Isabel Huizenga -- Rochester

Isabel Clerk Huizenga, 98, passed away April 10, 2018, with her family at her side.

She was born to Scottish parents on Feb. 28, 1920, in Calcutta, India, and moved to Chicago at age 5.

She embraced her new country, while at the same time remaining connected to her Scottish roots. One of the highlights of her youth was competing in Scottish highland dancing at the Chicago World’s Fair of 1933 to 1934, accompanied by her father playing the bagpipes. She completed high school, college and graduate school while living at home in Hyde Park, culminating in a MSW degree from the University of Chicago.

After graduating, she served as a social worker for the American Red Cross in Great Britain and Europe. While stationed at a U.S. military hospital in Berlin, she met her future husband and fellow Chicagoan, Dr. Kenneth Huizenga. She and Ken were married on Sept. 2,1950, in Chicago and shortly thereafter moved to Rochester.

Isabel worked as a social worker and child welfare officer for Olmsted County before starting a family. She and Ken raised five children together. She was proud of being an immigrant to this country. Over the years, her home was always welcome to visitors from around the world.

Isabel believed strongly in being engaged in her community. During the nearly 70 years she lived in Rochester, she donated her time and talent to countless nonprofit and community organizations, which included the American Red Cross, Olmsted County Community Corrections, BSA Gamehaven Council, First Presbyterian Church, Junior Great Books, and numerous PTAs. She was on the board of Norwest Bank, Charter House and Methodist Hospital and served terms as president of the Rochester YWCA, Rochester Area Foundation Board of Trustees, and the United Way.

She will best be remembered by those who knew her for her tremendous energy, infectious laugh, generosity of spirit, untiring graciousness and love of marshmallow Peeps.

Isabel was preceded in death by her brother, Donald Clerk; her parents, Charles and Marion Clerk; and her husband, Kenneth Huizenga. She is survived by her sister-in-law, Ruth Huizenga; children, Debbie, Nancy (Joe Korzilius), Donald, Charlie (Jeanne Panek) and Hugh (Vicky Fish); nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren; and her beloved cousins in Scotland.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. June 8 at First Presbyterian Church in Rochester. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church.

Memorials can be directed to Rochester Area Foundation; Agua Para La Vida (; or First Presbyterian Church.

Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home, 5421 Royal Place NW Rochester, MN 55901.