After a nearly three-year battle with glioblastoma brain cancer, Johnny Raye Isbell passed away surrounded by his family and friends on November 12th, 2022.
John was born on May 7th, 1956 in Sacramento, California to Anna and Jimmy “Buddy” Isbell. In August 1963, John and his family moved to Scott Valley, a community he called his home for the remainder of his life. During his youth John taught himself to play guitar, which began a lifetime love of music. He also enjoyed playing sports, fishing, hunting, and driving anything fast.
John met the love of his life Marcia (Madole) when he was just 18-years-old and they were married in 1976. Over the years, John would often say that he knew from the minute they met that he would marry Marcia. They shared an incredible bond that lasted the 46 wonderful years they were married.
John had an amazing work ethic that was evident in the multitude of jobs he had over the years. He always gave his best, whether it was working as a cashier at thrifty market, farming, detailing cars, fixing equipment, driving a garbage truck, or eventually running his own business with his wife Marcia. John always made sure that his family understood the value of hard work.
John’s immense love of music led him to play guitar in several local bands over the years. The Country Nights band often practiced in John and Marcia’s garage on Tuesday and Thursday nights as they prepared for their next big local event. John shared many fond memories with his bandmates during this time of his life.
John loved sports and enjoyed helping to coach his children and grandchildren’s teams. He valued hard work, determination, and teamwork, and he always loved to root for the underdog. John rarely missed the chance to watch his children, nephews, nieces, or grandchildren in their sporting events, spending many late nights traveling to games, pacing in the end zone, or cheering loudly from the stands.
John had a passion for fast cars and loved spending time restoring Fords back to pristine condition. He’d often say, “I couldn’t pass this deal up, I already have a motor.” Over the years, he built many wonderful friendships through restorations and participating in numerous car shows. John was always looking towards his next big car build, and loved to have a project he was working on for the future.
John had a big heart for his family, friends, and, of course, his animals. He was the type of person whom you could call for a favor, or who would volunteer to check your tires (just to make sure) before you left on a big trip. John loved to help others, and he was very proud of the community that he lived in.
John is survived by his loving wife Marcia Isbell, his daughter Raylene and her husband Jess Lang, and his son Bradley and his wife Joy Isbell. John also leaves behind his three remaining grandchildren Mason Lang, Shelby Lang and Carter Isbell. In addition, he leaves behind his brother Jim and his wife Sherma Isbell, his brother Jerry and his wife Linda Isbell, his sister Janie and her husband John Ryder, several nieces and nephews, and his beloved animals. Proceeding him in death were his father Jimmy (Buddy) Isbell, his mother Anna Andrews, his brother William David Isbell, his father-in-law Orin (Doc) Madole, his mother-in-law Cora Madole, his grandson Paul Isbell, and his beloved grandson Miles Isbell.
John’s family will be hosting a celebration of life at the Parish Hall in Fort Jones on Saturday, November 26th at 3pm. We would like to invite everyone to share in appetizers, desserts and memories.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Asante Foundation in the name of his grandson Miles Isbell at www.asantefoundation.or/Miles or donate in John Isbell’s name to Scott Valley Scholarships at www.scottvalleyscholarships.org, or to Madrone Hospice Inc. at 255 Collier Circle, Yreka,CA 96097 or www.madronehospice.org.