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July 16, 2019

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July 16, 2019

Please don't submit copyrighted work; original poems, songs or prayers welcomed. reviews all Guest Book entries to ensure appropriate content. Our staff does not correct grammar or spelling.

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 Memories & Condolences
This Guest Book will remain online permanently courtesy of Rafferty Funeral Home - Moline.
July 11, 2019
It's in times like this that a million clichés come to mind. Life is short. You never know when your time will come. Live life to the fullest. Live like you're dying. But using any of these devices in talking about Isabel McCarthy seems just so feeble. When thinking about Isabel, however, one cliché does seem quite appropriate: You may never remember what someone said, but you will always remember how they made you feel.

I began working with Isabel in March of 1999 at John Deere Health. When I first stepped into the big John Deere Commons building, I felt small and alone. Isabel was one of many people that helped me feel at home. I like to think I'm an inherently good person. I also like to think that good people gravitate toward me. In that regard, Isabel was the best of the best I've ever known. We struck up an immediate friendship. She loved to talk about her four beautiful girls (Marci, Danielle, Sam and and Morgan) and her husband, Kevin. I never got tired of hearing what they all were up to. It was her quiet, humble personality that I loved so much. I would often kid with my co-workers in front of Isabel. I would say something like, Have you ever seen Isabel mad? It is not pretty. I saw her go off on someone the other day and she was cursing and throwing things. The piercing irony would always make people laugh and make Isabel smile and look down in that way that was so familiar to us all.

In looking at tributes, I see so many people using the same word in describing Isabel sweet. That was definitely her most defining characteristic. But one of the things I remember most about Isabel is her flat-out, rock-solid professional aptitude. I joined the HR team at JDH in 1999. At the time, Isabel in title was an Administrative Assistant. But the many people who relied on her ability knew that title and job description would not hold her for long. As I grew professionally and began to work with and hire people, I realized she was the paragon of a breed of worker that is very difficult to find. We call them Rock Stars. They are the people that don't seem to care what their job description says. They just blow right through it. They do things many people either won't or are not able to do and they and they never complain. They innovatively find ways to accomplish things in their job and don't expect anything in return. They are the people that everyone goes to when they have a question. In this definition, Isabel was definitely truly a Rock Star.

It's funny and also quite sad how close friendships are impacted by changes in work environment. As so often is the case at John Deere, job titles and responsibilities change and you find yourself with other friends and acquaintances that you socialize with and keep up with. In many cases, there are people you may miss greatly but simply aren't able to keep up with in the chaos of work and home life. Unfortunately, Isabel fell into that category with me. But I was truly blessed to run into Isabel and Kevin at Buffalo Wild Wings one evening a couple of years ago. I got to see her oldest daughter Marci (who would babysit my kids many years ago) and her daughter and husband, Bob. When I saw Isabel, it was like no time had passed and we were able to get caught up and reconnect. She was beaming with any talk of her granddaughter as the toddler played in the booth.

Over the next couple of years, I talked with Isabel only a couple of times. The last time I talked to her, she didn't seem herself. She almost seemed eager to get off the phone. I asked her if she would like to go to lunch and she was non-committal. I didn't think much of it but now I realize she must have been suffering. And she was doing so in the only way she could quietly and with no fanfare.

I have a Facebook account but don't use it much anymore. I often just scroll to see if there is anything going on with any of my friends that I may be able to share in joy with or assist with. On Wednesday, I was devastated to see the kind of announcement that I hate seeing.

The next day, I didn't know what to do so I began to write. I wrote with many more clichés in mind. I wrote hoping to celebrate her life, bring comfort to those in mourning or pay my respects. Then I realized that these are simply more clichés. Isabel is so much more worthy of simple clichés.

With that in mind, let's all remember how Isabel made each of us feel. And let's also honor her by trying to make others around us feel that way, not just as we mourn the loss of our friend but for as long as we are blessed to be on this earth.

Rest in peace, my friend. I love you and will never forget you.

Your friend,

PS. The attached picture is so beautiful, not because Marci is beautiful but because we see Isabel in those eyes and that smile.
July 11, 2019
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