George Nygard, 83, of Ontonagon passed away surrounded by his children on Saturday, March 18, 2023, at Aspirus Wausau Hospital.
He was born March 5, 1940, in Ontonagon to the late Walter and Bessie (Bally) Nygard. Upon graduation from Ontonagon High School, George enlisted with the U.S. Air Force and was stationed in Texas and then Spain, where he worked in communications. After his service in the Air Force, George attended the University of Wisconsin in Oshkosh. George returned to Ontonagon after college and worked in insurance sales, then in the tax department of the copper mine in White Pine, and then for the Smurfit-Stone Container paper mill in Ontonagon.
He met Linda Jurmu while working at the copper mine. They were married on August 3, 1968, at First Lutheran Church in Ewen, and spent 21 wonderful years together in Ewen raising their son and daughter. Linda passed away in August of 1989.
In June of 1991, George married Joan Kilmer Crandall at the Siloa Lutheran Church in Ontonagon. They spent 25 happy years together in Ontonagon, surrounded by family and friends, until Joan’s death in February of 2016.
George was a beloved member of both of his churches, First Lutheran Church in Ewen and Siloa Lutheran Church in Ontonagon. He sang in the choirs, was on church councils, cooked countless meals, and washed countless dishes. In all things, George was a person who helped others and took care of others. He never did it for recognition, he just wanted to be of service.
Throughout his life, George was actively involved in the community. He served on boards, cooked for events, and helped with fundraisers. He was an active member of the Masonic Lodge and the Order of the Eastern Star. He volunteered as a firefighter for Ewen’s fire department. He was a Cub Scout leader and a sports coach. He was on the Ed Hansen Race Committee and worked at a water station for runners, even during the pandemic.
He enjoyed reading, golfing, bowling, fishing, kayaking, playing pétanque, watching his kids’ and grandkids’ sporting events and performances, looking for eagles and collecting agates at Lake Superior, traveling, and gathering at family campfires. He was known for his wonderful cooking. “George’s Bread” and “George’s Secret Sloppy Joes” were two favorites.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his stepfather (A.B. Brookins), his sister (Bonnie), and his wives (Linda and Joan).
George is survived by his children: Tim Nygard (wife Maria) of Middleton, Wisconsin; Amy Nygard of Glendale, Arizona; Leland Crandall (wife Angie) of Quinnesec, Michigan; and Jessica Crandall (husband Joris) of New York City; his grandchildren, Hannah Nygard and Anthony Crandall; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Cane Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
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