American Veteran 04

James Willard Isaacson

December 2, 2021

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James Willard Isaacson, age 103, longtime Hancock businessman passed away peacefully, December 2, 2021.  Jim was born in Gowan, Minnesota on November 4, 1918 to the late William and Amelia Isaacson. He was the 6th of ten children.  Jim was a 1936 graduate of Floodwood High School, and an all-around athlete playing quarterback for the football team and on the baseball and basketball teams.  Jim and his siblings helped their parents run the family general store, which also served as a United States Post Office. Jim moved to California and worked in sales when he was inducted into the US Army in 1941. He served as a supply sergeant during WWII in India, China and Burma.  After the war, Jim and his brother, Erwin, moved to Hancock, MI, where they purchased and ran the Coast to Coast Hardware Store.  On January 21, 1956, Jim married Mary Rae Connors, in Negaunee, MI.  The couple made their home in Hancock where they raised three children.  In the mid 1960’s Jim sold the hardware business and bought several commercial and residential rental properties.  Jim had a wonderful sense of humor, liked telling jokes and stories and was proud of his Finnish heritage.  Jim was an avid golfer and bowler, carrying the high average at the Copper Bowl for several years. He was a loyal Minnesota Vikings and Twins fan.  Jim was a member of the Alfred Erickson- American Legion Post 186.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents, wife of 49 years Mary Rae, brothers; Edwin, Harry, Jalmer, Erwin, and Clarence, sisters: Lillian Ingstad, Helene Ingstad, Martha Maki, and Viola Valo.

Jim will be deeply missed by daughters, Julie(Michael) Zielinski of Grand Blanc, MI, Lori(Al) Jaime of Bristol, WI, son, Mark Isaacson, grandchildren, Katherine(David) Bellairs, Stephanie Zielinski and fiancé Max Stratouly, James and Annah Jaime, great granddaughter, Alexis Bellairs, brother-in-law, James(Nancy) Connors, and many nieces and nephews.

A service will be held in the spring. The O’Neill-Dennis Funeral Home of Hancock is assisting with the arrangements. To leave online condolences, please go to

Memorials may be directed to the Hancock Little Brothers- Friends of the Elderly, 527 Hancock Ave., Hancock, MI 49930 in Jim’s memory.

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