Jewell Donetta “JD” Isley, 88, of Boise, Idaho, passed away peacefully on Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014.
JD was born on July 19, 1926, in the “Old Hotel” in Newdale, Idaho, cherished youngest child of Culbert and Leah Howes. She grew up surrounded by five older siblings and had fond memories of fishing and ice-skating on the creek in Dubois.
She married Bill Isley, of Salmon, Idaho, on June 21, 1947. Bill worked for State Farm Insurance and as he was promoted, the family moved to Twin Falls and then Pocatello.
After she graduated from high school, JD attended the University of Idaho Southern Branch in Pocatello, but left school to help with the war effort, working at Boeing in Seattle, Wash. Education was a lifelong passion, and she never missed an opportunity to learn new things, whether self-studying Spanish, learning to fly an airplane, or designing and remodeling homes. She graduated from Idaho State University in 1968 as a returning student, and later did graduate work at ISU and University of Oregon’s School of Journalism. She was a witty and talented writer.
JD moved to the Wood River Valley in 1986 where she worked part-time at The Community Library in Ketchum and managed condos for various realtors in the area. She was the director of the Blaine County Senior Center from 1989-1992, where she spearheaded the fundraising campaign to build a large addition so more seniors could be served. She was a member of the Hailey Rotary Club where she was recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow, and volunteered as an English as a Second Language teacher for the College of Southern Idaho. She was a member of the American Contract Bridge League and a certified bridge instructor. Duplicate Bridge was her passion and she attained Silver Life Master designation. JD was also a member of the Mayflower Society, descended from John Howland and Elizabeth Tilly. She was a voracious reader, and read between 17 and 102 books a year. This fact is known because she was also a voracious record-keeper. She moved to Boise in 1996 to be close to her grandson.
JD is survived by her three children, Richard Isley (Mary), Bill Isley, and Belinda Isley (Clint Berry); numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
JD is preceded in death by her parents, Culbert and Leah Howes, her three brothers, two sisters, former husband Bill Isley, and Bobby Isley, beloved grandson.
About death, Mom would say, “You see birds flying in the sky and as they travel further and further away they seem to disappear. But they are still there. They are there, flying somewhere, and as we say, ‘They are gone,’ someone in a distant land is saying, ‘They have arrived!’ And that is what death seems to me.”