Eddie Arnold Isaacson was born October 30, 1929, in Moroni, Utah. His parents were Eddie Isaac, and Ida Arnold Isaacson. It became apparent early on in his years that Arnold had a systematic mind, that he enjoyed knowledge, and that he excelled in many areas of life. Arnold always believed that it was good to share his talents, and he loved to serve others. He often stated that it didn’t matter who got the credit for a job well-done, it just mattered that the job was done well.
Among his many talents was playing the piano. He shared his talents as the Ward Sunday School Pianist as an Aaronic Priesthood holder. He also played piano solos in church and in school. Arnold was an “A” student all during his school years, with the exception of Latin, which he said pulled the curve down, four years in a row!
Extra-curricular activities were pleasurable for Arnold during his growing up years. He threw newspapers, played the trombone, was a marching band drum major, and lettered in football, basketball and baseball.
Over the years of his life, Arnold enjoyed many hobbies. He built model airplanes, was a champion marble shooter, enjoyed studying rocks and creating mosaic rock art, and eventually became an expert gem cutter of semi-precious and precious stones. He supported many missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints with these beautiful gems.
Because Arnold enjoyed school, and learning, his parents encouraged him to continue his education beyond high school. He graduated from the U. of U. with a B.S. degree in Experimental Biology. Arnold also believed in working to get through school and enjoyed a variety of jobs. Stocking the University bookstore, as a custodian on campus, and as student lab assistants in experimental biology and genetics, mixing and distributing reagents to other student labs, he learned and earned his way through school. In his systematic way, he was fortunate to have his name on several published research papers while still an undergraduate student.
Perhaps one of his much loved and life-changing experiences was serving and completing an honorable mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the country of Finland. Arnold learned the language well and was able to speak and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the people in this part of the world, even though The Book of Mormon was not available in this language for the two-and one-half years he served.
During his mission years, Arnold also coached the Finnish National Basketball Team. This was a treasured experience. As a young missionary, he was entrusted to accompany the team to Paris, France. Here the players won seven of their nine games and were recognized as the most improved team in Europe that year. The previous year they had not won a single game! Before leavening Finland, Arnold was decorated by a member of Finland’s Parliament (Herra Jussi Lappi-Seppala) with the Finnish National Basketball Association’s Silver Medal of Honor for his contributions to Finnish basketball.
Arnold always felt that the best decision he ever made was to marry Donna Bernice Johnson, in the Salt Lake Temple. Their date of marriage was August 27, 1952, and they were married 64 years before her death in 2016. Within ten weeks of their wedding day, Arnold was ordered to report for active duty in the United States Army. After serving active duty for 22 months, he was given an honorable release. During this time, Arnold earned the rank of Corporal, earned an expert marksman medal, and enjoyed serving as a Chaplain’s assistant. Arnold worked diligently on the then, home-teaching program. Many young men became part of their branch, and many life-long relationships were built. It was wonderful to be of service in his church and to his country. Arnold transferred to the Army Reserve to complete eight years of mandatory service, with his final discharge from the Army in December of 1960.
Arnold earned an M.D. degree from the University of Utah in 1959, interned at the LDS Hospital in 1960, completed an MPH Degree from University of California (Berkeley) and a Preventive Medicine Residency from the California State Health Department in 1962, and was a Board-Certified Specialist in Preventive Medicine and Public Health.
Dr. Isaacson served as the Director of Health in the Davis County (Utah) Health Department twice, as the Arizona State Health Department Deputy State Health Commissioner, the Director of Local Health Services for the Utah State Health Division, Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine at Texas Tech School of Medicine in Lubbock, Texas and was Texas State Health Dept. Regional State Medical Director for the 44 Counties in the Panhandle and South Plains of Texas, and was a medical public health consultant to several local, state and national health organizations.
Arnold loved his profession. He worked diligently to improve the health of the people, to improve local health departments, and to improve emergency medical services throughout Utah. Because of his diligent efforts and successes, many recognitions came his way. Among them were the Utah Public Health Association’s and the Western Branch of the American Public Health Association’s highest awards (the Beaty and Sippy awards) for his contributions to the public health of Utah’s people.
Arnold loved cars. He liked to drive them, research them, talk about them, and play car dominoes with them! This was a game that his children and grandchildren also learned to enjoy.
During his life, Arnold has been spiritual and has always been active in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Positions of service have included family home evening teacher, ministering brother, YM advisor and leader, Sunday School Teacher, Bishoprics, Stake callings, and President of the Finnish Mission from 1981 to 1984. He also had the privilege of serving with his beloved wife, Donna, for nearly twelve years in the Salt Lake and Bountiful Temples.
Arnold was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Donna and is survived by his six children: Susan I. Wayman, Dr. Bruce (Nan), Dr. Mark (Lezlie), Nancy I. Hansen (Doug), John (Jennifer), Linda I. Price (Chad), 24 grandchildren, and 52 great grandchildren.
As a medical doctor, Arnold served as a public health director for over 40 years. In his honor, the funeral services will follow Covid guidelines and be limited to immediate family only. Funeral and graveside services will be broadcasted. Services to be held on Saturday, September 18, 2021, at 11:00.
For those who wish to view the recording of the FUNERAL services may do so here: https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/fNjH_VJjRqNZM-JQKbF419CV13Lnkyma8doDLd615CkH1MuLighB97YtiYmhuw1t.Qj0FgChhrcHwlwsj
For those who wish to view the recording of the GRAVESIDE services may do so here: https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/lueFPobajG3rbF0YIatbhyL2rCE78JwPfCjamnZmfmyybzrcduHW4vmnAuef7BPT.PQ9yOx9QqsieRHNw
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I express deepest condolences to the family. President Isaacson was my first mission president and he was very instrumental in setting my feet on the right path to a great 2 years of my mission, and a lifetime of faithful service to the Lord. He was more influential than he could have imagined in the gospel successes of my kids and grandkids. He was a great man!
I was saddened to read the obituary in the Deseret News, late Saturday evening and realized I could have watched the funeral over zoom, had I read it on Friday instead.
Dr. Isaacson was the Davis County Health Director (second time) when I was his secretary. He encouraged me in learning all the new computer skills he needed for the big charts he made of all services in all the public health departments in the State of Utah. These charts he presented to and discussed with Governor Mike Leavitt and others in the state. He was meticulous in the perfection of his monthly and annual Davis County Board of Health Minutes.
I will always cherish the sound counsel he gave me frequently - "Stay Focused!" and "Put On My Own Oxygen Mask First!" My personal life at that time was almost overwhelming for a full-time working mother.
My son David has followed his advice in obtaining his various degrees in the medical field he persued.
To the family of Dr. Isaacson I want to extend my sincere condolences and sympathy. Losing a dear father, grandfather, and friend is one of the deepest sorrows a heart can know, But his memory lives on---a legacy of love that will always be with you. I hope that love surrounds you now and brings you peace.
September 19, 2021 Janice S. Garner
We have heard the message about President Isaacson. He was definitely one of the great mission presidents in the Finnish Mission. Sister Mecham and I were fortunate to have followed the Isaacson‘s later as mission presidents in Finland from 1987 to 90. During that time we were fortunate to have their daughter Linda Isaacson serve as one of our missionaries. She was an outstanding missionary and an example of extraordinary missionary spirit like all of the Isaacson’s.
It is no exaggeration to say that the highlight of my time as Elder's Quorum president in the Pheasant Ward was the opportunity it gave me to visit with Arnold on a recurring basis these last few years. I loved those visits and I love that man. He loved to tell wonderful stories that always enthralled me, and he loved to laugh as well. I would hold his hand as he talked and will miss that experience so much. But I know he is so happy to be with Donna again. I already miss him.
My heart is with you all at the passing of your Dad. Brother Isaacson was like a second father to me as he faithfully ministered to me as my home teacher for many , many years. He brought such a wonderful spirit of love and encouragement. I treasured the prayers on my behalf and the lessons taught. He was truly the supreme example of ministering. He will be greatly missed! My life was surely blessed by my association with him and sweet Donna. I am so happy they can be together again.
He was a great person and a great mission President. He taught me more than any teacher could have, just by being who he was and treating me like an adult. I think of him often and have many fond memories of our interactions.
Susan & Family. My deepest sympathy for you in regards to your father's passing. Arnold was a wonderful friend!! I deeply appreciate the many experiences, conversations and life lessons that came to my life because of your father and mother. Such great and wonderful people!! May God be with and comfort you during this period of mourning and loss. Warmest regards. Keith Johnson
Thank you for your wonderful tribute and life review!! Truly a life well lived and a glorious return with honors to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ ! So grateful for hm and all your dear family.
Bless you all with the comfort and blessings of the Holy Spirit. My love and prayers,
My deepest condolences to the family. Marilyn Anderson
Our deepest and most sincere condolences for your loss. May memories of him comfort you for always.
Our heartfelt love to the Isaacson family for your loss. He is a large man whose heart is even bigger. We are so grateful to have known him and to have learned so much from him and Sister Isaacson at a pivotal period in our mortal development.
It is with sadness that Luana and I learn of the passing of this great man. We also rejoice in his righteousness and his great accomplishments in life, which benefited greatly his fellowmen, in his pursuit for excellence in every part of his life. His influence will continue in his family and many others, including his missionaries and the people in his USA community and in Finland. We pray that loved ones and family will feel peace as wonderful memories come of him and his wife.
President Isaackson was a marvelous man. His legacy in Finnish Missionary work is truly note worthy. His time in Finland was a time of significant obstacles. With his talents he found ways to get the message out and the work done. I have no doubt there is a significant reward for this great mission president.
Dear Brothers & Sisters The Loved Once of E.A. Isaacson
My deepest condolences on the departure of EAI. Learned to know him as a companion, as a brother. Getting to know his background more I want to express my deepest appreciation, admiration for his great work here on Earth amongst all the brothers and sisters he has contributed to, also showing my thankfulness in his sacrifice for the Lord to serve Him & my fellow countrymen, brothers and sisters, having had the great opportunity to work together with him here in Finland mission.
Sincerely with Deepest Gratitude
brother Jaakko Ranta
President Isaacson was loved by us in Finland. It was always heart warming to meet him.
Thank You for sharing him with us.
We were blessed.
Jussi and Pini Kemppainen
Even though we have not kept in contact during the years President Isaacson had an ever valued and cherished impact on our lives by contributing to the result of me and my husband marrying each other. We love him always. Our condolences to the extended family.
Thank you President for your patience, your service and fond Finnish memories.