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Isabella D. LaTourette, 102

Isabella D. LaTourette, 102

Isabella D. LaTourette, 102

Flat Rock – Isabella D. LaTourette, affectionately known by her family and many friends as “Bamba” died peacefully at her summer home in Winter Harbor, Maine, on September 28, 2015, after a short illness. She was born in New Hartford, New York, on May 27, 1913, to the late Mary Etta and John Daressa. She was predeceased by her husband, Kenneth A. LaTourette, M.D., her sister, Rosella D. Hyde and her brother, Lawrence L. Daressa.

Mrs. LaTourette was a registered nurse, obtaining her degree in nursing from the University of the State of New York in 1939 at Kings County Hospital, Brooklyn, New York. It was there while assigned to the same patient that she met her future husband, Kenneth A. LaTourette, M.D. They were married on June 25, 1940, in Manhattan and had a long and happy marriage lasting 72 years until Dr. LaTourette's death October 14, 2012.

Six weeks after the birth of their only child, Marianne, in August of 1941, the couple moved to Farmington, Maine and lived there until 1942 when Dr. LaTourette volunteered his service in the U.S. Army Air Corps, later to become the Air Force, just after the United States entered World War II. Mrs. LaTourette and Marianne followed him around the country to his various posts until he was stationed for two years in the Azores, where they could not accompany him. They were able to be with him for a year in Bermuda where Dr. LaTourette was the Flight Surgeon in charge of the military hospital near Kindley Field.

After his five years of military service the family returned to Farmington, Maine where Dr. LaTourette continued his general practice. In 1948 they moved to Hanover, New Hampshire where Dr. LaTourette began a four-year residency in pathology at the Dartmouth Medical School, a residency which he finished in three years. During those three years Mrs. LaTourette returned to nursing at the Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital in Hanover, and at the Veterans Hospital in White River Junction, Vermont.

In the spring of 1953, the family moved to Hendersonville, where they have lived to this day. In 1959 after Dr. LaTourette's office manager took a vacation, Mrs. LaTourette filled in by helping her husband in his office and in his pathology laboratory in the Margaret R. Pardee Memorial Hospital. She loved the work so much that she stayed on for 18 years.

The couple maintained a home at Bald Head Island, North Carolina, for 20 years, later a summer home in West Tremont, Maine, and finally the home in Winter Harbor, Maine, where she died.

Everyone who knew Mrs. LaTourette suspected that the secret to her extraordinary longevity was her irrepressible sunny attitude and effusive love of family and friends of all ages. Her love of animals - especially dogs - was particularly remarkable. She and her husband had a total of 54 dogs over the span of their marriage. She was a lifelong member of too many animal welfare and human service organizations to list. The couple quietly and anonymously helped a number of people through various hardships and illnesses. Mrs. LaTourette had a particular sparkle, and it was often said that she could light up a room simply by entering it.

Mrs. LaTourette is survived by her daughter, Marianne LaTourette Potter and her husband, Martin Hopkins (“Hop”) Potter of Flat Rock and Winter Harbor, Maine. She has one grandson, Christopher LaTourette LaRiche, M.D. of Deerfield Beach, Florida, a granddaughter, Elisabeth Austin, Psy.D., and her husband, Jeffrey A. Austin, and one great-granddaughter, Sophia Catherine Austin, all of Palo Alto, California. Her only nephew is Lawrence Gray Daressa, of San Francisco.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Church of St. John in the Wilderness, PO Box 185, Flat Rock, NC 28731, or to the Blue Ridge Humane Society, 1214 Greenville Highway, Hendersonville, NC 28792.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, November 21 at 2:00 pm at the Church of St. John in the Wilderness, 1895 Greenville Highway, Flat Rock, followed by a reception at the Church's Parish Hall.