Isabel Steiner

Obituary of Isabel Steiner

At the age of 97, on February 29, 2020, Isabel Clopton Steiner closed her eyes and was done. All her life, she was absolutely absorbed in the world around her: in her children and their children, in the lives of those around her, in her neighborhood, in her church—wherever life took her, she found people and stories and love.  In Alexandria at the Hermitage, where she lived the last fifteen years, she came to know the staff, almost all of them from countries far away, and each of them was of utmost interest to her. She cared. She listened, truly listened, because she enjoyed conversation. She sought out stories, collected them, shared them.

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, on July 23, 1922, she grew up in Louisville, Kentucky; Miami, Florida; and Putnam County, Georgia. In 1941, Isabel married a red-headed stranger Red Steiner, a U.S. Army Staff Sergeant, and, by his side, helped him attain the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the newly created Air Force. It was not an easy life since they and their three children picked up and moved many, many times to many, many places until their final assignment brought them to Chester, Virginia, and finally they were home. Isabel and Red gave those three children—Carole, Charlie, and Bill—one of the best gifts anyone can give—a great capacity to love. When Red died, Isabel didn’t bother looking for someone else. She had had the best, the love of her life, and his memory stayed warm with her always.

A brilliant woman, Isabel had diverse interests—opera, literature, travel, current events, politics, genealogy. She traced her Clopton origins back to England and became an active member of the Clopton Family Association.An amazing cook and excellent bridge player, she entertained with grace and style. While living in Chester, she participated actively in the Chester United Methodist Church. Her capacity for caring about others made her a liberal to her bones. She loved her family and the families of her siblings with all her heart. She leaves behind memories and stories and all of us: her daughter, Carole Sund; grandchildren Meredith Sund and Catherine Simon (husband Peter); Jan Steiner, wife of son Charlie Steiner (deceased); grandchildren Jennifer Steiner, Joe Steiner, Jim Steiner and Dan Steiner; son Bill Steiner and his wife Peg; greatgrandchildren Caroline Simon, Adam Simon, Leah Peterson, and Hayley Peterson; honorary grandson, Max Carico. We are bereft at our loss of this strong, vital woman. Like a light that’s been turned off. An empty room.

Isabel’s ashes will be interred in Red Steiner’s grave at City Point National Cemetery, Hopewell, Virginia. A memorial service will be held at the Hermitage, Alexandria, Virginia, on Saturday, March 14. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Democratic National Party.

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