Obituary: Betty Isakson


Elizabeth Jellis Laskey Isakson, most recently of Naples, Fla., died July 21, 2018 in Glen Arm, Md. She was 99.
Betty, as she was known to family and friends, was born May 5, 1919 in Ann Arbor, Mich., the daughter of William A. and Mary M. Jellis (Koch).  She graduated from Ypsilanti High School in 1937 and received her bachelor’s of science in mathematics and business from Michigan State Normal College (now Eastern Michigan University) in 1940. On April 3, 1942, Betty married Derwood Dexter Laskey, in Pine Bluff, Ark. Derwood preceded her in death on January 1, 1958.  On June 2, 1959 she married William John Isakson. William preceded her in death on June 17, 1993. 
She is survived by her four children, William G. Laskey (Dona), Charlene K. Volk (Rick), Daniel D. Laskey (Elizabeth) and Thomas J. Laskey.  She is survived by nine grandchildren: Lance Laskey (Wendy), Beau Laskey (Allison), Margaux Laskey Garapolo (Scott), Eric Volk (Connie), Brian Volk, Lauren Volk Hoskins (Scott), Peter Laskey, Elissa Laskey and Ashley Laskey.  She is survived by 11 great-grandchildren: Tyler, Madison and Ethan Laskey; Grant and Tate Laskey; Remember and Olympia Garapolo; Jake and Alexandra Volk; Brian and Meghan Hoskins; and Maximus Volk.  She is survived by numerous nieces and nephews.
Betty Isakson was a woman ahead of her time. In 1958, when her first husband died, Betty took over his car dealership, Laskey Motor Sales, in Milan, Mich., while simultaneously raising four young children.  At that time, Chrysler would not allow a woman to own a dealership. She had to sell the dealership, and she started a used car lot.  When she married William Isakson, they purchased a Ford dealership in Milan. They ran the dealership for many years until they sold it to their son, Bill, in the 1970s, and moved to Naples, Fla.  
After moving to Naples, Betty became a successful real estate broker and owned a real estate company, along with two other women, located on Fifth Avenue in downtown Naples. She was active in the real estate business until her mid-80s.
Betty had many hobbies that she excelled at throughout her life.  She was a “killer” bridge player and an avid reader. She was computer-savvy, and skilled at needlepoint, knitting and sewing. She was also a knowledgeable and faithful college and professional football fan; Michigan was always her favorite team.
Betty was a strong woman with a sense of style, who will be greatly missed.
A Milan memorial service is being planned for fall 2018.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Milan Big Reds Athletics at Milan High School, 200 Big Red Drive, Milan, Mich., 41860.

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