, he volunteered for several years at the Michigan Department of Natural Resources as a gamefish tagger. He was also a long-time member of his local Elks Club and VFW post.

Throughout his life, Roy was an avid sportsman, hunter and fisherman. He was a member of 'Camp Gutshot' and was one of their most successful bow and rifle huntsmen. He was skilled at bowling and throwing horseshoes, and earned dozens of trophies for both. He had countless interests and hobbies, and enjoyed many hours tinkering in his workshop and garage.

During the winter months, he enjoyed snowmobiling, snowshoeing and skiing. He was the first guy on the ice in the early winter to enjoy an afternoon of ice fishing, and, as confirmed by several newspapers and TV newscasts, he was often the last man to brave the thawing ice in the spring. Fishing was his passion. For him, it was more than just a sport or hobby. He found his true wealth and happiness in the tranquility of this peaceful pastime.

Roy also loved to travel and go camping. He took his family on multiple Christmas vacations to Florida, and a once-in-a-lifetime vacation to visit more than a dozen national parks on the way to see his brother, Dewey, who was serving in the Coast Guard in San Francisco. Later in life, he enjoyed taking his three grandchildren to Nancy's camp where they would spend the days fishing, swimming and canoeing.

He was a loving father, brother, grandfather, partner and friend. He had an animated sense of humor and a generous spirit. During his life, he was very generous with his family and also donated thousands of dollars to various children's charities and wildlife-conservation funds.

Roy will be deeply missed by everyone who knew him.

Roy was predeceased by his brothers, Richard, Ray, Billy, Bobby and John; parents, Herbert and Melvina; nephew, Bill; long-time companion, Nancy Swanson; former son-in-law, Chris Berman; former daughter-in-law, Cindy Swanson; and many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

Roy is survived by his son, Michael (Jason Collum) Isaacson; daughter, Michele (Michael) Chepeck, brother; Dewey (Linda Ellen) Isaacson; sister, Betsy (Curt) Slabaugh; granddaughters, Erika Berman and Ashley (Jesse) Kusba; grandson, Shawn Berman; niece, Rosanne (Greg) Corcoran; Nancy's children, Danny Swanson, David (Susan) Swanson and Suzy (Greg) Corkin; Nancy's six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; his five great-grandchildren; great-nieces and -nephews; and many special friends.

Roy's family and friends send a heartfelt thank you to the nurses, aides and staff at Westgate. Their care and support were always delivered with thoughtfulness and grace. Their kindness and generosity, especially in his final days, will never be forgotten.

Out of respect for his wishes, cremation has taken place.

There will be a celebration of Roy's life on Saturday, Jan. 5, from 1 to 2 p.m. at Frick-Zielinski Funeral Home, 304 S. Sophie St., in Bessemer. There will be a time to share memories at the funeral home at 2 p.m.

Inurnment will take place in Crystal Falls in May.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Alzheimer's Association or any veteran's organization of your choice.

Frick-Zielinski Funeral Home, Bessemer, is assisting the family.

For more information or to express online condolences, please visit

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