Isabella Nelson
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Obituary of Isabella Nelson

Isa passed away peacefully at Nisbet Lodge, Toronto on Saturday, April 27, 2019 at the age of 105. Isabella was predeceased by her late husband, John (Jack) Nelson and is survived by her daughter, Dorothy Sjogren (Keith); her two grandsons, Tim Sjogren (Nicole) and Andrew Sjogren (Meredith); and five great-grandchildren, Liam, James, Oliver, Ethan and Madeline (known to her great-grandmother as “the little girl”).


Isa was born two days before Christmas, 1913 in Sunderland, County Durham, eldest of four children born to Dorothy and George Irwing. Isa and Jack, who married in 1939, emigrated from the United Kingdom to Canada in 1957 to enable Jack to assume the position of General Manager of DSB Processes Ltd., a Toronto-based engineering firm.


Isa and Jack settled in Don Mills and lived, shopped and worshipped there for many years until they moved into a retirement home in Leaside. Although Isa lived in Toronto, her heart was in the Haliburton Highlands where she and Jack bought a cottage in 1962. Isa quickly made friends at Billings Lake and was a welcoming hostess to all; a keen and victorious card player; a lover of sweet sherry and a lady who never complained about outhouses (before installing indoor plumbing), amateur carpenters or black flies. Often challenged by the Canadian climate, Isa claimed Haliburton in July was the “hottest place God made” and Ottawa in February the complete opposite.


A woman with a strong will to live, she survived two heart attacks, a hip fracture and a variety of other health challenges. With her family beside her, she celebrated her one hundredth birthday during the height of the Ice Storm of December, 2013. While others shivered, Isa enjoyed a cup of tea and a Tim Horton’s donut and read letters of congratulations from the Premier, the Prime Minister and the Queen.


Isa’s final years were spent at Nisbet Lodge, 740 Pape Avenue in Toronto. She received wonderful care throughout her stay. The family wish to thank all members of staff at Nisbet Lodge for their dedication and kindness.


Her family will privately celebrate Isa’s life and the happiness she brought to all she knew. In keeping with her wishes there will be no visitation or service. Donations in memory of Isa can be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada or the Nisbet Lodge McClintock Manor Foundation. Condolences and memories may be forwarded to the family through