Virginia M. Isaacs passed away in her home surrounded by family on Thursday Aug. 4, 2011, after a year-long battle with breast cancer. She was 87 years old.
Virginia Isaacs was a member of a group often referred to as “a regular pantheon of Davis activists”, that were involved in many of the institutions that make Davis the unique community that it is today. Yolo County has benefited as well from Virginia’s volunteer activities; the League of Women Voters (founding member), the Davis Community Clinic, Meals on Wheels, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts of Davis, Davis Kiwanis Club, the Hattie Weber Museum, the Gibson House, the Friends of the Yolo County Archives, the Yolo County Historical Society, to name a few, as well as Davis city politics and development of the core area.
Virginia was born on January 15, 1924, the second of four daughters, to Austin and Matilda MacClaskey. Growing up in Collingswood, New Jersey during the Great Depression gave her a lifelong philosophy of fiscal conservatism and community service. She met Bob Isaacs during her youth, they became soul mates and married during World War II before Robert went overseas. After returning from India in 1946, they had the first of their two sons, Bob, in 1947. Paul, their second son, was born in 1950.
Bob Isaacs became a soil scientist for Campbell Soup and brought the family to Davis in 1956. Virginia became a Cub Scout den mother and met Dorothy Laben. Through Laben, she met Sandy Motley, Kathleen Green, Dorothy Briggs, Evelyn Kasmire, Christine Blanchard and Peggy Epstein. Many of this group would be busy with community activities for the next five decades. They would become the founding members of the Davis League of Women Voters and would be involved in numerous local and statewide issues. Virginia had always maintained a staunch Republican position, she nonetheless had worked for many local political campaigns including Motley, Green, Briggs, Helen Thomson, and Lois Wolk.
Virginia and Bob raised their two sons through Davis schools in the 1960s and she found time during that decade to be a co-owner of a downtown business with Barbara Jackson as well as be actively involved with Davis Art Center community theater productions.
With Bob’s retirement from Campbell Soup they devoted their volunteer time to the preservation and presentation of the local history of Yolo County. Virginia has spent over 3,500 hours as a volunteer in the Yolo County Archives office in Woodland, served 21 years as the treasurer of the Friends of the Archives; and was secretary of the Yolo County Historical Society. She was an active member of Davis Kiwanis. She has volunteered at the Yolo County Historical Museum (the Gibson House) for 20 years; and as a docent at the Hattie Weber Museum for an equally long time. Somehow during those years Bob and Virginia found the time to travel and play golf together throughout the West.
Virginia is survived by two sons and daughters-in-law, Bob and Anice (Burton) Isaacs, of Sacramento; and Paul and Robin (Elton) Isaacs of Davis; a sister and brother-in-law, Joan and Wes Powell of Pulaski, Tenn.; a niece, Linda Anthony of Marlton, N.J.; and two grand-daughters, Ashley Lynn Nolan of Santa Rosa, and Lesley Anne Merydith-Isaacs of Davis; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A private interment service will take place next week. A celebration of Virginia’s life will take place on Saturday, September 17, at 1:00 p.m. in the Senior Center multipurpose room.