Edwin Burke Isbell, 92, of Amarillo, Texas, passed away on December 29, 2021, with family at his side.
Memorial services will be at 11:00 a.m., Monday, January 3, 2022, at First Christian Church Chapel, 3001 Wolflin Avenue, with Rev. Jacob Miller officiating.
Burke was born December 5, 1929, in Texon, Texas, to Jim and Ione Isbell, and then became big brother to his sister Elaine fourteen months later. He continued to live in Texon and graduated from Big Lake High School in 1948. From there, he went to Texas Tech to study geology for two years until he entered the United States Army during the Korean War.
Before leaving for the Army, Burke married his high school sweetheart, Laura Lou Eanes, on October 19, 1950. At their 50th wedding anniversary, he stood and announced that Lou had been following him around since she was born because she was brought home from the hospital into the home he and his family had just vacated. They enjoyed 66 1⁄2 years of marriage before Lou passed away in May of 2017.
Burke then went on to complete his Bachelor of Science degree in geology from Texas Tech in 1955. After that, followed a few stints in the oil field until he was hired by Shamrock Oil and Gas in January of 1957. Finally settled into a job, then Lou said they could start a family and their first daughter, Janice, was born in December of 1957, and their second daughter, Karen, was born in November of 1960.
Burke continued to work for 21 years as a petroleum geologist at what became Diamond Shamrock in Amarillo, Texas; Bountiful, Utah; and Denver, Colorado, at which time he decided he hated the Denver commute and he left his employment with Diamond Shamrock to form his own company Texxon Exploration. Then after a cease and desist order came from Exxon Oil Company, Burke changed the name of his company to Wolfcreek Exploration and worked as a geologist until he semi-retired and moved his office to his home, and then finally completely retired in the early 1990s.
Burke was an avid golfer and loved bowling too. He bowled on several church leagues for over 25 years and continued to golf until he hung up the golf clubs in January of 2019 due to his failing eyesight.
Burke was active in church at First Christian Church as an elder and on many church committees, he also sang in the church choir and in the Happy Timers choir. Happy Timers choir sang at the local nursing homes in Amarillo and he often said he was singing to the “old people”, many of which were much younger than he was. Burke last attended First Christian Church on December 17, 2021, just days before he was hospitalized and then moved to hospice.
Burke moved to The Continental on December 29, 2017, exactly four years before he passed away. He LOVED living there and embraced everybody there as his friend. Being the Piano Man there to play in the dining room every day was his greatest joy. He made friends with everybody there and was always the “greeter” to the newcomers moving in.
Burke was preceded in death by his parents Jim and Ione Isbell, his sister Elaine Boyd, and his wife Lou Isbell.
Those left behind to cherish his memory are daughter Janice Hoelting and husband Leland; daughter Karen Prodahl and husband Dale; grandchildren Jamie Arispe and husband Anthony; Matt Hanks and Erika Turner; Nathan Stewart and wife Brittany; Brad Hanks and wife Kyla; and Kyle Pliska. Also six great-grandchildren Ema Arispe, Sadie Stewart, Ana Arispe, Harper Stewart, Dax Stewart and Finn Stewart.
We want to thank the nurses at BSA Hospice of the Southwest for taking such loving care of our dad his last few days on this earth. And also a very special thanks to the staff at The Continental and BSA ComPassion for loving our dad so much and taking such wonderful care of him while he lived at The Continental.
The family suggests memorials to First Christian Church, 3001 Wolflin Avenue, Amarillo, Texas, 79109; Alzheimer’s Association at alz.org or BSA Hospice of the Southwest, 5211 SW 9th, Suite 100, Amarillo, Texas, 79106.
12 Replies to “Edwin Burke Isbell”
Burke was a great partner and friend . We made a exceptional team at Shamrock, Texxon, Wolf Creek, Golf, and Life. I think the Lord needed HIS best Geologist, so he called Burke home. I shall miss him greatly.
Sorry for your family’s loss. A life well lived!
Burke was an outstanding human being and always enjoyable to be around. He made those around him richer with his presence. Will miss him greatly until we meet again.
What a lovely person Burke was. His failing eyesight did not stop the Piano Man from playing over 400 songs from memory at dinnertime at the Continental. He was a wonderful example of “blooming where you are planted”. And now he’s once again with beloved Laura Lou. We’ll miss you, Burke.
I would like to say that Burke was a favorite at the mini town club. He came in with two other residents and they were called the three musketeers:)
I enjoyed helping him each time in the gym. Such a nice and loving man. He will be dearly missed.
Prayers for strength to the family.
What a privilege it was to know Burke and Lou. I can only imagine what a sweet reunion they had in their heavenly home. Sending prayers of comfort to the family.
Enjoyed playing golf with Burke for many years and used his geology experience on some prospects.
I would like to send my prayers and condolences to the family. Since I am not present at this time, a friend sent word to me of Mr. Burke’s passing. I so loved him! He was a great man! If any man deserves his wings, it’s Mr. Burke. I pray for God’s love and peace for the family.
Such a kind hearted man. Our thoughts and prayers are with each of you. God bless!!
What a wonderful husband and father he was to his family! He will be truly missed! I am so glad that he was so loved and cared for. Prayers to the family and blessings to the people who took such good care of him.
I only met Mr. Isbell a couple of times, but after reading this tribute, he sounds like a wonderful man. Hugs and love to his entire family grieving his loss.
I will miss Burke.
We were family and remained friends since the 70s. When I visited, he introduced me as his “buddy”. When we meet on the other side, I will look forward to once again hearing Burke say, there’s my buddy.