REPUBLIC, MI - Andrew J. Rossland, age 55, of 8196 Hwy. M-95, Republic passed away on Thursday, June 12, 2014 at his home following a courageous battle with ALS. He had been under the loving care of his family and the Upper Peninsula Home Health and Hospice.
Andy was born February 23, 1959 in Minneapolis, MN the son of Thomas A. and Bonnie K. (Opgaard) Rossland. He grew up in Coon Rapids, MN where he was a graduate of the Coon Rapids High School, Class of 1977. He had worked early on as a crane operator for FMC, and then worked for a couple small printing shops prior to enlisting in the United Stated Air Force in 1981. While in the Air Force, Andy attained sergeant status and served at KI Sawyer AFB, RAF Upper Heyford in England where he was a security supervisor protecting the nuclear bombs, and Malmstrom AFB in MT. Andy was honorably discharged from the Air Force on Dec. 30, 1992.
Andy's second career began in the mid 1990's as a corrections officer for the Michigan Dept. of Corrections. He had worked at the Alger and Baraga Maximum Correctional Facilities and then at the Marquette Branch Prison where he retired as sergeant on April 1, 2013 due to his poor health.
Andrew J. Rossland
While Andy was with the Dept. of Corrections he had served as a weapons instructor. He was an expert marksman and would travel to various marksman's competitions.
Andy was a member of the Republic Sportsman's Club and an avid outdoorsman. He enjoying deer camp with family and friends in McGregor, MN and hunting in the mountains of Montana while he was stationed there.
While in Montana he also took up being a horse farrier and was looking forward to doing gunsmithing in his retirement. Andy loved to go camping, along with enjoying his home in Republic where he could sit by the campfire and listen to his favorite music.
He had the knack for remembering any joke that was told to him and could repeat them verbatim. This made for hours of laughter for family and friends as Andy would relish a good joke telling competition.
Survivors include his wife Lisa Rossland whom he married on Nov. 25, 1999 of Republic, his parents Thomas & Bonnie Rossland of Coon Rapids, MN, 2 sons Jeremiah (Jessica) Rossland of Houston, TX and Tim Rossland of Greensboro, NC, 3 step-children Stephanie Vernier of Marquette, Brandi Jandreau of St. Paul, MN and Alexandra Vernier of Marquette, a sister Sallie (Kenneth) Deluney of Circle Pines, MN, a granddaughter Ariel Rossland and other extended family members. He was preceded in death by a sister Pennie Rossland.
The family will greet relatives and friends from 11:00am 1:00pm on Monday, June 16, 2014 at the Bjork & Zhulkie Funeral Home where the Michigan Dept. of Corrections will stand as Honor Guard. A service of remembrance will follow at 1:00pm on Monday at the Bjork & Zhulkie Funeral Home where the Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter #380 will accord Military Honors. A luncheon will follow the services at the Ishpeming Elks Lodge and per Andy's request free beer will be available.
A complete obituary will appear in Sunday's Mining Journal and may also be viewed at bjorkandzhulkie.com where relatives and friends may leave a note of remembrance.