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.