Jim Isner, 80, of Grafton, WV, and Jacksonville, FL, passed away peacefully at his home in Jacksonville on February 5th, his wife of 56 years, Sherry and his oldest son, Jim, by his side. Jim was born September 30th 1933 in Washington D.C. Jim was the son of Charles R. Isner, and Emma Mamie (Ware) Isner. Although a later in life career relocation took Jim and Sherry to Jacksonville, FL, he would want everyone to know that he loved his summers on the river in Grafton, after his retirement.
Lutheran by faith, Jim was a graduate of Grafton High School, class of 1951. Shortly after graduation Jim entered the United States Air Force, was Honorably Discharged with the rank of Staff Sergeant in 1955 and was awarded the National Defense Services Medal. He attended West Virginia University and graduated from Fairmont State University in 1962, with a Bachelor of Science Degree.
Jim was a lifelong railroader, he began, what would be a 40 plus year career with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, working as a train dispatcher for the majority of his career, eventually retiring from CSX, in Jacksonville, FL in 1996.
Attending college, working for the railroad, Jim still found time for romance. In June, 1957 he married Mary C. (Simmons) Isner, better known to everyone as Sherry, however to Jim, she was always Charlene. Starting a family was next, and Jim’s first son was born in 1958…James W., Jim and his wife, Colette A. (Codo) , live in Jupiter, FL. In 1962, Jim’s next son was born, Jeffrey W., Jeff and his wife, N. Lorraine (Rodgers), live in Grafton, WV. One of the things Jim was most proud, were his four grandchildren, Michael J., Nancy D., Elizabeth C., and Raymond J., all of whom are currently attending universities.
Surviving Jim is his brother Charles R. (Rich) Isner, and friend Debbie, his sister Rebecca A. (Isner) Willis and husband Michael Willis,…two sister in laws, JoAnn (Simmons ) Ball, and Sheryl ( Jenkins) Isner, Aunts, Margaret Isner, and Virginia ( Isner) Hulley, all still living in Grafton. Jim was preceded in death by two brothers, Paul W. and John J.
A veteran, college graduate, career railroader, dedicated husband, father, and grandfather, Jim still found time to give back. Elected to the Taylor County Board of Education, Jim served on the board from 1975 to 1980. He also belonged to numerous civic organizations including, the VFW 3081, Grafton WV, Elks Lodge 2605, Orange Park, FL. Jim was a Mason for over 50 years, and a member of, Grafton Lodge A.F.A.M #15, R.A.M. Copestone Chapter 10, 32nd Degree Scottish Rite – Clarksburg and Wheeling, VW., Osiris Temple, Wheeling, WV. He was a founding member of the Taylor County Shrine Club, where Jim held multiple offices, including President. He especially enjoyed serving pizza at the club’s booth during the Taylor County Fair and his work as JimBo the clown, where he participated in many Shrine Club events.
During his retirement Jim enjoyed photography, building and collecting O Gauge model railroads, family and travel. But what he truly enjoyed though out his life were construction projects, remodeling his home, building a backyard pool, helping his family, friends and the organizations he belonged to, Jim always had his tool belt handy, ready to lend a hand.
Jim’s final wishes were that he be cremated and that his cremains be interred in the National Cemetery in Grafton. In conjunction with the interment, a memorial service will be held, both events to occur at a date to be determined.
The family has requested that in lieu of flowers that a donation is made to a local Hospice, or the National Kidney Foundation.