Obituary: Richard “Dick” Lee Bjarnarson

November 1, 1932 ~ December 12, 2022

Richard “Dick” Lee Bjarnarson, 90, of Washington Island, died suddenly at home on Monday, December 12, 2022.

He was born November 1, 1932, son of the late Oliver and Esther (Hanson) Bjarnarson. Dick graduated from Washington Island High School with the Class of 1950. He married Marilyn Nelson on June 14, 1950 and they moved to Wilmington, Illinois, where they raised their four children, and eventually settled on a career at Argonne National Laboratory and retired from there in 1993. Dick was a lifetime member of the Masonic Temple. During his time, he achieved Excellent High Priest and Worshipful Master. He had a large friend group and did volunteer work. Immediately after retirement, he went back to his beloved Washington Island.

He loved his family and friends and socializing. He enjoyed solving the world’s problems during happy hour at the Middle Bar with his close friends that he considered to be family. He was such a joyful character that brought life into any room and was loved by so many. Ivan Johnson has been an especially wonderful friend to Dick.

His presence down at Jackson Harbor will be missed, along with his warm hugs and uplifting spirit.

He is survived by his wife, Marilyn Bjarnarson; daughters, Sheryl Anderson and Carol Carr; grandchildren, Kimberly (Chris ) Duchene, Stephanie (Brad) Lowery, Jason Carr, Adam Surman and Tina McCarthy; great-grandchildren, Kathryn Carr, Kylinn Lowery, Lauren Duchene, Tyler Duchene, Colby Lowery, Christian Garcia, Ariana Garcia, Ryker McCarthy’ and great great-grandchildren, Tate Henderson and Jorah Russell.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Oliver and Esther Bjarnarson; brother, Dale Bjarnarson (wives, Shirley and Jean); sister, Shirley Atkins Ellefson (husbands, Len and Jake); brother-in-law, Henry Nelson; children, Richard Lee Jr. “Rick” Bjarnarson and Nancy Surman; and grandson, Richard Carr.

A Celebration of Life Memorial Service in honor of Dick will be held on May 20, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. at Trinity Ev. Lutheran Church.

Casperson Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Sister Bay is assisting the Bjarnarson family. Expressions of sympathy, photos and memories can be shared with the family, any photos on Dick’s tribute page at