James David Isbister
March 31, 1937 – February 3, 2019
James David Isbister, 81, died peacefully in his home on Sunday, February 3, 2019. Born in Mt Clemens, MI, he made a home in the Washington DC area, most recently in Potomac, MD. Jim was an accomplished professional with numerous contributions in a variety of sectors. He was a dedicated public servant in the health sector (deputy director of the National Institute of Mental Health and director of the Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration), a successful executive in the private sector (SVP of Blue Cross Blue Shield and SVP of Consolidated Health Care), an entrepreneur (founder of Pharmavene, Inc.) and an educator (London School of Economics). He exemplified what it meant to be humble, frugal, hardworking and ethical. He had an amazing compassion for others and a true sense of philanthropy that he instilled and encouraged in others. He was a fantastic conversationalist and a true scholar with a constant thirst for knowledge. But above all, Jim was a family man. A proud husband of 58 years to Jenefir (Wilkinson), father to Wendy Kalavritinos (Louis) and Kirstin Hammond (Mark), brother to Robert Isbister (Susan), grandfather to Kelsey (Adam), Jeffrey, Ashley (Bryton), James and Matthew, and great grandfather to Autumn and Maisie. His family was his legacy and his life. Jim was an avid reader with a sense of adventure and a deep appreciation for travel, fine food and wine. Never one to rest, Jim used his retirement to plan family gatherings and to document and publish various books on his genealogy and his home of ancestry, the Orkney Islands in Scotland. Jim had a great sense of humor and a passion for life that was only surpassed by his passion for his family. Family and friends will gather this Saturday, Feb 9 from 2-4 at Gawlers Funeral Home to celebrate his life. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to For Love of Children (https://floc.org/) in support of Jim’s passionate belief that all children should be provided every opportunity to succeed and excel.
- For Love of Children
- James David Isbister Visitation Saturday, February 9, 2019
James David Isbister
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