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James Bruce Isackson, 85, of Two Harbors, Minn., passed away at Ecumen Health Care Center on Friday, Aug. 22, 2014.

James was born to Oliver and Vera Hill Isackson on March 9, 1929. He was born in Two Harbors, Minn. and spent his childhood in Larsmont, Minn.. He and his brothers, Charles and Dale, worked for their father at Ollie's Store in Larsmont. As a youth, he grew to love the outdoors; especially working and hunting in the woods. Fishing on Lake Superior with his grandfather out of a rowboat was one of his favorite memories.

He graduated from Two Harbors High School in 1947, and went on to attend the University of Minnesota for two years. In Jan. of 1951, he enlisted in the United States Army. While stationed in different locations, he performed various duties, one being a heavy construction equipment operator. He was honorably discharged in Jan. of 1954.

In 1953, Jim married his high school sweetheart, Virginia Mae Holbeck. Together they raised their three children. After a short stay in Cleveland, Ohio, the family moved back to Minnesota, eventually settling in Duluth. Jim worked as a Highway Engineer for the City of Duluth for many years.

Jim enjoyed yearly fishing trips to Canada with close office co-workers/friends. Jim was an active woodsman, carpenter, electrician, plumber - a jack of all trades. He assembled a sawmill from scrounged materials from friends, and various used parts locations form all over northern Minnesota. Logging the family land in Larsmont with his brothers and son Mark, Jim produced thousands of board feet of lumber through that mill. With that lumber, he built two lake homes at White Lake in Brimson, Minn.

Jim is preceded in death by his wife, Virginia, his parents, an infant sister, Phyllis, and his brother Charles.

He is survived by his son, Mark (Chandra) of Sioux Falls, S.Dak.; daughter, Mary Beth Wenell of Lino Lakes, Minn.; daughter, Diane Isackson of Two Harbors, Minn.; and granddaughter Lauren Boehmke. He is also survived by his brother Dale (Delores) Isackson of Larsmont; and his sister, Carol Westerland of Kalispell, Mont.; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be 5-7 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 25, at Cavallin Funeral Home, 426 2nd Ave in Two Harbors. Service will be held on Tuesday, August 26th at 2 p.m., also at Cavallin Funeral Home. Sign the on-line register book at