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Garland Lee Isdell
Garland Lee Isdell

Garland Lee Isdell, 95, former Virginia Beach City councilman and past president of the Zoning Board of Appeals for Virginia Beach, joined his beloved wife, Barbara, in paradise, Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017.

Garland was born and raised on his family’s farm outside of Wachapreague, Va., on the Eastern Shore in 1922 and will be interred Friday, March 3, beside his parents, George Cleve and Annie Mears, in the family cemetery. Having been raised as a waterman and farmer, he always enjoyed boating.

Garland was extremely proud of his service in the U.S. Navy during World War II, in both Atlantic and Pacific combat as both a boatswain’s mate and a Seabee. In 1944, he met and married the love of his life, Barbara Lee Smith, of Norfolk.

After the war, he apprenticed as a carpenter and settled in what was to become the City of Virginia Beach, eventually owning his own business, General Construction Company. He was always involved in community service and civic organizations and served as a Virginia Beach City councilman in the 1970s. He served as the president of the Zoning Board of Appeals for the City for over 20 years, and was very active in city politics and civic activities for approximately 40 years.

For many years, he was an elder of the former Armstrong (now Eastminster) Presbyterian Church, Chesapeake, and supervised the construction of both that church’s chapel, and later, sanctuary.

Garland is survived by three children, Garland Lee Isdell II, and his wife, Deborah Anderson-Isdell, formerly of Washington D.C., Jennifer Isdell Barnes of Virginia Beach, and Kimberly Isdell Paterson, and her husband, Neil, of Celebration, Fla. Other surviving family members include grandchildren, Wendy and Larin Isdell and Melanie and Tiffany Calhoun; great-grandson, Jason Hankinson; and sister, Sue Davis of the Eastern Shore.

A viewing will be held from 4-7 p.m. Wednesday, March 1, at Hollomon-Brown Funeral Home, 6568 Indian River Road, Virginia Beach. A funeral service will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday, March 2, at Eastminster Presbyterian Church, 3229 MacDonald Road, Virginia Beach.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to the Virginia Beach SPCA or the Alzheimer’s Association.

Condolences may be offered to the family at