Benjamin Carl Isenberg
Benjamin Carl Isenberg, 100, a longtime resident of Norwalk, died April 20, 2019, at Ridge Crest in Redding. He was the husband of the late Phyllis Marcus Isenberg.
Born in Bridgeport, CT, the son of the late Max and Bertha Isenberg, he graduated from Hillhouse High School in 1934 and the Teachers College of Connecticut in 1939 where he was president of the senior class. Mr. Isenberg was employed in the Wilton Public Schools as a teacher and baseball coach until World War II, when he served first as a curriculum coordinator (civilian) at the Naval Air Technical Center in Norman, OK. He entered the U.S. Army and attended officer Candidate School at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD. Upon being commissioned, he was a training officer, then company commander, then chief of training methods for the Ordinance Training Center. While at Aberdeen, Mr. Isenberg was awarded the Army Commendation Medal, the highest non-combatant Army medal.
Upon his discharge as a Lieutenant in 1946, Mr. Isenberg returned to Norwalk, where he was assigned as a teacher of general metals, electricity and electronics at Norwalk High School. He also headed the Audio-Visual Program at NHS, where he became Administrative Assistant to Eric C. Malmquist in September 1957. For many years prior to 1957, he was a Playground Director in Norwalk, heading the City-Wide Craft Program in the summer. Evenings during the school year, Mr. Isenberg taught blue print reading and engineering drawing in vocational programs for the State Department of Education.
In 1959, Mr. Isenberg went to Nathan Hale Junior High as Assistant Principal, and became Principal in 1966. While at Nathan Hale Middle School, he started Norwalk’s first Interdisciplinary Team-Teaching Programs and had the first computer assisted program with a direct tie-in from the school’s math lab and Fairfield University.
After a short term as Principal of Roton Middle School, he was appointed to the Norwalk Schools Central Office staff as Director of Special Programs and Human Relations, then became Special Assistant to the Superintendent of Schools for Grants. At the same time that Mr. Isenberg was in administration of schools, he was instrumental in starting the Center for Vocational Arts (now Briggs H.S.), drew many of the basic layouts for Brien McMahon H.S., Norwalk H.S., Nathan Hale M.S. additions, Fitch School remodeling, Rowayton, Brookside, and Ponus Ridge M.S. renovations.
After retiring in 1980, he was a judge in many school science fairs and judged essay contests for the D. A. R.
At the time of his death, Mr. Isenberg was a certified Solar System Ambassador with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory; giving lectures on NASA’s Solar System Missions.
He was a 20-year member of the Rolling Hills Country Club and served on its board of governors.
During the term of the late Gov. Ella Grasso, Mr. Isenberg was appointed by Mrs. Grasso as a member of the Connecticut State Commission for Improvement of Reading, and was Norwalk’s liaison person in working with state and federal agencies on matters of school desegregation.
Mr. Isenberg is survived by two loving daughters, Cathy Kalner (Elliot) and Shelley Horne (Michael); three granddaughters, Lisa Kalner Williams (Randolph), Caryn Czarnecki (Kevin), and Rebecca Leigh Horne Sepan (David); four great grandchildren, Camryn Czarnecki, Sierra Williams, Amelia Celeste Sepan, and Jonah Benjamin Sepan; and many nieces and nephews.
Graveside services will be held on Sunday, April 28, at 11:00 Am at the Independent Hebrew Society Cemetery, Richards Avenue, Norwalk.
The family requests contributions be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital: 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.