Isabelle L. Whittlesey |

Isabelle L. Whittlesey

Isabelle L. Whittlesey died peacefully Sept. 6.

Private family services will be Saturday, Sept. 18 .

She was born Lena Isabelle Baker to town pioneers Fred N. and Lena (Winger) Baker in Kindersley, Saskatchewan, Canada on May 24, 1920.  

They moved to Southern California when Isabelle was a child. She graduated from Laverne College in Pomona with a bachelor’s degree in biology and an organic chemistry minor. She then obtained a master’s degree in zoology before taking a job as professor of chemistry at Laverne.

During World War II, she devoted time to collecting food and clothing for the Japanese-Americans and conscientious objectors in the internment camps. She married Taber H. Whittlesey on June 2, 1944. They moved to Camptonville in the late 1940s to be near her father, who had bought the land that is now known as Presbyterian Pines.

Shortly thereafter, they moved to Tyler Road, near North San Juan, where Taber worked for his father-in-law at family owned Mill Creek Lumber. Through their hard work Isabelle and Taber bought the land that would become Whittlesey’s Wilderness. On that land they built a small house where they would raise their family and share their lives together.

During her time on the San Juan Ridge, Isabelle took a job teaching at North San Juan Elementary and later at North Colombia Schoolhouse. She was active in the North San Juan Methodist Church and factored prominently in the preservation and renovation of the historical building. In her later years, she was deeply interested in local history. She lived in the house she and her husband built until Taber passed in 2008.

She left a legacy of faith in the Lord, devotion to her family and a strong belief in hard work. She will be missed by her family.

She is survived by sons Charles (Sherry), Nick (Cathy), Wayne (Doris), Walt (Mary) Whittlesey; daughter Jeanie (Frank) Milano; brother Mervin (Pat) Baker; sister Lucile Webster; grandchildren Autumn, Michelle, Willie, Beth, Katie (Tom Alling), Angela (Ryan Tos), Eli, John (Adrian), Scott, Joe, Stephen, Chris Daley and Shelley (Darrell Sanders); several great-grandchildren; and nieces, nephews, friends and former students.

She is predeceased by her husband Taber, her daughter Nancy, her parents, and her sisters Kathleen McCann and Olive Ruth Blocker.

Arrangements by Chapel of the Angels.

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