Isadora Stahn


(July 12, 2002)

Funeral services were held July 17 at St. Barbara's Catholic Church for long-time Powell resident, Isadora Stahn, who passed away peacefully July 12 at St. John's Living Center in Jackson where she resided for the past nine yeas.

She had lived in Powell since 1930. This obituary was lovingly written by her children, Nicki, Julanne and John.

Isadora was born May 3, 1908, in La Porte City, Iowa. She was the daughter of John and Julia Smith and was the oldest of six children. She spent her childhood on her parents' farm in La Porte City, close to Waterloo.

After high school, she attended Iowa State Teachers College in Cedar Falls, Iowa, graduating with a teaching degree in 1927. She accepted her first teaching position in Streeter, N.D., from September 1927 until June 1930. She would return to her parents' home each summer to help with daily life on the farm and sent money home each month to help her parents sustain the family farm. Her sister, Kathleen Higgins, of Waterloo, Iowa, relates that many of Isadora's teaching friends would spent their summers traveling abroad, but Isadora chose to go home to her family in Iowa.

In August of 1930, she moved to Powell and taught second grade for the Powell Elementary School. She often remarked that second grade was her favorite age to teach, because the children "were so open to learning.. . . old enough to listen, yet young enough not to sass." Mom taught school in Powell for three years.

Mom met Powell dentist, Dr. J.C. Stahn, who had moved to Powell in 1927 to buy a practice from Dr. T.J. Ice. Mom was a patient of Dad's, and they often ate their meals at a boarding house owned and operated by Lloyd and Gladys Van Buskirk. Mom and Dad were married Sept. 2, 1933. After WWII, Dad's son, Jack, and wife Rose moved to Powell and joined Dad in his dental practice.

Mom and Dad bought their first and only home at 235 N. Bernard in April of 1943 and welcomed the birth of their daughter, Julanne, in July 1934. In March, 1949, son John was born, and May 1951 daughter Nikki joined the family. With each child, remodeling of the tiny home was done until its present size. Mom's love of her family and home was evident to all that knew her. Her beautiful yard and rose garden gave her many hours of pleasure, a sense of pride, and a special joy.

Mom was very active in her church, St. Barbara's, and her faith sustained her throughout her life. Her devotion to her church was evident in the 52 years she played for virtually all masses for many of those years, as well as hundreds of weddings and funerals. She didn't stop there, as she taught catechism for many, many years. She loved life, and she loved giving of herself to God and to others. She may have "retired" from teaching, but she never stopped giving us the lessons of life.

Mom, although in her "growing up" years was always called Isadora, after she and Dad were married (and he was always called "Doc"), they were known as Doc and Izzy. It was an endearing name that everyone knew her by.

Mom was very involved in the Powell community and loved to tell people what and where her hometown was. She was a member of the Catholic Women's Society, Catholic Diocese, Epasc Club, the American Legion Auxiliary, VFW Women's Auxiliary, BPOE Does, the P.E.O. Sisterhood, as well as many bridge clubs over the years. She loved having meetings, bridge club and entertaining in her home.

Company dropping by for coffee and a chat, as well as her friends, old and new, over the years helped her go on with life after husband Doc passed away in 1974. They were married 41 years.

Mom passed away with her children at her side. Her last years were spent in Jackson where her daughter, Nikki, and husband George reside. She will be deeply missed by her family and the many friends she made in both Jackson and Powell. Her name was Izzy, but the nurses and aides at St. John's fondly called her "Isadorable."

Her husband Doc, infant sister Delores and brothers Joe, Don and Jack preceded her in death. She is survived by daughter Nikki (George) Anderson of Jackson, daughter Julanne Weisberg of Cotati, Calif., son John Stahn of Portland, Ore.; stepson Jack Stahn of Powell; sister Kathleen (Arnold) Higgins of Waterloo, Iowa; five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren; eight step-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.