David Whitney Isbell

May 6, 1930June 1, 2018

David W. Isbell

Teacher, 88

David Whitney Isbell was born in San Francisco on May 5, 1930 and passed from this world in Redding California on June 1, 2018.

He grew up in Chester, California, attending Westwood High School where he excelled in academics and athletics.

When not helping out in the Isbell General Store, he enjoyed fishing and hunting with his brother Richard.

He attended Stanford University; playing football and majoring in education. He continued his education at Stanford, earning a Masters Degree in education. He also did fellowships at University of Santa Clara, Washington State University, Syracuse University, and University of Idaho.

After beginning his teaching career in Ione California for a few years, David settled in Greenville High School teaching math and science.

He moved to Burney and began teaching at Burney High School when it opened in 1969.

At Burney High School he taught junior and senior high math and science and served as vice principal for part of his career.

He also coached football, baseball and girls basketball.

David loved teaching and made a big impact on many students by expecting and encouraging them to reach their full potential academically, athletically, and most importantly as good people.

David loved the outdoor life offered by Greenville and Burney. He enjoyed fishing, hunting (especially chuckars), wood getting, cooking, gardening, and spending time with family and friends.

He also enjoyed socializing and serving the community as a member of the Burney Lions Club. David was very active in the Methodist and Presbyterian churches throughout his life.

David is survived by his wife of 32 years, Linda Kay; his daughters Diane and Valerie; his Son-in-Law Terry Ragsdale; his Stepson Sean Singer and wife Cherie; and his Sister-in-Law Carol. His brother Richard, first wife Karen and daughter Lila preceded him in death.

David’s ashes will be interned at the Chester California cemetery, with a graveside service at 11:00 am on Friday, July 20. There will be a memorial service in Burney at the Lions Hall on Main Street, at 2:00 pm on Saturday, July 21.

David Isbell was a wonderful teacher, coach, husband, father, friend and person and will be greatly missed.


  • Graveside Service Friday, July 20, 2018
  • Celebration of Life Saturday, July 21, 2018

David Whitney Isbell

have a memory or condolence to add?

Heidi Kukta

July 23, 2018

I was so sad to read this today. Mr. Isabel was the best. I think I learned more from him than any other teacher. He was the funniest and most enjoyable teacher and he had such a wonderful way with kids. The world lost a really great human, and Heaven gained a top notch Angel. Many blessings and prayers to his family and friends. See you again Mr. Is.

Jay Francis

July 20, 2018

I was so fortunate to have Dave for a teacher, coach, mentor & friend. He helped to instill a love of math, science, and the outdoors in me, all of which helped shape my decision to become a forester. Dave helped me build my first Fenwick fishing rod from a blank and took me on my first pheasant hunting trip to Tulelake. We shared a lot of stories on that long ride up & back in that big Dodge truck! And he was always proud to show off his dog's hunting skills.
In 1975, Dave coached our Burney High JV football team to an undefeated season winning the Shasta-Cascade League. Dave taught us discipline, sportsmanship & integrity. He was a hands-on coach running plays himself in practice but never wearing pads or a helmet (even though we were), but he did have those menacing high-topped cleats with 2" spikes! He could yell & scream (and sometimes cuss) at us from the sidelines on Friday night, but on Sunday morning at the Presbyterian church, he was a perfect gentleman, sometimes even delivering the sermon. Dave was a genuine man and honest about his imperfections which made his faith in God even more inspiring to me.
After working for the Collins Pine Company in Chester for 22 years, I was always proud of the fact that the Company sponsored the Almanor Scholarship which helped area high school students go on to college. I was even more proud when I learned that one of the very first recipients of this scholarship was David Isbell.
Dave was an incredible man who most definitely had a positive impact on me and many others. He truly lived a exemplary life and I am grateful for having known him.

Raymond Whitehead

July 19, 2018

It is with great sadness I received word of Mr. Isbell's passing. He was a great teacher and mentor. I loved talking sports with him and he was always encouraging later in life for me. He had a quirky sense of humor and loved to interact with the students, giving them a good razzing once in awhile. Always accessible and accommodating. Thank you Mr. Isbell for being a great teacher, mentor, and friend. You are missed.

Dot Van Cleave

June 26, 2018

Dear Linda, Diane & Valerie, you are all in my thoughts & prayers during this time of loss. I truly loved having Dave as my Chemistry teacher, coach & later in life, a friend! He had a true nack of teaching & getting us to remember things (periodic time table), experiments were always fun & challenging too. He cared about us girls when there was no Basketball coach available & stood up to the plate. With you girls being younger, I realized as I was coaching, how much time it took from you three girls & told him thank you. He loved his dogs & hunting! He loved coming into the Vet Clinic telling me how great the dogs were doing, good memories. Fishing was another thing he enjoyed talking to me about. Good memories!
God Bless you all during this time & know I always think of Lila... it had been quite refreshing to be in contact with her on Facebook for a couple of years. She would come to my house & hang out with our neighbor girl Dawn. Hugs to you all!