Remembering Isabel Gordon

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 Gordon

Isabel Gordon

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.

4 responses to “Remembering Isabel Gordon

  1. Gods speed and my condolences to the family (though one could equally say congratulations for a long, lovely life!) – Chris Woods

  2. Maxine Bleiweis

    Isabel was also one of the first people to become computer savvy back when most people were reticent to try out the new technology. She urged the Westport Library to have the best computer resources. Today’s library honors are a tribute to her foresight.

  3. Lucinda Mirk Setnicka

    First of all, the Mirk family sends sincere condolences to the family of Isabel Gordon. We were long family friends and this is such sad news. In “The Shadow Book,” my sister, Shonach is featured with Isabel’s son, Richard, in photographs throughout its pages. We still are tickled by several photos in the book depicting all the Mirk kids, as well as “Richie” and others: one is a parade that took place in the Staples parking lot, the other is fun enjoying our shadows on the Gordon’s front lawn. And then there’s a precious shot of my brother John affixing a maple seed pod to my sister Paula’s nose. At any rate, wonderful memories created by even more wonderful Isabel Gordon. Rest in peace.

  4. Isabel was invited to read her book to children who came to a youth event at the Westport Historical Society ten years ago. Everyone loved meeting her.

    Isabel Gordon’s book is for sale in the Remarkable Gift Shop, Westport Historical Society

    A Good Day for Shadows is the name of the book.

    paperback, 1988

    delightful, a keeper

    She will be missed but remembered fondly.