Virgil "Ike" Lee Isaacson
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November 16, 1930 - February 28, 2013
Virgil Lee "Ike" Isaacson, 82, of Nampa, passed away peacefully at home on February 28, 2013. Ike was born to Carl and Helen (Greenwood) Isaacson on November 16, 1930 in Courtland, Kansas. They led a quiet rural life with family and friends where his Dad farmed and Ike attended a one room school. It was the depression years; Ike always vividly recalled the hunger, the grasshoppers eating everything in sight and the blinding dust storms of his childhood.
To escape the tough times, the family moved to Marsing, Idaho when Ike was eight. He frequently talked of his amazement at the abundance of food and variety of fruit here. One morning after his parents had left for work, their trailer home exploded. Ike escaped the explosion because he had just gone outside to feed his rabbits, but the family lost everything. They moved into Caldwell, where he continued attending school. When he was 13, his only sibling, Carl, was born.
Ike joined the U.S. Navy in 1948 and served 4 years. As an aviation electronics technician, he flew as crew in TBM torpedo bombers. His anti submarine squadron patrolled the Pacific Ocean from several aircraft carriers using sono buoy plotting to search out enemy submarines.
While in the service, Ike met Carol Froehling of Coronado, California. They married in Caldwell, on January 3, 1951. Following Ike's discharge from the service that December, Ike and Carol returned to Canyon County, where he began his farming career in the north Nampa area. As the farming operation grew, Ike and Carol raised 3 children, Steven, Susan and Christy Jo, and enjoyed bowling, square dancing and playing pinochle with family and neighbors. Ike grew sugar beets and sweet corn seed, mint, wheat and cannery corn. He was later joined in farming by his son Steve when they cultivated up to 1200 row crop acres. Ike and Carol later divorced.
In the fall of 1980, Ike began dating Janet (Howard) Skiver. They married on December 27, 1980 in Reno, NV. For the next 32 years, their life was varied and full, with Ike greatly enjoying Jan's large family.
Over his lifetime, Ike participated in many organizations. He was Chairman of the Cannery Corn Growers Assoc. In 1982, he was voted to the Board of the Federal Land Bank Assoc., and in 1983 to the Board of the West. Idaho Production Credit Assoc. These 2 agricultural banking entities merged in 1985 with Ike continuing on this board until 1992.
In January 1981, Gov. John Evans appointed him a Highway Commissioner for the newly formed Canyon Highway 4, which oversaw many miles of county highway. In 1996, he was named the Idaho State Highway Commissioner of the Year.
Ike was a 50 year member of the Caldwell Elks Lodge B.P.O.E. 1448. He was Exalted Ruler in 1977-78, a Trustee from 1978-1983 and a District Deputy for the Grand Lodge in 1997-98. He was the Idaho Elk's Hall of Honor recipient in 2003. He was extremely proud of the work of the Elks Rehabilitation Hospital and greatly honored to serve on the Board of Directors for 12 years, and then as an Emeritus Member until his death. During his tenure the new hospital was built in Boise.
Jan and Ike joined local Flotilla 11-04, of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary in 1988. For a number of years they patrolled the lakes and reservoirs of Idaho. Ike served as Flotilla Commander in 1992 and '93. Special memories of this time include patrolling the 1990 Goodwill Games in Seattle, jet boat races and rough water training on the Columbia River.
Ike and Jan loved time with the grandchildren, taking different ones on summer trips, especially to Kansas reunions, and the East Coast twice. Life favorites of Ike were the Oregon Coast, Christmas Eve with family and Santa Archie, any day spent fishing, attending Boise State Bronco football games for 24 years, and good conversation with family and friends, esp. about current events. Ike and Jan were fortunate to travel frequently, enjoying the U.S. from coast to coast, and a 5 week trip to Great Britain.
Ike was preceded in death by his parents, brother, and gr. granddaughter Mykenzie Scott. He is survived by his wife Jan of Nampa; by his son Steve of Caldwell, with Gretchen and grandchildren Tiffani and Dustin Isaacson; by his daughter Sue Scott of Caldwell with grandson Troy Scott, and his children Dylon Burns and Cheyenne Scott, by granddaughter Jodi Edwards (Dustin) with Reese, Drew and Lauren Edwards, and by grandson Cole Scott. Ike is also survived by his daughter Chris O'Leary (Dave) of Eltopia, Washington with granddaughter Mandi Kinsey (Jeremy) & their 4 daughters, Mikayla, Meghan, Madison, and Emma, and by granddaughter Cajsha White (Cameron), and many nieces, nephews & cousins.
Ike's family would like to extend their deepest thanks to Drs. Mark Boerner, Matthew Schwarz, Michael Codina and their staffs, plus the ICU unit of St. Alphonsus Hospital, Nampa, for their kind attentions to their husband and father.
Friends are welcome to send flowers; or memorial suggestions are the Idaho Elks Rehabilitation Hospital, 600 N. Robbins Rd. Boise, 83701, or Idaho Public Television, P.O. Box 4, Boise, ID 83707-0004, or
Services are under the care of Flahiff Funeral Chapel, Caldwell. The only viewing will be Friday, March 8, 2013 at 5 - 8 p.m., at the Chapel. Funeral services are at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 9, 2013 at Boone Memorial Presbyterian Church, (14th & Dearborn) Caldwell. Graveside at Canyon Hill Cemetery will be followed immediately by a reception at the Caldwell Elks Lodge. Condolences may be given at www.flahifffuneralchapel.com.
Flahiff Funeral Chapels - Caldwell Chapel
624 Cleveland Boulevard Caldwell, ID 83606
Published in Idaho Press Tribune on Mar. 6, 2013