Donald Isaacson

Donald Isaacson

On June 18, 2016, at the age of 85, Donald Odin Isaacson of Whidbey Island, Wash., and Caldwell, Idaho, passed away surrounded by his family.

Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, June 23, 2016 at Boone Memorial Presbyterian Church, Caldwell, under the direction of Dakan Funeral Chapel, Caldwell, Idaho. Condolences may be shared at

Don was a wonderful son, husband, father and grandfather. He is survived by his wife Meta Isaacson; daughters, Kathleen Jo (Douglas) Amberson and Anna (John) Orrison; grandsons, Jacob (Katie) Amberson, Caleb Amberson, Joshua (Taryn) Amberson, John Orrison and Joseph Orrison; and three great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Conrad and Helen Isaacson; and his son Donald Conrad Isaacson.

Donald and Meta celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary on June 11, 2016.

Don grew up during the Depression. He lived with his parents on his grandparents’ farm outside of Everett. As a young child, he loved to fish in the small streams that ran through the farm and work alongside his grandfather milking cows. He was enriched by the kindness of this grandmother who was very fond of him. It was here that he learned the value of a dollar, hard work and the joy of family.

His parents moved to Beacon Hill, Seattle, in the 1940s. He had a love of history and shared stories and memories from that time with his family. Together with his grandsons, he could be found watching favorite black and white movies and passing along history from this time period first-hand.

His family fished in Alaska, and as a young boy he would meet the halibut boat that his father worked on as it came into the marina. He would help haul off fish, and later he, too, would fish. He always had a love for the sea and the biological diversity of Puget Sound.

He graduated from Cleveland High School in Seattle, and went off to college. He was drafted into the Army and served in Germany, where he was selected to play football on the company team. He was flattered that he was playing with men who had played professionally and at the college level. This love of athletics followed him as he returned from the military and completed his teaching degree.

An avid skier, he and his good friend Gordon Anderson enjoyed spending time skiing and teaching others to ski. In the 1950s, Don and Gordy enjoyed ski bumming in their free time, driving from Seattle to Sun Valley, Idaho, when they could scrape up time and money.

Don taught high school sciences for 40 years; his favorite course was biology. He taught at Tahoma, O’Dea and Mercer Island High Schools. He coached football (his favorite), track, baseball and softball. Most importantly, with hours of playing catch in the yard, he taught his daughters to throw a baseball “like a boy.”

Don wasn’t planning on leaving us so soon. He would have rather gone golfing, watched some baseball, and had a great fish dinner with his family. Our family will miss his strong presence as a loving husband, father and grandfather.

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