Yale University

In Memoriam

Alois von Isakovics

by Nina von Isakovics (his widow), avoni@aol.com

August 26, 1999

Alois von Isakovics
1964 graduation

After he graduated from Yale, Alois went to Bordeaux (France) for a year as a teaching assistant on a Fulbright scholarship. There he met his wife Nina, from England. They got engaged and he returned to the U.S. while Nina finished her last year of college at London University. They got married in July, 1966 and returned to the States on the "Queen Mary." Alois taught history at the Stowe School, Stowe, Vermont before moving to the Boston area where he started on a master's and then a doctorate in modern European history (completed 1976). After a frustrating year looking for a teaching position at the university level Alois moved down to Reston, Virginia and assumed a position with the government as a budget analyst for the Naval Air Systems Command in Crystal City. Their two children Tamara (Tami) and John were born in 1975 and 1979. Nina's professional life was all in teaching high-school French. Tami is now working for a public-relations company in D.C. after receiving a major in communications from Virginia Tech. John is currently a junior at Va. Tech in the business school.

In May 1996 without warning/symptoms Alois went into the hospital for a surprise appendix operation. He had colon cancer, right where the appendix is located, in an area not usually tested when people have colonoscopies. He fought long and hard for almost two years through chemotherapy with all its nasty side effects. He took early retirement in July 1997 when we had our last family holiday together in North Carolina. He died on Feb. 10, 1998.

Now for the hard part.

People who knew him will remember his wide knowledge and varied interests (history, photography, electronics, classical music, gadgets of every sort, classical music, politics, travel, computers, practical jokes, puns, constantly inquiring mind, and a tendency to hoard everything he ever owned).

As a colleague, friend, son, husband, and father he was irreplaceable. Eulogies at the funeral talked about his modesty, his brightness, his integrity, his honesty, his kindness and generosity, his sense of humor, his spirit of adventure, his tremendous courage and optimism in the face of great pain, his love and care of his family.

I hope this is what you wanted. I am crying as I write it. We loved him and miss him very much.