Age 57

My neighbor Barbara died.

Barbara Ellen (Isaacson) Edsall was born in Manhattan, New York on September 17, 1949 to Jack Seymour Isaacson and Lillian (Ogorskin) Issacson.
On Monday, Nov. 30, 2020, Barbara’s heart stopped as she slept. She passed peacefully into eternity at the age of 71, at the Golden Living Nursing Home in Shafter.

Barbara first worked in her father’s law firm as a teenager, and later was a skilled legal secretary until she retired.

She married the love of her life, Ron Edsall, on March 18, 1984, in Topanga Canyon, CA. They bought a house in Frazier Park in 1988 and cherished their mountain community for 29 years, until hospitalizations took them to Bakersfield, where Ron passed away in 2017.

Music, love and faith were at the core of Barbara’s life in the Mountain Communities. She played the autoharp and upright bass. She loved to play music with Ron and the circle of friends that came together to perform “old-timey” and Celtic music. Her powerful voice communicated her powerful heart of conviction.

She supported Ron as he taught countless people of all ages to play music on the mountain. Together, they performed in various bands from their old-timey band, Jubilo, to the Strawberry Patch String Band and finally Rose of Tejon.

Barbara was devoted to Ron. Their love was evident in their presence at local music jams and performances, and in the hospitality they showed to any who would come by to see them at their home. Their door was always open. Barbara was quick to provide food and conversation to anyone who needed a meal, a willing ear and an understanding heart. David Tait was one teen who found love and safety in their home, and she treasured him as her own son.

She was an avid reader, who treasured history. She loved to teach history and tell about her Jewish heritage. Her mother, a cultural anthropologist who researched African tribes, died when Barbara was 14. Barbara read books and told stories of how her relatives overcame the horrors of the persecutions of Jews, including the holocaust and the Russian Bolshevik revolution.

Barbara was a writer. She was a skilled legal secretary, and wrote numerous letters and articles that were published in The Mountain Enterprise, the local newspaper. She also served as proofreader for the newspaper for a time.

Barbara was serious about politics. She was quick to see how political decisions and actions could affect each of our daily lives.

Barbara loved to encourage others. She especially loved to demonstrate her love for Jesus in the care she showed to others.

Barbara loved people. She searched for a church home in which she felt complete. She loved Jesus, and was devoted to her church family at Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Church in Lake of the Woods.

Barbara had many difficult challenges physically and psychologically, which sometimes offered challenges to her friends to reach deep for compassion and understanding.

These challenges were even more evidence of the power of God working in her, in spite of her difficulties.

Barbara was a champion for any who were oppressed. She was not content to let things slip by that were deceitful or harmful to people. She was protective of others, turning her skills of analysis and writing to speaking up and taking action on behalf of those whose voices could not be heard.

She was known for her quick wit, her distinctive character and personality, and endearing laughter. She was a beloved friend.

Barbara was preceded in death by her father, Jack, her mother, Lilian and her beloved husband Ron. She is survived by her cousins Ross Isaacson and Susan Cavallo, her Godson David Tait and his family, her stepson Erik Edsall and his family, and her stepdaughter Charity (Edsall) Smith and her family. She is also survived by a wide array of musical friends on the mountain who created a joyful family together.



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