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Louis Isselhardt

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Louis Isselhardt Obituary
Louis J. Isselhardt

1932 - 2016 Louis John "Jack" Isselhardt, 83, of Bennington, died May 23rd, 2016 at Bennington Health and Rehabilitation Center after four years as a resident. Jack was born on June 22nd, 1932 in the Bronx, NY to Louis Adolphus Isselhardt and Anna (Mager) Isselhardt, of Scarsdale, NY. He attended Riverdale Country Day school (class of 1951), received his bachelor's degree (Psychology) from Trinity College (class of 1955) and a masters in Human Relations from NYU. A gifted multi-sport athlete (soccer, lacrosse, track & field, swimming, skiing, horsemanship, golf and tennis), Jack maintained a competitive streak that extended far beyond his school years. As a teenager Jack was one of the first lifeguards on Ponquogue Beach. The dunes and waters surrounding Hampton Bays, Long Island remained a source of great happiness, peace and rejuvenation for his entire life. He passed on a love of sailing and riding waves to his children and his grandchildren. While technically his professional title was clinical psychologist, Jack's stock in trade was serving people who struggle with drug and alcohol addiction. Whether working in private practice, for nonprofits, state agencies or just as one human to another, his profound empathy earned him great respect from colleagues, clients and friends alike. He was instrumental in the establishment of Vermont Project CRASH in Bennington in 1973, a program that continues to this day and has helped thousands of Vermonters educate themselves about the countless risks of operating motor vehicles while intoxicated. Civic engagement was another trait of Jack's that won him praise. From work with the Kansas Civil Rights Commission in the late 1950s to the Vermont Progressive Party in the early 2000s, Jack believed that everyone should serve their community in some way or another. Jack also explored many spiritual paths (some organized, some less so) in search of answers to the question what it means to be human. The saying "life's a journey not a destination" is fitting for how Jack approached his time on earth. Jack was a joke teller, truth seeker and his big heart touched many, many lives. He is survived by sons Eric, Karl, and Mark, grandchildren Maddie, Anna and Charlie, and former wife Tordis Ilg Isselhardt; cousin Sherry, former wife Barbara, dear friend Betts and best friend Steve. Former wife Mary passed away in 2010. Along with family, countless friends will miss him, his dedication to service, and his humor very much. FUNERAL NOTICE: A celebration of Jack's Life will be held on July 23rd 2016, starting at 12:00 pm in the Unitarian Universalist Meetinghouse, 108 School Street, Bennington, Vermont. Friends and family if so moved, should bring stories to share. Gifts in honor of Jack's life may be made to Bennington Vermont Rescue Squad or the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
Published in Bennington Banner on June 11, 2016
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