Isabella Lightbourne was born on September 6, 1918 in Toronto, Canada to Solomon Lee Griffin and Ethel Mae Hunton. She was the third of five children that included Charles, Josephine (Baucom), Mildred and Lee Griffin. They all preceded her in passing away. At an early age, the family moved from Canada to her father's hometown of Dowagiac, Cass County, Michigan where she graduated from high school in 1937. Both her parents were deceased by that time. Shortly after her graduation, she married Amos Abrams. One child, Richard Leon Abrams, resulted from the marriage. He was born on April 22, 1938 and passed away three months later on June 26, 1938. The marriage was eventually dissolved in divorce on February 9, 1944. In July, 1944, Isabella moved to Chicago to live with her younger sister, Mildred. On August 22, 1950 she married Edward Lightbourne, a superintendent with the Bureau of Sanitation in Chicago. She was known as a meticulous homemaker, and wonderful cook. Children were not born of this marriage, but both of them parented and grand-parented nieces and nephews, too numerous to count. Several of them continue to bake her famous holiday dinner rolls and fruitcakes, and some of them called the home of Uncle Ed and Aunt Izzie, (as they were called), also their home. Edward Lightbourne, born November 9, 1894 passed away on February 28, 1974, and was buried at Lincoln Cemetery in Worth, Illinois. Following his death, Aunt Izzie continued to live in Chicago, and to maintain her residence at 7656 South Yates Boulevard. Her home was the place where the family gathered for special occasions and holiday dinners. She was a pivotal, matriarch whose primary concern was the "family", and the importance of maintaining close communication and kinship ties with everyone. She was also known as the source for family stories, history, records, documents and vintage, ancestral photographs that are cherished by the surviving descendants of the family. Her unselfish generosity, concern and wisdom, will be remembered as having benefited all of us. Aunt Izzie would have been 102 years old this year. Thank you Aunt Izzie. We miss you.
Aunt Izzie expressed a desire to be cremated and buried with her infant baby in the Sumnerville Cemetery in Michigan. Her wishes have been a priority, and she has been laid to rest with her son, Leon Richard Abrams. Head stones have been set for both, and all arrangements have been entrusted to Connelly Chapel Wagner Family Funerals, Cassopolis. Please share a memory or a message online: wagnercares.com.