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Published: Tuesday, 7/8/2014

George F. McKisson [1919-2014]; Outdoorsman was regarded for his easygoing spirit

WWII vet worked at steel tube supplier

BY MARISSA MEDANSKY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

George F. McKisson, a lifelong Toledoan and passionate outdoorsman, died June 29 at the Northport Highlands assisted living community in Northport, Mich. He was 95.

The cause of death was old age, said son Allan McKisson.

The elder Mr. McKisson was “friendly to everyone,” his son said.

A good listener with an easygoing personality, his father earned the nickname “Biz” among family and friends. The playful moniker was a testament to his personality — as busy as a bee’‍s, his son said.

Mr. McKisson was born Feb. 13, 1919 in the Old West End. He joined the Army in 1941 and served in the European and Pacific theaters during World War II.

After the war, he began work at the Toledo Steel Tube Co., eventually becoming its vice president of sales. In 1968, after the company was sold, he became a manufacturer representative, a position he held until he retired in 1981.

Outside of work, Mr. McKisson’‍s many hobbies took him outdoors into nature. He enjoyed fishing in local lakes and hunting for pheasants statewide. He golfed regularly. He also loved woodworking and built his family a kitchen table made of pine.

He also coached youth baseball, a pastime that kept him outdoors and allowed him to bond with his sons.

“I’d be waiting for him to come home from work with a baseball and a bat,” said the younger Mr. McKisson. When his father came home, he’‍d start tossing balls “before he even took his tie off.”

Mr. McKisson’‍s pursuits were not solo endeavors. His wife, Christine Close McKisson, fished, hunted, and golfed by his side. The couple married in 1942, during a leave from service. She preceded him in death on April 20.

Shortly before his death, Mr. McKisson attended the wedding of his grandson Christopher. Physically shaky but mentally strong, he arrived at the ceremony via golf cart and drank two glasses of sparkling wine. Son Allan, Christopher’‍s father, said Mr. McKisson was vibrant and jovial during the celebration.

He died eight days later.

He is survived by two sons, Allan and George, and six grandchildren. A third son, Daniel, died in 2010.

A graveside service will be held in Toledo later this summer.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Leelanau Conservancy, a nonprofit organization that supports ecological preservation projects in Leelanau County, Michigan.

Contact Marissa Medansky at: mmedansky@theblade.com or 419-724-6368.



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