Ed Isenson (1933 - 2017)

Obituary
9 entries
  • "Sorry to be so late. Ed was a wonderful man who brought me..."
    - Michael Hood
  • "Dear Bev,I'm so sorry for your loss, Both of you were so..."
    - Bob Glorioso
  • "Bev and family, I am so sorry to hear about Ed. You were..."
    - Wayne Maloney
  • "Please accept my heartfelt condolences for your loss. May..."
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    - Charity Kadow
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Ed Isenson documented the world around him in print, photos, film and video for over 70 years, many of them in Alaska. Ed was known for his contagious smile, playful humor and friendly manner, which was so warm that even people in countries with whom he shared no common language couldn't help but return his smiles.
Ed was raised by his parents, Dr. Sam and Lillian Isenson, in Los Angeles, Calif. Ed had his first darkroom as a teen. On a break from UCLA, Ed and his friend Dick Sassara motorcycled through war-damaged Europe, and worked the autumn harvest on a Danish farm. He graduated from UCLA, then studied political science and economics at the University of Innsbruck. He married Beverly Rothstein, another UCLA grad.
Ed was a newspaper reporter and editor in California, producer and editor for the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation's international news service in Berne, and reported on the New Jersey Legislature.
In 1964, Ed joined the Anchorage Daily News as political writer, columnist and associate editor. During the Legislature, Ed reported from Juneau and produced daily radio broadcasts for Northern Television. In 1968, he became a special assistant to U.S. Senator Bob Bartlett in Washington, D.C. When the Senator died in December, the family returned to Anchorage.
There Ed founded Alaska Film Studios Inc. and, later, Isenson Associates. For 20 years, Ed produced films and videotapes about Alaska for school use, political campaigns, Mayor George Sullivan's Project 80s, Pope John Paul II's 1981 Anchorage visit, and more.
Ed's work won national and regional awards. Many productions are in the Alaska Moving Image Preservation Association collection at the UAA Consortium Library. Several films produced for the Alaska Department of Education are on YouTube.
Family time was spent exploring Southcentral Alaska by foot, skis, rafts, canoes and bicycles. Activist Ed lobbied the Legislature to fund a UAA performing arts center, and helped establish public radio station KSKA in Anchorage in the 1970s.
The Isensons moved to Washington in 1989, where Ed worked for the Department of Wildlife. He sailed on and bicycled around Puget Sound, pedaled through European cities and along the Moselle and Rhine.
Ed is survived by his wife, Beverly and daughter, Linda of Steilacoom, Wash.; daughter, Nancy and husband Per Sander of St. Katharinen, Germany; son, Richard Wattenbarger and wife Miriam of Philadelphia, Pa.; grandchildren, Allison, Clara, Elliot and Madeleine; and brother, Jim Isenson and family of Beverly Hills, Calif.
Ed's life will be celebrated on Sunday, March 4, 2018, in Tacoma, Wash. His family suggests memorials to Americans United for Separation of Church and State, 1310 L St. NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 2005, or Alaska Public Media (KSKA), 3877 University Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508.
Published in Anchorage Daily News from Feb. 25 to Feb. 26, 2018
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