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Donald Ison


1937 - 2019 Obituary Condolences
Donald Ison Obituary
Donald Edward Ison
1937-2019
Donald Edward Ison passed away peacefully on April 5, 2019 in Houston, Texas. Don was a loving and devoted husband to his wife, Grace, of 55 years who died in 2015. He will be remembered by his friends and family for his infectious smile, outgoing personality, and great sense of humor. He was very proud of his Smokey Mountain heritage and cherished the early friendships he made in life while swimming in Gee Creek and fishing from the banks of the Hiwassee River.
Don was born on Sanctified Hill in Frog Level, Kentucky on the 17th of October 1937 to Lenville E. Ison, Sr. and Margaret Buchanan Ison. At the time the Cumberland/Kingdom Come area of Kentucky was a very active coal mining community. When he was a young boy his parents moved their family to Etowah, Tennessee where his father continued a career with the local railroad. Don, affectionately known to his grade school friends as "Donny" graduated from Etowah High School where he was on the basketball team and named "Most Handsome" in the Pile Driver Yearbook. After graduating from Tennessee Tech in Cookeville, he accepted a job to join the insurance agency, Crawford & Company. Shortly after college he relocated to Austin, Texas where he met the love of his life, Grace. They were married in 1960. Don started a 50 year career with Liberty Mutual receiving promotions to relocate to Fort Worth and Dallas before he and Grace settled in Houston to raise their two boys. He was loved by the many salespeople he hired and trained throughout his career. Don found tremendous enjoyment and success coaching his sons' sports teams. His teams won many league championships at St. Francis and Voss West. He even coached one of his football teams to an undefeated, untied, un-scored upon season. He positively impacted many young lives during those years and developed countless lasting friendships. Don also spent a great deal of time sharing his passion for hunting and fishing with his two sons that lead to many incredible memories in the outdoors.
Don suffered a severe stroke in February of 2008 which affected his ability to speak more than a few words, but not his ability to understand. After his stroke he was never without a smile on his face, always wanted to shake your hand, and give you a hug or a thumbs-up. He was his favorite word since his stroke, "Wonderful"! He was a founding participant at the Houston Aphasia Recovery Center where made many new friendships, helped so many others with their own recovery, and improved his communication skills.
Don is predeceased by his wife, Grace, his parents, his brother, L.E. Ison, Jr. and his sister, Jo Anne Ison. He is survived by his son, Donald Scot Ison, his wife Melissa, and grandchildren Carroll McLemore Ison and William Scot Ison; his son Stuart Edward Ison, his wife Kristi, and grandchildren Olivia Stuart Ison and Benjamin Edward Ison. He is also survived by his sister Janice Ison Webb, her husband Henry as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Those serving as honorary pallbearers include Harry Jones, Charlie Chambers, Harry Cullen, and John Jennings.
The family would like to extend its heartfelt appreciation to the staff at Belmont Village Hunters Creek, his longtime caregiver, Donald Dixon, and the staff at HARC.
A memorial service celebrating Don's life will be held at Bradshaw Carter Funeral Home, 1734 West Alabama, Houston, Texas on Tuesday, April 9th at 3:30 PM. The family requests with gratitude that any memorial contribution in Don's memory be directed to the Houston Aphasia Recovery Center, 5005 Woodway, Suite 110, Houston, Texas 77056 or to the .
Published in Houston Chronicle on Apr. 7, 2019
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