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Ethel H. Isabel

October 30, 2015
Ethel H. Isabel
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Obituary for Ethel H. Isabel

ETHEL H. ISABEL - August 27, 1912 – October 30, 2015

Ethel H. Isabel was born Ethel Beatrice Turner in Memphis, Tennessee on August 27, 1912, the older of two daughters. Her mother, Lizzie Turner, stepfather, Sam Harris, sister, Ernestine Wilson, preceded her in death. Ethel was baptized at St. Paul Baptist Church where she maintained membership throughout childhood. She is the product of Memphis City Schools. After having to drop out of school because of the family’s extreme poverty, she acquired her GED. While working fulltime in employment as mother and wife, she went to LeMoyne College and Mississippi Industrial College to complete a bachelor’s degree in education and to work toward a master’s degree at Memphis State University and George Peabody College. She was often recognized as an outstanding teacher during her 30+ years as kindergarten and first grade teacher in private schools and Memphis City Schools. Ethel treated every child as if they were her own. Many to this day credit her for starting them on the road to achievement Having met the love of her life at age 14, she eloped and married on her 16th birthday George Taylor Isabel Sr., a blissful union which lasted 75 years until his death in 2003!
Ethel rose above the neglect, hunger, and abuse of her childhood in the alleys of North Memphis to become a loving and devoted wife of 75 years, the inspiring mother of three, and an excellent educator. She and late husband, George, cofounded the first kindergarten for African American children in their community and one of the first in the city of Memphis before kindergartens became part of public school system. She showed leadership in church serving as superintendent of Sunday School for many years at Mt. Pisgah CME Church as well as in the community serving in various offices in civic clubs and block clubs. Ethel was an upstanding member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority through which she engaged in many philanthropic activities. She served as volunteer for the American Red Cross and the Veteran Hospital. She always believed in giving back and lived her life with an open heart. Her hobbies were playing bridge and traveling.
Ethel passed away peacefully in her home in Los Angeles. She leaves to celebrate her life son, George .Jr , daughters, Ethel Thompson and Josephine Isabel-Jones, 13 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, 4 great-great grandchildren, a host of nephews and nieces and 2 loving caregivers. Rest assured that George joined St. Peter to welcome her arrival at the gates of heaven.

Visitation from 5-7 p.m. on Friday, November 6, 2015 at Serenity Funeral Home, 1638 Sycamore View Road.
Graveside Services will be conducted at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 7, 2015 at Elmwood Cemetery, 824 S. Dudley St., Memphis, TN 38104.

Serenity Funeral Home, 1638 Sycamore View Rd., Memphis, TN 38134, Tel. (901) 379-0861

Previous Events





5:00 PM 11/6/2015 5:00:00 PM - 7:00 PM 11/6/2015 7:00:00 PM
Serenity Funeral Home

1638 Sycamore View Road
Memphis, TN 38134

Serenity Funeral Home
1638 Sycamore View Road Memphis 38134 TN
United States





10:00 AM 11/7/2015 10:00:00 AM
Elmwood Cemetery

824 S Dudley St

Elmwood Cemetery
824 S Dudley St 38104
United States

Cemetery Details


Elmwood Cemetery Final Resting Place

824 S Dudley St

824 S Dudley St 38104
United States

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