THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
Robert F. Brisson
Issue Date: November 27, 2019
Robert F. Brisson, 79, of Menominee, Mi., passed away Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019 at home with family by his side.
Born Sept. 26, 1940 in Marinette, to the late Frank and Irene (Tessier) Brisson, he graduated from Menominee High School in 1958 and earned a BS Degree in Forestry from Michigan Tech in 1963. He married Karen Smith on June 22, 1963 at First United Methodist Church in Marinette and they began their life in Detroit, where he worked as the Detroit City Forester. In 1965, he was drafted and served in the Army Corp of Engineers during the Vietnam War.
After service, he returned to Marinette and served as the Marinette County Forester and Park Administrator, working with the University of Wisconsin and their Cooperative Extension Program and also became the Director of the UW Environmental Camp in Wisconsin Dells.
After retirement he continued serving business, industry and youth programing in Michigan and Wisconsin, served as Curator of the Marinette Historical Society and was a member of the Board of Directors of both Marinette and Menominee Historical Societies. He was also involved in research studies in Costa Rica through the Milwaukee Museum and volunteered at the National Park Service in Pensacola, Fla., where he gave tours and shared his knowledge of plants, trees and birds.
A member of the Rotary Club, the Menominee American Legion and former member of the Marinette Jaycees, he also was past president of the Chappee Rapids Audubon Society and helped develop the Chappee Rapids Learning Center. He especially enjoyed teaching area youth about the skills their forefathers used, the use of the crosscut saw and basic cooking skills. Teaching was a big part in his life with being a Cub Scout Leader and was a founding member of the Marinette Hockey Association.
He played, coached, refereed and founded the first girls hockey team in the area and often joined others to create a means for others to discover. A founding member of the Forest History Association of Wisconsin, he also was an active birder, environmentalist, student of Religion and an avid Bridge player. He enjoyed the camaraderie of his school classmates and their monthly lunches provided memories, maintained friendships and kept a light in the window for returning classmates.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Karen; a son, Jay (Trish) Brisson of Umatilla, Fla.; a daughter, Nicole Brisson of Menominee; one granddaughter; a sister, Jackie Hayward of Port Washington; a sister-in-law, Nancy (Kieth) Kleckner of Bloomfield Hills, Mi. and nieces; nephews and cousins.
Visitation was held at Thielen Funeral Home in Marinette on Monday, Nov. 25 from 11 a.m. until time of Military Honors at 2 p.m., with the Military Twenty Year Club. An additional Celebration of Life will be held in June.