Isabel Pesek Christensen

Honored by:John Pesek
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Pesek, Isabel Lorraine, nee Christensen is my wife and reared our three children, two daughters and a son. We were married on August 7 1952, and have resided in Ames since then.

Isabel was born on November 14, 1922 in Soldier, Iowa and is the only child of Isabel (Vahler) Christensen and Nels Christensen, a veteran of World War I. She lost her mother soon after birth and her father at six months due to complications from a gas attack sustained in France. Her aunt Marian (Christensen) Dorothy and her husband Mark raised her as their own daughter along with their older son. The family moved to Ames in 1936.

Graduating from Ames High School in 1940, Isabel entered Iowa State and received the B.S. degree in dietetics in 1944 during which time she also spent several months in the Office of Defense Transportation in Washington D.C. She completed a dietetics internship at Johns Hopkins Hospital Baltimore and continued as a staff dietitian for several years. Returning to Iowa State she completed the master's degree in foods and nutrition in 1949 after which she was on the Department of Halls and Food Service staff at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York for a year and a half. Then she joined the Foods and Nutrition staff at Iowa State coordinating human nutrition research on adult women and teaching Food and Nutrition when I met her in 1951. She resigned in 1957 to devote her time to rearing our children when they first arrived.

Isabel's willingness to do this and to take care of our domestic needs made it possible for me to continue to devote the time required in pursuit of my profession and to take advantage of opportunities which presented themselves throughout my career. She always would make sure that our many obligations were promptly and properly met and kept our social calendar and entertained and hosted students, friends and associates. Isabel also had a deep commitment to her adopted parents and other members of the extended family by comforting and supporting them at all times. Without her caring and presence in the family my career at Iowa State could not have happened. She has my eternal gratitude.

She has maintained a large circle of good friends and an interest in historical events and traditional activities. As a result she has been active in the Heritage Division of the Iowa State Faculty Women's Club Questers the National and Iowa Button Societies P.E.O. and the University Museums. She has also served to help host reunions of her high school and college classes and continues to support my professional interests as she continues as a steadfast loving partner.