Isabelle Mina Longley Burleigh
It is with full hearts that we report the death of our dear mother, Isabelle Mina Longley Burleigh, who died after a lengthy decline on Dec. 12, 2017 in Santa Barbara, California. Isabelle had been a resident of Santa Barbara for 44 years. She was a faithful wife of 49 years to Paul Barlow Burleigh, an extraordinary mother, and a generous friend to many.
Isabelle was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1915, the daughter of Lucy French Bayley Longley and Arthur Ashleigh Longley. She had a happy childhood and attended Morgan Park High School in the Chicago suburb of Beverly Hills. She was a lovely young lady, whom the boys referred to as “Legs Longley”. She graduated from Miami University in Oxford Ohio with a degree in Secretarial Studies in 1937. This was the same university her great grandfather had attended.
She and her husband Paul were married in Chicago in 1941, prior to his enlistment in the US Army-Air Corps. Like so many women of her time, Isabelle followed her husband around the US for several years as he went from base camp to base camp for training, and then waited 2 years at her family home for Paul’s return from England and France, until the war ended in 1945.
They started a family with the birth of Elizabeth (Betsy, Ellie) in 1946, and Sarah (Sally) in 1948. When she was 41, she, Paul and their girls followed Route 66 across the country by car to start a new life in California. Isabelle and Paul raised their children in Fullerton, California. In 1972, with both Betsy and Sally off to college, she and Paul moved to Santa Barbara, California, where Isabelle lived ever since. For many years, she worked at UCSB in Housing and Student Services, and enjoyed the University environment. Isabelle always said, “Working with young people keeps me young”. She also worked as a secretary at the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara.
After retirement in her 80s, Isabelle could be found preparing meals at Casa Esperanza and Catholic Charities, driving seniors to doctor’s appointments and nurturing her friendships. She loved her family, was an avid reader, and stayed current with local and world news. She noted recently, at the age of 102, that when she awakened in the morning, she always asked herself, “What can I do to make this a good day?”
Isabelle is survived by her daughters, Elizabeth and Sarah, and their husbands, Thomas Long and Steven Faulstich, her grandchildren Emily Faulstich, Gabriel Long and Alexander Long, Gabriel’s wife Reese Foy Cuddy, Alexander’s wife Florence Wong Davi, and her three great-grandchildren, Valentina, Mikael and Katherine Long.
At Isabelle’s request, a celebration of her life will be held at the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara at a later date. Family and friends’ will be notified in advance. The family would like to thank Assisted Healthcare Services and Sarah House for their loving care at the end of Isabelle’s life. Donations in her memory may be made to Sarah House in Santa Barbara or to the charity FINCA.