Norfolk- Isabell Grayson (Whitney) Staver, 95, of Norfolk, VA, joined the Lord on October 25, 2017. She and her husband of 71 years, 8 months and 10 days passed on the same day.
Isabell was born on October 31, 1921, in Charleston, WV, to Emma Early (Showalter) and Wallace Brown Whitney. She graduated from Marion Junior College and became a nurse after studying at Stuart Circle Hospital in Richmond, Va. While on a pediatric rotation in Philadelphia, she met the love of her life, Preble Staver. World War II separated them for 2 years. Isabell was an ensign in the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps, attending to burn patients in Florida and at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Washington, DC.
Isabell and Preble married February 15, 1946. Isabell raised 5 children as Preble’s career took them from Mexico City to Washington, DC, Palo Alto, Calif., and Naples, Fla. In the 1960s, Isabell returned to her nursing career through a re-entry program at the National Institute of Health.
In Naples, Isabell was a long-time member and a president of the Pilot Club. She continued working at Naples Community Hospital and at the private practice of Dr. Gwaltney. She played tennis well into her 60s.
Isabell and Preble retired to Blue Ridge, Ga., in 1987, where they helped found and were active members at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. Later they moved to Norfolk, Va. Together Isabell and her husband, a World War II Marine, participated in an Honor Flight in October 2013.
As a nurse, mother of five, and the wife of a Marine, Isabell’s endless patience earned her the nickname Saint Isabell, which was also a nod to her being born on the eve of All Saint’s Day.
Isabell is survived by her daughters Leslie, Lynne and Laurie, 3 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. She is predeceased by her brother William and two sons Peter and Whitney.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to: St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 1821, Blue Ridge, GA 30513.