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Published: Sunday, 5/11/2014 - Updated: 3 months ago

Marshall N. Isenberg; 1928-2014: Appraiser was Democratic Party activist

BY MARK ZABORNEY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Marshall N. Isenberg, a real estate appraiser and broker who was a longtime Democratic Party activist, died Friday in Toledo Hospital. He was 85.

He’d had bleeding in the brain, his wife, Catherine Noble, said.

The Sylvania Township resident stayed current in his real estate and appraisal licenses and even worked last week, going out on an appraisal of a foreclosed property for the Lucas County sheriff’s office. He’d conducted such sheriff’s appraisals the last 40 years.

“He couldn’t sit around. That wasn’t him,” his wife said.

As his sons were growing up, he worked three jobs, recalled Sandy Isenberg, his former wife.

“He knew exactly what property was supposed to sell for and what it should be appraised at, as opposed to what some other appraiser would draw out of the air,” said Ms. Isenberg, who was a Lucas County commissioner. They’ve remained close — and she with Ms. Noble and Mr. Isenberg’s daughter, Amy.

“We’re family. We’re an extended, interesting family,” Ms. Isenberg said.

Mr. Isenberg also liked the social part of work.

“He liked to kibitz with people. That was a big deal for him,” his wife said. “He went downtown and had lunch at Georgio’s and had a gay old time. He had a zest for life.”

He often was hired by lawyers to conduct appraisals on behalf of estates or as part of divorce settlements, his wife said. Mr. Isenberg told The Blade in 2010 that he’d been doing appraisals for Probate Court when William Callanan, whom he’d supported, was elected Lucas County sheriff in 1972, the first Democratic sheriff in 20 years. Mr. Isenberg said he learned about the appraisal work, applied, and the assignments continued through the decades.

“It’s really the work of a professional appraiser to do this,” Mr. Isenberg told The Blade.

He was a former president of the National Association of Independent Fee Appraisers. He was a former member of the Sylvania Township zoning commission.

In 2009, Mr. Isenberg received the John P. Kelly Democrat of the Year award from the Lucas County Democratic Party, named for its former chairman. Mr. Kelly had been an early employer of his. Mr. Isenberg was formerly on the party’s executive, central, and screening committees.

He was born June 1, 1928, to Florence and Moses Isenberg. He was a 1945 graduate of Scott High School. He received a bachelor of business administration degree from the University of Toledo and attended law school there.

He was a field auditor with Toledo’s tax office for 17 years before he became a state parole officer in Toledo. He rejoined the tax office in 1972, when he was named its chief supervisor, a post he held until 1981. He went into real estate sales afterward, inspired by his mother, who sold houses when few women were in the field.

He was a member for more than 50 years of Collingwood Lodge, F&AM, and Fort Meigs Chapter, RAM. He was a member of the Zenobia Shrine and the Royal Order of Jesters.

He was a longtime supporter of the Toledo Animal Shelter and served on its board.

He was president and trustee of the Toledo Hebrew Cemetery Association and its Eagle Point Cemetery in Rossford, which was founded in 1865 by Michael Jacobson, his maternal grandfather. Members of his family and extended family “were pillars in the Jewish community for years,” Ms. Isenberg said. “It’s the end of an era.”

Mr. Isenberg had a keen appreciation of fine dining. He could cook. He liked to dine out. Restaurants were an integral part of every vacation itinerary.

“At breakfast, he’s figuring out lunch. At lunch, he’s already figuring out dinner,” his wife said. “He always wanted to be the food editor of The Blade.”

Surviving are his wife, Catherine Noble, whom he married Sept. 19, 1981; sons Michael and Dennis Isenberg; daughter, Amy Noble Isenberg, and five grandchildren.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Monday in Walker Funeral Home, Sylvania Township.

The family suggests tributes to the Toledo Hebrew Cemetery Association in Sylvania or the Toledo Animal Shelter.

Contact Mark Zaborney at: mzaborney@theblade.com or 419-724-6182.



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