Isabel Gordon died earlier this month. She was 98 years old.
She lived quite a life. She was photographic illustrator for The Shadow Book, a 1960 volume that remained in print until the late 1990s. She wrote and illustrated other children’s books too.
Isabel won 2nd place in a photography contest with over 175,000 entries. When she felt that long hours with darkroom chemicals affected her health, she shifted her interest to studying the local environment. She became a beekeeper, studied horseshoe crab populations, and — using macro photography — documented the transfer of caterpillars into monarch butterflies.
She volunteered as a lecturer and field guide for the Roosevelt School in Bridgeport, the Audubon Society and the Nature Conservancy.
“06880” readers will recognize Isabel from a recent post on “The High Tide Club.” The story highlighted a video about a group of dedicated, mostly older swimmers at Burying Hill Beach. Isabel loved swimming, and the scene of her easing into the water with a walker — then floating gloriously in the Sound — was one of the highlights of the film.
Isabel is survived by her son Richard, and his wife Ingrid Bernhard, of Ridgefield, and her grandchildren Isabelle, Richard and Nielsen Gordon.
A memorial service is set for Friday, March 20 (11 a.m., Saugatuck Congregational Church). Contributions in Isabel’s name may be made to Women for Women International.