Truman T. Isbell of Madisonville, Texas, was born July 1, 1919 in Iola, Texas, to Clinton Alvin and Fannie Belle Grant Isbell. His early education was in the Iola School and College Station High School after the death of his father. He graduated from Portales, New Mexico High School while living with his grandfather, Nat Grant, in 1939. He attended Arlington State College, worked in aircraft industry in San Diego and Ft. Worth before joining the U.S. Navy in 1943. He married Frances Landers October 18, 1942 in Ft. Worth. After his discharge following service in Okinawa, based on the U.S.S. HAMUL, he attended Texas A&M University, and received his degree in Industrial Education, class of 1948. In 1954 he earned his Masters in Industrial Education from Texas A&M. His teaching career included Jones County Junior College, Ellisville, Mississippi; Laredo Junior College, Laredo; Arlington State College, Arlington; Iola School District, Iola; Hill Junior College, Hillsboro; Brazosport Community College, Clute; and Texas State Technical Institute, Waco.
He was Assistant State Director of Post-Secondary Education in Austin prior to the move to Brazosport. He was well-known as a leader in Vocational Education in Texas and recognized for his special services leading to the establishment of the Sea Grant College of Texas A&M University in 1972. He was honored by the Association of Post-Secondary Technical-Vocational Administrators at an Awards Banquet along with Senator A.M. Aikin, Jr. and others cited for outstanding service. He had served as president of the statewide organization while Director of Vocational Studies at Brazosport College. He retired from college administration in 1975, moved to a family farm in Freestone County. He finished his thirty year career in education by a year in Dew School, Freestone County as principal and two years in Waco as instructor at TSTI before becoming a member of the Teacher Retirement System in 1980. He and his wife moved to a home near Madisonville to be near their daughter and son-in-law.
Truman became active in RSVP, AARP, TRTA, Historical Commission, Democratic Party, Baptist Church and American Cancer Society of Madison County. He was elected to the Board of Directors of Mid-South Electric Cooperative, the Executive Board of Creath-Brazos Baptist Association, the Deacon Board of First Baptist Church in Madisonville, the Board of Directors of Madisonville Housing Authority, and to the Brazos Valley Council of Retired Senior Volunteers. He served on the AARP Legislative Committee of Texas. He was President of the 16 county District VI TRTA and traveled the state for TRTA and AARP. As Education Chairman of Madison County Cancer Society, Truman enjoyed the many contacts as a worker. His contributions to the Democratic Party included campaigning for offices himself and for both state and national candidates. Friends he made in local, state and national politics became part of his "extended family" who encouraged him in every phase of his second career serving others. He helped organized the Democratic Club of Madison County, served as County Chairman until health problems prevented active participation. He was a teacher of a Bible class and enjoyed the fellowship of Baptist conventions while representing his local church. His interests after becoming a victim to Parkinson's Disease and Osteomyelitis related to a car accident of 1962 included national and state politics. A shut-in for several years before becoming bed-fast, Truman was encouraged by visitors from a Men's Bible Class of First Baptist Church. He was an inactive member of American Legion Post # 146 and a member of Sons of Confederate Veterans of Grimes, Co.
The children of Truman and Frances are Clint and Carol Isbell of South Carolina; Stan and Shirley Isbell of Houston; and Dennis and Karen McWhorter of Madisonville.
The grandchildren are Matthew and Rebecca Isbell of Spring; Chad and Rachel Hawthorne of Seattle, Washington; Anna Isbell of Houston; Benjamin Isbell of Rhode Island; Katie and Jaclyn Isbell of South Carolina; April McWhorter of Spring, and Leigh Anne McWhorter of Huntsville. A great-grandson is Jonathan Isbell of Spring.
Two brothers and sisters-in-law are Buck and Virginia Isbell of Washington, Texas and George and Margie Isbell of Ennis, Texas; three sisters and two brothers-in-law, Doris and Claudie Wren of Washington, Texas, Marilyn and Donald Jay of Austin, and Juanita Tomlin of San Antonio.
Numerous nieces and nephews, a host of friends will miss their much-loved "Uncle Truman" known for his caring, for his Christian faith and his legacy of integrity.
Memorials may be made to a church or cemetery association of choice.
Services will be held 2:30 p.m., Sunday, December 4 at the First Baptist Church of Madisonville. Dr. J.W.L. Adams will officiate. Burial will follow in the Concord Cemetery in Grimes County. Madisonville Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.