Tom Isbell

Passed 07/23/2023


Obituary For Tom Isbell

Standing at attention,

I appreciate this moment;

Here on the edge of change.

So still. So sensitive.

So calm and amazed.

Everything flowing

Beneath my feet

And over the edge.

Thomas Isbell

On Sunday evening, July 23, 2023, Tom Isbell passed away, peacefully, with a faint smile on his face, at his condo in St. Louis, surrounded virtually and physically by extended family members, including his cat E.J. Tom was no ordinary man. His sense of humor sat in stark defiance of the pain inflicted on his body for decades. His love of words resulted in hundreds of poems which he shared with those who eagerly awaited his latest creations. His affection for humans, our beauty and our foibles, and his love of exploring ideas, resulted in his being a master at the art of teaching; he was also truly a guru and guide. His curiosity about life led Tom to sit Zen for over 30 years, stopping only in the last few months when his body demanded it. This curiosity also led him to engage in the care and feeding of bonsai plants and animals. His intelligence, talent, and genuine affection for all living creatures was a joy to behold.

Tom and JoAn, his “co-conspirator” and spouse for close to 60 years, approached the world with wonder, joy, and an appreciation for each other, and their adventures. JoAn passed away in July, 2021.

Tom was preceded in death by his parents, Leon and Nadine Isbell, and his brother George Isbell. Family members who will gather to celebrate his life include his sister, Mariann, and a “plethora” (one of Tom’s favorite words) of nieces and nephews.

Many of us who think of Tom as a favorite family member will come together on Friday, July 28th, at 10:00 a.m. at the entrance to Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis, to celebrate the return of his body to the Earth.

As Tom was no ordinary man, the spirit that left his body Sunday was no ordinary spirit; it has infused all the folks whom he encountered during his 81 years in this world. We carry it with us in our hearts. With love. - Jim Dorris

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation in Tom's name.

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