Eight Bells: Isabelle Lounsberry

Published on November 21st, 2019

Isabelle Lounsberry, 97, longtime Southern California sailing contributor, passed away on November 15 surrounded by her daughter Robin and son-in-law Mark Townsend.

Isabelle was born in August 1922 in Altadena California, moved to Long Beach in her younger years and attended Wilson High School where she met George Lounsberry.

Upon graduating from Wilson High, Isabelle became a draftsperson at Douglas Aircraft. She subsequently joined the US Marine Corps and was based in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. She was part of the 2nd platoon of women through the Marine Corps.

Upon arriving back in Long Beach after the war, she and George, who had served in Navy in the Pacific theater, were married. “The Sarge”, as George affectionately referred to her, had three children; Jon, Scott, and daughter Robin.

They joined Alamitos Bay Yacht Club in 1959, and from their nearby residence she began pushing the Sabot trailer to the “old club.” for Jon. She caught the racing bug which she added to her other interests of building houses, skiing, world traveler, and yacht club volunteer.

In 1964 Isabelle and George built and moved to their new house on the peninsula, ABYC moved from Leeway to their new club at the end of the peninsula, and George and Isabelle bought and started racing their Cal 20.

She took great pride in cooking for the various regattas and no dinner was too big. She held annual volunteer positions to help the club in numerous capacities and loved being part of the team for Sabots, Lidos, and Cal 20s. She was the Senior Sabot National champion and the Cal 20 Nationals first lady trophy was created and named in her honor, which she preceded to win on many occasions.

Isabelle enjoyed an adventure, playing bridge, being with her friends both young and old, and a friendly 5 o’clock celebration. Isabelle was a loving wife, mother and friend, whose soft-spoken kindness and joy touched many lives.

She leaves her daughter Robin, two granddaughters, Jennifer Kopp and Megan Smith, four great grandchildren, and a massive hole in the hearts of all those she touched.

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