The home of the Iseli's
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Margaret Ann Isely Sheesley

Posted by transfer on Thursday, December 29, 2005 - 02:12 AM

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People - Leute

Margaret was born on August 13, 1921 and died on July 23, 1997. She married Henry Philip Isely and during all her life, she was involved in politics and nutrition, with one ultimate goal: helping people and the planet.

Personal record Ancestors Descendants


While completing a business degree at Antioch College, she fell in love with a man who had done prison time during World War II for being a "Conscientious Objector". Philip?s powerful commitment to work proactively on a global level (based on principles, not "politics") dovetailed miraculously with Margaret?s amazing ability to nurture nearly everyone she met. Their partnership has contributed toward healing millions of creatures in the world.

Researching Alternatives to Western Medicine

Margaret?s devotion to nutrition began as "Acting Dietitian" for the Antioch tea room and reading a cookbook by Adele Davis. After struggling with a staff infection for a year, she began researching alternatives to Western medicine.

Running for Senate

In 1948, Margaret and Philip were married at sunrise, on the beach of Lake Michigan in Chicago, and moved to Colorado. He sold encyclopedias door to door while developing a career as a community planner. In 1953, they rented a cabin at the Lighted Lantern on Lookout Mountain, and scraped together enough money to purchase and subdivide 20 acres, build roads, and install the "Isely Water Line" for the development of Lookout Mountain Crest. Banks wouldn?t give them a mortgage, so they dug a basement, installed a septic system, and lived in a trailer home until they sold enough lots to build a modest home.

Philip ran for U.S. Congress and Margaret ran for the State Senate as independents for the "Conservation of Life" in 1958. Their home was picketed after the Jefferson Sentinel accused them of being Communists. According to Margaret, who smiled gleefully whenever she told this story, "One of our neighbors had us investigated because we passed out literature for the People?s World Parliament, but the FBI gave us a clean slate as harmless pacifists.

Birth of the Vitamin Cottage

Margaret A. IselyMargaret was a working mother of seven children at a time when women were expected to stay home and serve husband and family. She took many part-time jobs, until she and Philip convinced a supplier to give them nutritional supplements and health books on credit. They packed their old car full of children, lunch, and products to spend the day selling directly, door to door. By 1958, they managed to open their first "health food" store, on Colfax near Simms, in Lakewood.

After many years of struggle, their business began to become truly profitable by the mid 1970s. Now, eight Vitamin Cottages are thriving in the Denver Metro area, thanks to most of the surviving Isely children, who have become managers. Their 250 employees represent eight countries and collectively speak a dozen languages.

The Ultimate Working Mother

Vicki, who publishes the Vitamin Cottage?s monthly Health Hotline insert, speaks for most employees when she wrote:"Margaret was the ultimate working mother. It?s not possible to tell whether to put the emphasis on working... or mother. Everyone at Vitamin Cottage is familiar with her tireless work. Below her name in Who?s Who in the World, you see her accomplishments: founder and manager of Vitamin Cottage health food stores, president of the Natural Foundation for Nutritional Research, president of the Rocky Mountain Nutritional Foods Association, executive council member of National Nutritional Foods Association. Then below the numerous positions she has served toward creating a world government, you see: Children, Zephyr, LaRock, Lark, Robin, Kemper, Heather. "I think it must have been in her remarkable genes, " says Vicki. "Like the mythical Leo the Lion she was born under, she was a fiercely protective mother lioness. If we ended up in her den, we were her family, under her protection. Perhaps because Margaret herself had successfully combined work and family, she knew what we all needed in order to work at our best, and she provided it. She valued us, our families, our health, our needs."

Helping People and the Planet

The Iselys knew Earth?s life-support systems were beginning to be threatened during the 1950s. While nurturing hundreds of employees and customers, as well as her children, Margaret helped Philip organize the beginning of a world government that now has membership of 80 countries representing 15 million people.

Scientists are now documenting their concerns. During the past 50 years, humans have altered half of the Earth?s surface, consumed most of the planet?s usable surface water (mostly for farming), and triggered the extinction of thousands of life forms. Ecological balance has also been seriously disturbed by use of fossil fuels, intense fertilizer-chemical farming, ,mining, and logging. Fisheries are depleted by 66%. There are 36,000 dams in the world and fossil fuels add 5.5 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide each year. The end result is called "global climate change".

Margaret dedicated her vibrant life to helping people and the planet. She accomplished more than most ever dream of. Yet, at the age of 75, she still had projects to finish. She wanted to establish a non-profit alternative health care clinic in Colorado and a phytoplankton growing project to help prevent global climate change. Her family and friends have established the Margaret A. Isely Foundation to fund these two projects.

Everyone who knew Margaret shares the grief of losing her physical presence, but they also know her powerful spirit will always be in their hearts.

Note: Obituary copy-pasted from:

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