Isaacson, DeHart to join hall of famers

Milaca High School graduates Dean Isaacson and Jeanette (Stromberg) DeHart will join four other MHS grads and two community members as inductees in the Milaca High School Hall of Fame Class of 2013.

The eight new members will be inducted Saturday, Sept. 14, at the Milaca American Legion banquet room. It will be the MHS Hall of Fame’s third induction ceremony

Dean Isaacson
Dean Isaacson

Dean L. Isaacson

Isaacson graduated from Milaca in 1959, then earned a degree in mathematics from Macalester College.

“At Milaca, Mr. Herranen prepared me well for a career in mathematics, and coaches Claffy and Ostmoe taught me how to practice hard, work within a team and win,” Isaacson said.

Isaacson won athletic honors at Milaca and competed on the track and field team at Macalester for four years. He placed in the long jump at the conference meet all four years at Macalester, finishing second as a sophomore and first as a senior.

After graduating from Macalester in 1963, Isaacson received a national fellowship to study mathematics at the University of Minnesota, where he received his Master of Science degree in 1966 and Ph.D. in 1968. He took his first, and only, job at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, in the fall of 1968. He was promoted to associate professor in 1972 and full professor in 1976.

Isaacson’s teaching record included courses in mathematics and statistics, ranging from freshman level to doctorate level. His research resulted in 28 referred publications and a graduate-level textbook on Markov Chains, written in 1976. He received several awards and honors at Iowa State and was elected as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association in 1994.

He was chosen to be department head in the Iowa State Department of Statistics in 1984.

“As I was taught at Milaca, I tried to get each faculty member to focus on his or her individual strengths, do their work well and respect the very different activities colleagues were doing,” Isaacson said. “And that led to a productive and pleasant work environment.”

Isaacson continued as department head until 2002 when he stepped down and returned to teaching until he retired in 2009.

Isaacson and wife Martha are enjoying retirement.

Jeanette DeHart
Jeanette DeHart

Jeanette (Stromberg) DeHart

DeHart, a 1953 Milaca graduate, is a lifelong resident of the Milaca area. Her many activities and contributions in the community began in grade school (District 50 – Burnhelm School) and later high school, where she was a state camp chairman in the Future Homemakers of America, was food chairman for the prom and participated in the junior class play.

After graduation, she began working at First National Bank in Milaca, a career that lasted 43 years before she retired.

“I have so many fond memories of the people I met over the years,” she said.

DeHart has been and is a member of many organizations and groups.

She is a member of the Milaca United Methodist Church, where she served as president of United Women and is currently treasurer. DeHart has taught Sunday School and was chairman of the building committee for a new church.

She is a lifetime member of the Hansen-Hayes Post 178 Auxiliary, where she was presented a lifetime membership. DeHart has served four terms as president of the auxiliary and has been chairman of many committees and projects.

“Memorial Day has been very special for me over the years,” she said. “The program sponsored by the Legion and its auxiliary and the VFW are wonderful as we honor our nation’s veterans at the area cemeteries.”

DeHart has received a service award from the Jaycees, is a Mille Lacs County 4-H alumna and has served on the boards at First National Bank, the Milaca Elim Home, Forest Hill Cemetery and Stones Throw Golf Course. She was grand marshal of the Milaca Parade in 1997 and worked as co-chair of the Milaca Mega Cross Country Meet six years.

DeHart has two sons, Steven (Colleen) DeHart and David (Jane) DeHart.

“I enjoy my family and grandchildren, sewing, cooking, golfing, bowling, playing cards and going for rides in the country,” she said. “I’m very proud of our schools, businesses, community and its people. With this honor, I’ll give a little more.”


The other inductees in the Hall of Fame Class of 2013 include graduates trick shooter and shotgun showman Tom Knapp, business and civic leader John Kuether, civic leader and current City Council Member Ken Muller and movie actress Belle Bennett. Non-alumni inductees are former Milaca teacher and coach Merl Soderstrom and businesswoman Florence Wahl.

Bennett and Wahl were featured in the Aug. 29 Times. Profiles on Knapp, Kuether, Muller and Soderstrom will be in next week’s Times.

Tickets for the Sept. 14 luncheon are $15 and are available at First National Bank and the Milaca High School District Office, or by emailing Dave Leom at [email protected]

There will be a social time at 11 a.m., followed by a luncheon at 11:30 and the induction ceremony at 12:15.

There is no charge to attend the induction ceremony, however, seating is limited.

The Milaca High School Hall of Fame acknowledges former students, school personnel or community members who have brought special recognition to themselves or to Milaca High School by demonstrating high qualities of character and leadership during or following their time at MHS.

Plaques honoring members of the Milaca High School Hall of Fame are on display near the entrance to the gymnasium at Milaca High School.

Sept. 14 is also the date for the annual Ultra Golf Tournament at Stones Throw Golf Course. That event is held in the afternoon.