Isabell Holmes, 97, a Native of Ridgeland, SC passed away on Saturday, January 28th, 2023. Arrangements are entrusted to Allen Funeral Home. We welcome you to provide your thoughts and memories on our tribute wall.
The Funeral Service for Isabell Holmes will be Saturday, February 18, 2023, at Allen Funeral Home in Ridgeland @ 11 o'clock in the morning.
* Live Streaming will be available on our Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheAllenFuneralHome
Isabell Holmes, affectionately known as “Nana” was born on April 9, 1925, in Ridgeland, South
Carolina to William “Bub” Rivers (d), a driller of wells and a farmer, and Daisy Frazier (d) a
housewife and part-time restaurant cook. Both of whom were born in Ridgeland.
Isabell was the eldest of eight children, five boys, and three girls, and was educated in the Jasper
County Public School system where all of her classes were set up in a one-room
schoolhouse. Isabell was part of the historic “Great Migration” as millions of Black southerners
moved to the north. She resided in Newark, New Jersey, and in 1949 she relocated to White
Plains, NY where she joined Calvary Baptist Church on Brookfield Street in 1954. At Calvary,
she accepted Christ and was baptized and became a charter member of the Gospel Chorus; served
as Kitchen Chairperson; and a member of the Pastor’s Aid Ministry.
Isabell continued her work as a domestic engineer for many years. First with a family in Scarsdale
with whom she spent over 27 years and then with a family in Chappaqua. These children are
James (Jim) Rutherford of Fuquay, NY, Judy Sewell of Lewiston, NY, Anne Lower of Richmond,
VA, Sue Maier of Alpharetta, GA, and Rod Zilenzigr. She loved and cared for the children of
these families like her own.
Nana was a praying woman and always said “God will take care of it all.” She gave her
unconditional love to all. If you came to her house she would feed you and make you feel like one
of the family from the time you walked in the door. Always willing to help because she believed
that you never know when you will need a helping hand. Her hand was always open to give and
she gave her all. She called all her grands “pumpkin” and gave them her time. She was sharp with
her tongue and would have you laughing at her remarks. Nana was sophisticated with her style,
especially when going to church. She made sure that everything was in order before she left the
house from the top of her head to the bottom of her feet.
On Saturday, January 28, 2023, Nana was called from her earthly home and made her way to be
with her Heavenly Father in eternity. Isabell is survived by her three children, Delores (James) of
the Bronx, NY; Hattie of Coolidge, AZ; and son, Larry (Linda) of Ridgeland, SC: brother Wilson
“Fuzzy” Rivers; seven grandchildren, Monique, Christopher, Crystal, Melissa, Elijah, Larry, and
Justin, 18 great-grandchildren, and 10 great-great-grandchildren, as well as a host of loving nieces,
nephews and other relatives and friends. She also leaves her two amazing caregivers Rugiatu
Thullah and Cardia Campbell. She was preceded in death by her brothers; Robert, Arthur,
George, and William “Chico” Rivers, and sisters, Flossie Bailey and Winfred Rivers.
As the matriarch of her family, Isabell’s love for her family was insurmountable. She was a friend
to all and was always willing to do whatever she could to help anyone. The motto that she lived
her life by comes from the lyrics of one of Mahalia Jackson’s songs, “If I can help somebody, as I
pass along, then my living will not be in vain.” She knew that without the love of God, she could
do nothing. She was thankful every day for God’s grace and mercy.
Here At Allen Funeral Home, We Care About Your Safety. We Ask That Everyone Please Follow ALL Of DHEC Guidelines In Regards To COVID-19.
Please Actively Practice Social Distancing (6-Feet Apart) And Wear Your Mask At ALL Times During The Allen Funeral Home Services.
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