Memorial service
Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019
2:00 PM
Zion Lutheran Church
2982 Davis Road
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Isabelle Mudd

Isabelle Mudd Obituary
In the early morning of July 29, Isabelle Mudd passed away peacefully at the Pioneers' Home. She was born in Watertown, New York to William and Gertrude Van Tassel.
Isabelle spent her early years growing up on the family farm in Woods Mills, New York. She was an avid reader from an early age and loved school and learning and wanted to go to school along with her older sisters. When she finally was able to go to school, she excelled and graduated as valedictorian of her class graduating at the age of 15. She went on to school at the teacher's college at Geneseo where she graduated with a bachelor's in librarianship in 1941.
When the army expanded Fort Drum and took over the community in which she lived, her family bought a farm in Pulaski, New York, where she met Robert Galbraith who lived on an adjoining farm. They were married in 1946 and had three sons, Brad, Bill and Rich. During this time, she worked as a school librarian and discovered that she loved introducing children to exploring the world through reading. She encouraged many to embrace the written word.
In 1960 as a single mother, Isabelle went back to school at Syracuse University where she earned a master's degree in library science, while working as an elementary school librarian in Marcellus, New York. After one year, she accepted a job at the Syracuse University Library.
In 1964, one of her former colleagues took a job as director of the library as the University of Alaska in Fairbanks and offered her a position. Following a very short family meeting with the boys, she accepted the offer and the four of them loaded up her car and headed north to begin an Alaska adventure that lasted the rest of her life.
In 1966, while teaching a library skills class at the university, she met an inquisitive young student named Bill Mudd, who had been working as a teacher in several bush villages. He went off to teach in the village of Birch Creek that year. Later he returned to Fairbanks where he and Isabelle reconnected at a square dance.
They were married in 1969 and spent the rest of their lives together dancing, working and traveling the world. After Bill got his pilot's license, he and Isabelle flew all over the country, enjoying a life of adventure. After they were married, Bill and Isabelle combined their talents to serve as education specialists in Kotzebue and Bethel for six years. During this time, their work took them to many remote villages in the area. In 1974, they moved back to Fairbanks where she worked as the librarian on Fort Wainwright until her retirement.
During their life together Isabelle and Bill traveled several times to Sweden, Finland, Russia, Paris, London, Japan and many places in China including Beijing, Xian, Wuhan, Nanjing and Hong Kong with stopovers in Tokyo and Shanghai. After retirement, Isabelle and Bill continued to enjoy dancing together. She worked diligently to promote square dancing in the Fairbanks area. She continued to enjoy musical events at the Pioneers' Home during her time there.
Isabelle is survived by her sons Brad, of Albany New York, Bill and Rich, of Fairbanks and their families. The family would like to thank the staff at the Pioneers' Home, who provided her with excellent care during the last several years of her life. They would also like to thank the staff of hospice who helped provide comfort during her last days. We appreciate all the cards and expressions of sympathy from our friends. May God bless you for your kindnesses.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 18, at Zion Lutheran Church, 2982 Davis Road. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Pioneers' Home of Fairbanks.
Published in Daily News-Miner on Aug. 10, 2019
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