Morry Isaac has never been one to talk about his service during World War II. So, much of what he experienced as a young U.S. Army man goes largely untold, save for his enduring love for SPAM® classic. When it comes to the famous luncheon meat, Morry will regale you with stories, including how he used to sneak it into his late wife’s grocery cart and how he managed to find a way to get SPAM® singles online during the COVID-19 pandemic, sweet-talking the kitchen staff into frying it up for him.
“To this day, his eyes light up, and he grins like a little kid at the mere mention of SPAM®,” says Cathy Isaac Lindquist, a daughter of one of Morry’s three children.
And yet, the world-renowned brand, a staple of Allied soldiers overseas, does more than put a smile on the face of the centenarian. It connects him to his family, keeping alive the irrefutable legacy of the Greatest Generation.
To this day, his eyes light up, and he grins like a little kid at the mere mention of SPAM®Cathy Isaac Lindquist, a daughter of one of Morry’s three children
“SPAM® sort of opened things up, and he started telling me more details,” Cathy says. Her husband is another SPAM® brand aficionado, so it’s a natural topic of ongoing conversation. In fact, Morry’s affinity for the SPAM® brand is so widely known among the Isaac clan, Cathy reached out to Hormel Foods to see if the company could commemorate his milestone birthday March 21, 2022.
“Is there anything you can do for one of the biggest and oldest fans of SPAM® on his 100th birthday? I know that even just a card … would really tickle his spirits,” she wrote.
The email set off a chain reaction at the company, as various people and departments got involved to celebrate a Hormel Foods Inspired Fan and true American hero. SPAMbassadors™ Terri Bergstrom and Michelle Lilly went to work to fill a basket with all manner of SPAM® brand swag and to schedule a virtual tour of the SPAM® Museum for Morry and members of the family. The pleasure was all theirs.
“I will go home on a little cloud, just knowing that we have … seen a SPAM® fan reach 100,” Michelle said at the tour’s conclusion. “This is absolutely beautiful.”
A Life Well Lived
Morris Isaac was born March 21, 1922, in Tennessee and raised in Chicago. When the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor was attacked Dec. 7, 1941, bringing about America’s entry into WW2, 19-year-old Morry enlisted in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, the branch responsible for communications and information systems. He was stationed in Italy, Algiers and finally, Casablanca, where he installed and repaired equipment in fighter planes.
While on a weekend pass from Camp Murphy in Florida, Morry married Lillian Deutsch, his wife of 61 years. The couple raised three children in the Chicago area while Morry held various jobs, including selling men’s clothing, managing a family-owned grocery store and working as an office administrator.
His devotion to his family has always been indisputable, as are his love of the Chicago Cubs and SPAM® and eggs, his No. 1 way to experience his go-to food. In addition to the attention Morry’s 100th birthday received from Hormel Foods, his name was on the marquee of Wrigley Field, making it a home run of sorts for a man who has won over more than a few hearts in his century of life.
He resides in an independent-living home in Illinois, staying active by teaching a class called “Wake Up Your Brain” that’s designed to help people find more enjoyment in life. It makes sense; ask Morry how he’s doing, and he will likely respond, “I’m wonderful, just wonderful!”
“He’s brilliant and funny,” Cathy says. “He’s really good at telling jokes, and he’s an amateur magician.” In fact, Morry’s hobby was more than a passing fancy. He was part of a magicians’ guild, and he often entertained at birthday parties.
As luck would have it, the birthday basket Terri put together contained a deck of cards.
This is just what the doctor ordered,” Morry said, upon lifting the SPAM® brand playing cards from the gift box, much to the excitement of those in attendance.
“We didn’t know he was a magician!” Terri says.
Morry Isaac can delight an audience as much as ever.
“Sounds like he might still have a few tricks up his sleeve – even at 100,” Michelle says.