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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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August 17, 2019

7/16/2019 7:30:00 AM
Alton B. "Bud" Ison, Jr.

Alton B. "Bud" Ison, Jr., 91, of Crandon, went to meet his Heavenly Father on July 9, 2019 peacefully at his home in Ocala, Fla. Bud was born on June, 11 1928 in Pelican Lake. He was the son of Alton B. Ison, Sr., of Crandon and Vera Flannery of Pelican Lake. His paternal grandparents were Robert "Bob" and Carrie Ison of Crandon, his maternal grandparents were Wade H. and Rebecca Flannery of Pelican Lake. Bud was a self-made man that worked hard all of his life. Throughout the years, he made hundreds of friends, business partners and acquaintances. He welcomed challenges and appreciated the many opportunities that came his way.

He helped develop the mechanized forest products industry through his entrepreneurship and hands-on experience in Northern Wisconsin and Michigan as we know it today. Bud's logging career started early in life with his experience with draft horses that he worked with in the woods. In the mid-1960s, he decided to start selling John Deere (and other lines) logging and excavating equipment. He formed Ison Equipment in 1965 and grew this with his sons in a four-location company. He was an early member of the Timber Producers Association of Wisconsin and Michigan where he served on its board as head of the truckers' division for many years. He started a John Deere engine distributorship in Monico as Superior Diesel, which later moved to Rhinelander. Bud found a love for being a registered beef farmer early in life and later, a love for thoroughbred horses and racing. He and his wife, Mae, traveled to many racetracks and training facilities to watch their horses with pride. Many in the community knew Bud as an avid houndsman and breeder as well. His expertise was appreciated nationwide in this field. He was a true business man in every aspect of his life. His dealings were often sealed with a smile, a nod and firm handshake.

Bud always appreciated an honest day's work - whether at one of his businesses or his farm with Mae, by his side. He will always be remembered as a man with a powerful yet peaceful presence that commanded attention. His quiet wisdom, quick wit and respect of everyone's life circumstances would always make a person want to pull up a chair at his table.

He will be greatly missed but celebrated as he goes to rest high on that mountain.

Bud married Carol F. DesJarlais and they grew their family by six children. John A. (the late Jennie) Ison of Monico, Susan V. (Mike) Nelson of Arizona, Bradley B. (Louie) Ison, Terry L. (Cindy) Ison of Escanaba, Mich., Alan B. (Darlene "Darby") of Escanaba, Mich., Rebecca V. Ison of Rhinelander. Bud met and then married Majel "Mae" Archdale-Frank and she brought two more loving children into the family - Ted (Sandy) Frank of Crandon and Ann (Barry) Mihalko of Crandon.

Bud was preceded in death by his wife, Carol; his son, Bradley (Louie) and granddaughter, Tara Nelson, Phoenix, Ariz. He is fortunate to be survived by his wife, Majel, his sister, Betty Moore, sons John, Terry and Alan Ison and Ted Frank, daughters Susan Nelson, Rebecca Ison, Ann Mihalko and dozens of grandchildren, great-grandchildren and even some great-great-grandchildren.

The family will receive friends on Thursday, July 18 2019 at Praise Chapel Community Church 200 E. 6th Street Crandon, WI 54520 from 4 to 8 p.m. and Friday 10 to 11 a.m. with services to follow with Rev. Robert Kimberling officiating. Interment will follow at Crandon Lakeside Cemetery. Online condolences may be left for the family at

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