Isabelle Frances French

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  • "I remember Isabelle well. In winter she ran the sidewalk..."
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Feb. 16, 1924-March 1, 2014 Isabelle French, 90, of Everett, WA passed away peacefully, March 1, 2014, surrounded by family. She was born February 16, 1924 to Grace Benton Seward and Abram French in Swampscott, MA. She graduated from Swampscott High School in 1941, and from Tri-State College in Angola, Indiana with a B.S. in Radio Engineering in 1944. As a pioneer for women in the field of engineering, her distinguished career included working for Sylvania Electric Products (1944-1952), Capehart-Farnsworth (1952-1954) and Bell Telephone Laboratories (1954-1987). Isabelle's greatest passion was encouraging young women in the field of engineering. She was a charter member of Society of Women Engineers (SWE), joining in 1951, and holding a number of national offices. She gave the commencement address to the graduating engineers at the University of Utah in June of 1965. She was awarded an honorary doctorate in engineering from Tri-State University in 1966. Isabelle was a gentle and caring s soul, giving generously of her time and talents. A generous philanthropist, she was an active member of the women-only service club, Altrusa Club of Allentown, PA from 1963-1990. Civic-minded, she was appointed to the East Allen Township (PA) Planning Commission in 1962, and was chosen as chairperson in the 1970's. She served as a Township Supervisor from 1982-1989. She was creative and adventuresome. In her retirement, Isabelle started her own business, "Shape & Fix," building custom cabinets, bases, countertops and restoring furniture, with a focus on residential and business remodeling (1987-1992). In 1992 she ventured to the Pacific Northwest, moving to Clinton, Whidbey Island, WA, in March of 1995, where she resided for over 13 years with her Shetland Sheep dogs, Marco Polo, and later, Sparky. She became involved in the community as a math tutor at South Whidbey Intermediate School, and with the Clinton Friends of the Library. Sunrise Villa Independent Living in Everett, WA was home from 2008 until her passing in 2014. Isabelle was preceded in death by her parents; her brother-in-law, Sieg Kiemle; and many dear friends. Survivors include her sister, Ruth Kiemle; two nieces, Anne Kiemle (Kael Sherrard), Elizabeth Thoreson (Jeff), one nephew, Fritz Kiemle (Heidi); and eight great nieces and nephews, Kalan Sherrard; Sky (Amy), Anders, Sigrid, Kaia, and Hans Thoreson; Dietrich and Ailsa Kiemle. A service in her memory is planned for 2:30 p.m. April 8, 2014 at Sunrise View, 2520 Madison St., Everett.

Published in The Herald (Everett) from Apr. 6 to Apr. 7, 2014
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