Edna Jeanette (Isaacson) Anthony


Edna Jeanette (Isaacson) Anthony passed away from natural causes on the morning of April 10, 2013, in the loving environment of the Hindbaugh Adult Family Home in Montesano, Washington. She was 88. Prior to moving to Montesano, Edna lived with her husband, Calvin Dwayne Anthony, in Rochester, Washington since 2000.

Edna is survived by her husband; her daughter, Janet Lee Anthony and her two dachshunds, Buddy and B.J., of Rochester; and her son, William “Bill” Bert Anthony (husband of Debbie (Westfall) Anthony-deceased 2004) and his two children, Christopher and Patrick Anthony, of Seattle.

Edna was born to William and Hilda Jean (Kurth) Isaacson on January 12, 1925, in Olympia, Washington, on the same day as, but following her fraternal twin, Wanda Jeanne (Kazarian)-deceased as of December 16, 2012. Her older sisters, Dorothy (Cowling) and Betty Louise (Ames), are also deceased; as of 1969 and March 18, 2013, respectively. Young Edna excelled at drawing and playing neighborhood baseball.

Edna graduated in 1943 from Olympia High School. That is where she discovered her love of poems and plays, especially those of Shakespeare. While briefly living in San Francisco, she visited a nightclub with her sister, Wanda; there she met and said “no” to actor Errol Flynn, always remembering with fondness that encounter. She regularly submitted “Little Willie” limericks about the antics of a precocious brat, for a Tacoma radio broadcast in 1949. In the early 50s she worked as a secretary at the Legislative Building on the Washington State Capitol campus. She listened to the Grand Ole Opry on the radio and fell in love with Hank Williams and his music.

Edna met Calvin on his birthday, September 4, 1954, at the Evergreen Ballroom in Lacey, Washington, where she asked him to dance. Oklahoma-born Cal was a handsome Fort Lewis sergeant and Korean War veteran, soon to be discharged from the U.S. Army. Edna and Cal married on December 26, 1954, in Olympia and lived briefly there before moving to the California Bay Area, where Cal worked as a Tool and Die Maker at Litton Industries for 17 years. Their daughter, Janet Lee, was born in Redwood City in 1955, and their son, William Bert, in San Jose in 1958. Edna did book-keeping at O’Conner Hospital in San Jose for a while, but her main occupation was housewife and mother. She imparted a love of the arts and animals to her children. Under the pseudonym “Shorty Longfellow,” she contributed “commentary” poetry to the San Jose Mercury News, covering current topics including sports news-often about her beloved San Francisco Giants. Edna also bowled in many leagues, sometimes with her husband, and won her share of trophies.

The couple moved from Cupertino, California to Aberdeen, Washington in 1972, where Cal worked as a logger and then a semi-truck mechanic. Edna continued bowling and writing poetry. She was dubbed “the Poet Laureate of Grays Harbor County” because she was a frequent contributor of verse to the Aberdeen Daily World-her humor and insight added a unique perspective to “the Harbor” over a period of 28 years. She was also an active Democrat and a Seattle Mariners’ baseball fan.

Edna loved reading (especially a good ghost story), walking and traveling with Cal and their dogs, watching sports and classic movies on TV, listening to her son play trombone in a Big Band, beating her daughter at Scrabble, and being a grandma.

In lieu of memorial contributions, the family of Edna asks that donations be sent to your local American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

The Grampian Hills

By Edna Anthony

I found a retreat

By a cataract roaring

High on a hill

Where the eagle is soaring

I lost my heart

To the wild rose growing

There by a rock

Where the river is flowing

Savored the warmth

Of the summer sun blending

There with the clouds

Where the deer are ascending

Shared paradise

With the small wood thrush resting

There in the glade

With her little ones nesting

I can smile at dreams

That have faded with time

For I STILL have a dream

And a mountain to climb.

1972