Honor Guard members turn out to honor comrade Herb Isner
On April 2, 18 members of the Honor Guard from the Jewish War Veterans (JWV) Department of Michigan marched down the center aisle at the Ira Kaufman Chapel in Southfield. It was described as one of the largest turnouts at a funeral for a fellow comrade by the Honor Guard, with veterans from WWII, the Korean War and Viet Nam represented.
Each veteran paused before the flag-draped coffin to pay his final respects and offer one last salute to his dear friend Herb Isner, a member of Shapiro-Rose JWV Post 510. The large contingent of veterans in attendance was a testament to how beloved Herb was. Herb, a gunner’s mate in the Navy during WWII, passed away on March 27, 2017, at age 94.
Only up until a few months ago, Herb was in charge of coordinating the Honor Guard for Jewish veterans’ funerals; he eventually stepped aside when his health declined. He dutifully fulfilled that obligation for many years, acting as the liaison between funeral directors and his legion of Honor Guard volunteers to ensure that each military ceremony was properly orchestrated. The tributes also include the playing of taps, reading of passages by an Honor Guard member and the traditional folding of the flag. In a special honor to Herb, the Navy sent a detail to the cemetery to fold and present the flag to his family.
I discovered another passion of Herb’s that I chronicled for the Dec. 18, 2014, edition of the Jewish News. I tagged along on one of Herb’s regular Tuesday visits to the Evergreen Health and Living Center in Southfield, where he charmed and comforted the residents with his chocolate toy poodle, Coco. Herb was carrying on the tradition of his beloved late wife, Anne, who bred, raised and trained Shelties in their home to become certified therapy dogs. At the time, I wrote: “It’s safe to say that made for a busy household considering the Isners also went on to raise two beautiful children.”
Herb is survived by his son, Alan (Debbie) Isner; daughter, Rhonda (Marc) Silver; grandchildren, Bryan (Nicole) Silver, Daniel (Madalyn) Silver; and great-grandchildren, Cosette and Levi Silver.
Herb Isner spent a lifetime on “active duty” through his tireless dedication to his fellow veterans and his contributions to his community. He was a true mentsh and may his memory be for a blessing.
You can honor the memory of Herb Isner by contributing to a charity of your choice or to Jewish War Veterans, P.O. Box 725066, Berkley, MI 48072-9998, (248) 855-5085, www.jwv-mi.org.