Evelyn L. Isken
Evelyn Lillian Isken, age 89 of Wilmington, died peacefully in her sleep at home on March 29, 2014.
She was born in Erie, PA, daughter of the late Laura and Theodore Nelson of Bergen, Norway. Raised in Brooklyn, NY, Evelyn was particularly proud of her Norwegian heritage. Upon graduating from the Long Island College School of Nursing, she became a registered nurse, and then pursued a graduate degree at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Lawrence, Kansas, becoming a registered physical therapist.
Evelyn was active in the Brooklyn community as a visiting nurse and physical therapist, specializing in the treatment of polio victims during the epidemic of the early 1950's. Evelyn married Arnold J. Isken of New York in 1951 and relocated to Wilmington with her husband where he embarked on a long, successful career in the restaurant business, while she worked for the Delaware Easter Seals Society. She founded the physical therapy program for children with physical disabilities at the Bishopstead, which later became the John Leach School.
Following the birth of her first child, Evelyn focused all of her time and attention on raising her family. She was an enthusiastic participant in all of her children's activities, including serving as a Cub Scout den mother. She generously volunteered her time and talents at Wilmington General Hospital and Wilmington Friends School where her children were students. She served as a committee member of the American Field Service (AFS), assisting students who were studying abroad and was an active member of Beta Sigma Phi. Evelyn enjoyed a lifetime of international travel and was a passenger on many of the great transatlantic ocean liners. She also had a passion for reading novels and watching classic films, particularly those made in the 1930's and 1940's.
Evelyn is survived by her husband, Arnold, of 63 years, her sons Donald and Paul (Joan) of Wilmington and her daughter Laura (George) of Vienna, VA. She is pre-deceased by her sister Gertrude Tanis and survived by her brother, Henry Nelson. She is blessed with nine grandchildren, Ashley and Blair Isken, Kori, Brett and Beau Isken and Matthew, Claire, Thomas and Katherine Doyle.
Friends and family are invited to attend a visitation at McCrery and Harra Funeral Home at 3924 Concord Pike on Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 6:00 pm with a memorial service at 7:30 pm. (Additional, overflow parking is available in the rear lot of the Brandywine YMCA, 3 Mt. Lebanon Rd.) Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, those who wish to make contributions are asked to consider a charity of their own choosing or perform an act of kindness in her memory.
Messages of condolence may be sent to www.mccreryandharra.com