Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

James William Talaska

MONTREAL, Wis. - James William Talaska, 74, of Montreal, died early Monday morning, Dec. 23, 2019, at his home with his wife, Theresa and daughter, Tanya at his side.

Jim was born on Nov. 12, 1945, in Ironwood, Mich., a son of Robert and Bertha (Maki) Talaska. He attended Luther L. Wright High School and graduated in 1963. Jim was an excellent athlete and competed in many sports, including Little League, basketball, football and softball.

He proudly served his country in the U.S. Air Force and was honorably discharged as a sergeant on April 12, 1970.

Jim was married to Dang/Phongkeaw Lumool. She survives. Following their divorce, he met Theresa Isaacson. Jim and Theresa spent 31 wonderful years together, and they were married on Jan. 20, 2005.

Jim was employed by the James R. Laird Assessment Company as an assessor. He took over the ownership of Talaska's Meat Market after his father's retirement. Jim also worked as a mail carrier, at Rose Wreath and Eagle Bluff Condominiums overseeing maintenance until his retirement.

He enjoyed playing baseball, bowling, fishing, collecting coins, grilling, picking agates at Lake Superior and playing machines at the Brite Spot Bar.

Jim is survived by his wife, Theresa, and their daughter, Tanya Isaacson of Montreal; his son, Jimmy (Dr. Erin) Talaska and their children, Meagan, Lucy and Jack of Omaha, Neb .; his daughter, Julie Wondrasek and her children, Madelynn, Melora and Ana of Plainfield, Ill .; a brother, John (Joanne) Talaska of Fond du Lac and their children, Suzie (Phil) Karas and their children, Sara, Ashley and Bryce of Green Bay, and Greg (Christopher) Talaska of Milwaukee; his mother-in-law, Marilyn Smollar of Ironwood; two brothers-in-law, Jeff (Randy) Smollar of Minneapolis and Louie (Julie) Smollar and their children, Alyssa and Jared of Green Bay; many cousins and friends; and his four-legged companions, Whodini, Twister and Whisper.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his sister and brother-in-law, Frances and Ken Nelson; his father-in-law, Louie E. Smollar; and his brother-in-law, Brian Smollar.

In accordance with Jim's wishes, cremation has taken place.

There will be no memorial service, however a celebration of his life will be held at a later date.

Condolences may be sent to Theresa Talaska, Box 375, Montreal, WI 54550.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Jerald Rocco, owner and manager of Lakeside Memorial Chapel Inc., in Wakefield, Mich. Condolences may be expressed online at