Isabelle Elmer: 1923 ~ 2019

Isabelle N. Elmer, a former resident of Three Rivers, passed easily from her earthly body on Monday, December 9, 2019. She had been with us 96 years!  
Isabelle lived in Three Rivers from 1969 until 2013 when she moved to Visalia where she had more assistance at the retirement community of Quail Park.
Isabelle was born September 1, 1923, in Salina, Kansas, to William and Helen Neal. She married Harold S. Elmer on March 11, 1945.  She graduated from Kansas State University and later gained a teaching degree in California. 
She was a teacher and later director of a preschool at Calvary Presbyterian Church in Riverside, California. Isabelle worked as the kindergarten teacher at Three Rivers Union School for five years.
Isabelle and Harold enjoyed traveling and often took their two daughters, Susan and Nancy, camping in the Sierra. Harold was an entomologist for the University of California. They moved to Three Rivers in 1969 as Harold’s position moved to the Lindcove Field Research Station. 
Harold died March 27,  1991. Isabelle married Richard S. Collins in 1998. They had eight wonderful years together, living in Three Rivers and traveling globally often.  Richard died in 2006. 
Isabelle had a remarkable rapport and kind patience with young children. She had a devotion to her faith and focused much of that on her beloved church, Three Rivers Community Presbyterian, where she was a deacon for many years.  
Isabelle belonged to the Three Rivers Woman’s Club, Book Club, and was a member and volunteer at Three Rivers Historical Museum. She endeavored to help in other venues locally that were related to environmental protection and the love of classical music. It goes without saying that she was a marvelous light of energy for the Three Rivers community.
Isabelle had a commitment to the protection of the environment and was obsessive about recycling and reducing unnecessary consumption. She was super proud to drive a hybrid vehicle the first year they were available. She was an excellent seamstress, homemaker, weaver, gardener, and cook. She was often awestruck by the beauty and peace of nature.
Isabelle is survived by two daughters, Susan Lovit of Sedona, Arizona, and Nancy Elmer  and husband Ismael Abdolahi of Pahoa, Hawaii; stepdaughter Dana Moriarty of Fairway, Kansas; two granddaughters, Dhanya Falkenstein and Quincy Rusich; and great-granddaughter, Adahlia Claire Whittemen. She is also survived by many beloved friends and caregivers.
Isabelle’s family is missing her very much and know that she touched many lives with her positive outlook on life, her laugh, generosity, and her love.  Isabelle — “Is” — was most loved and revered by all who had the blessed fortune to know her.  
Memorial services will be held at the Three Rivers Community Presbyterian Church on Saturday, March 21, 2020.  
Isabelle requested that any memorial donations be made to Three Rivers Community Presbyterian Church (P.O. Box 685, Three Rivers, CA 93271) or to The Nature Conservancy.

7 thoughts on “Isabelle Elmer: 1923 ~ 2019

  • December 20, 2019 at 9:00 am

    Thank you, Three Rivers, for giving my parents, especially Isabelle, such a beautiful home and community for decades. She told me about ten years ago, as we sat by the river, that she hoped she would never need to leave. She did have a good six years in Visalia with friends, caring helpers and a new sense of community. I hope to visit these hills and mountains often. Nan Elmer

  • December 20, 2019 at 9:19 am

    RIP dear Isabelle, a dear woman and former neighbor.

  • December 21, 2019 at 5:20 am

    Aunt Isabelle was always such a nice lady. She lived in Three Rivers, California and we lived in Virginia so we missed out on spending a lot of time with her. Rest in Peace! Wade Elmer

  • December 21, 2019 at 6:58 am

    I love you, dear Moma, all ways! Thank-you Nan for all your care and support of our special one and for taking care of all the end of life logistics. I couldn’t have done it as gracefully with my current circumstances and you had the desire from the beginning to be the one to do it all.
    We will all be together in the great by and by….in the meantime, see you in March in our beloved Three Rivers.
    Mom…..see you in my misty memories. One of the last words you said to me was “Ringing, ringing!” with your arms flapping like wings…….Ring a Bell for those who love you….Isabelle……………………
    Blessed to be your daughter …Susan

  • December 21, 2019 at 9:49 am

    We have the honor of living in Isabelle’s house. She built a beautiful home and her gracious spirit is reflect in it! We visited her a couple
    Times in Visalia and she was so sweet to our son! I’m so glad we had a chance to meet her!
    Our condolences to her family.

  • December 21, 2019 at 12:50 pm

    I considered Isabelle a very dear friend! She was a fellow weaver, a devoted member of our church in Three Rivers and “Kansas sister”. I have fond memories of working on projects at church with her, especially with Presbyterian Women. Isabelle often asked to join our Koinonia group when we went cross country skiing in Sequoia even though we were 10 to 25 years younger than she. She kept right up with us. I remember her up on a ladder painting the ceiling of the daycare area in the church basement. She was always ready to take on any task. I have mementos in my home from her that I will always cherish and those items will bring to mind her wonderful laugh and bright smile. I am sad that she is no longer with us. Her friendship was a treasure!

  • January 16, 2020 at 7:17 pm

    Dear dear Auntie Belle… I’m so saddened to hear of your passing. My absolute favorite time of the year was going at Thanksgiving to your amazing home in 3Rivers! Candi & I loved spending time with you, spending time hiking and playing badminton in the backyard with everyone! I look forward to seeing you again my amazing and loving Auntie Belle! Lovingly, Suzi


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