She was born in Lancaster County, Va., to Phillip and Tibie Thompson. She got her early education there, and came to Philadelphia at an early age with her older sisters.
She married Allen David Kelly, a postal worker, in 1945.
Isabelle did domestic work for a time, but was mainly devoted to caring for her home and family. She loved gardening, and an occasional foray to the Atlantic City casinos with a group of senior citizens.
Every Sunday she cooked a large family dinner, and she relished the holidays when she could express her culinary skills on a bigger stage.
“She cared so much about her family,” said her daughter, Patricia Kelly. “She was a caring and devoted woman.”
She was a long and active member of Corinthian Baptist Church, where she was always available for whatever needed doing. She enjoyed singing in the choir, especially one of her favorite hymns, “His Eye Is on the Sparrow:”
I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free.
His eyes is on the sparrow
And I know he watches me.
Her husband died 10 years ago. Besides her daughter and granddaughter, she is survived by a sister, Queen Wilburn; three other grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild. She was predeceased by another daughter, Beverly Winbush.
Services: 10 a.m. Saturday at Corinthian Baptist Church of Germantown, 6113 N. 21st St. Friends may call at 8:30 a.m. Burial will be in Chelten Hills Cemetery. n
Contact John F. Morrison at 215-854-5573 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @johnfmorrison.