Isabel Johnson Morrison, 94, a descendant of Danville's founder, departed this life peacefully on Saturday morning, March 10, 2018, at Emmanuel Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Danville.
The daughter of Edward Francis and Emma Polk Johnson, she was born April 1, 1923, at the Geisinger Memorial Hospital. She always delighted in saying she was an "April Fool!"
Isabel's beloved husband, Samuel S. Morrison, preceded her in death in 2014. She is survived by her four daughters, and spouses, Ann Holmes and husband, Tod; Isabel Morrison and husband, Taylor Runner; Elizabeth Richie; and Joan Dailey, and husband, Ralph. Her surviving grandchildren and spouses are Chad Holmes and wife, Pamela; Jay Holmes and wife, Celeste; Emma and Samuel Runner; Isaiah Richie and wife, KayCee; Ryan Dailey; Erin Dailey Carswell and husband, Will; and Dylan Dailey. Her five great grandchildren are Anna and Carter Holmes; Pearl Holmes; and Elijah and Evelyn Richie. She was also preceded in death by a brother, Edward F. Johnson III; a son-in-law, Larry Richie, and a grandchild, Elijah Richie.
Isabel was a lifetime resident of Riverside and attended Riverside School; then attended one grade at the Villa Sacred Heart Grammar School and two more grades at St. Cyril Academy. She then attended Westtown School, a Friends (Quaker) boarding school outside of Philadelphia and graduated with the Class of 1940.
In her 50th reunion Westtown book, Isabel wrote of her life. "After preparing for the business world at Katherine Gibbs, Boston, I married John Burke, a Marine Lieutenant. I saw him off to the South Pacific from California and returned home to Danville. My accounting skills were tested at the local electric company for a few months. The devastating news of his death on Iwo Jima arrived at the office."
Returning to Boston, she worked at the Massachusetts General Hospital. That was where she was introduced to a young medical student , Sam Morrison, who was going to be doing his internship at the Geisinger in Danville. Unsure of her future, overcome by summer heat, and experiencing love at first sight, she returned to Danville and found a job at Geisinger. The two lovebirds were married in Grove Presbyterian Church in November of 1948.
In 1949, they departed for Sapporo, Japan, as Sam was called to duty as an Army surgeon and he soon went on to serve in the Korean War. Isabel remained in Japan until the birth of her first daughter, Ann. She then returned to Danville. After Sam's return, they moved to Rochester, Minn., where Sam did an internship at the Mayo Clinic and Isabel delivered two more babies, daughters, Isabel and Elizabeth. From Minnesota, they moved on for two years in Washington, D.C. where Sam practiced pediatrics at the Washington Clinic. In 1956, they returned to their beloved Danville where Sam began his career at Geisinger. In 1960, Isabel delivered her fourth daughter, Joan.
Isabel was a devoted wife, mother, "granny" and daughter. She was also a fond friend to many of the good folk of Danville. She was an active lifetime member of the Grove Presbyterian Church and volunteered at the Riverside Elementary School. She was a member of the Geisinger Auxiliary and the Montour County Historical Society and DAR. ?
Music was one of Isabel's great delights and Rogers and Hammerstein, opera and such were like a filmscore playing in the back ground at the Morrison household. She always claimed that she could not sing, but she could.
Her family remembers her lovingly for her subtle sense of humor, kind nature, and sweetly supportive easy going spirit. We are enormously appreciative of her love and steadfast devotion.
Relatives and friends are invited to a memorial service celebrating Isabel's life to be held Saturday, March 31 at 11 a.m. at the Grove Presbyterian Church, 330 Bloom St., Danville, with the Rev. Dr. Robert J. Andrews, Pastor Emeritus, officiating. Friends will be received from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. in the Great Room at the church.
The burial will be private and will be at the convenience of the family.
Donations in Isabel's memory may be made to The Grove Presbyterian Church at the above address or the Montour County Historical Society, P.O. Box 8, Danville, PA 17821.
Arrangements are by the Visneski Funeral Home Inc., 42 W. Mahoning St., Danville.
Published on March 14, 2018