He was born May 14, 1918 in Springfield, Mo. Wallie’s parents relocated him and his two brothers, Paul (Red) and Joseph, to Ocean Beach in 1921 where he met and married his sweetheart, Bette Jo. They wed at Presidio Park and lived in Ocean Beach, where they raised their family.
Wallie and Bette Jo enjoyed waterskiing, golfing, fishing and relaxing in their Mexican vacation homes in Rosarito Beach and Mulege Baja Califoria Sur with family and friends.
He was an All-American athlete at Point Loma High School, playing baseball, basketball and football. He graduated from PLHS in 1937. While he studied at San Diego State University and worked as a supervisor at defense contractor Convair, World War II broke out, and he was called to service. Despite his supervisors’ assurances they could get him out of the draft, Wallie was determined to serve his country, which he did as an Army paratrooper for four years. He served in the 13th Airborne Division from 1942 to 1946.
Wallie retired as a federal firefighter at the Point Loma Naval Electronics Lab complex, where he worked for 30 years. Always a leader, mentor and coach, he took on roles as president of the local federal Firefighter Union F-33, as well as that of fire chief at NEL.
Wallie is survived by children Michael Isom of Laguna Hills and Jerilyn Isom (Jim) of Point Loma; grandchildren Gregory Albertini Jr. of Hong Kong, China; Jayson and Tammy Ebnet of Ocean Beach; and great-grandchildren Nathan Ebnet and Nick Pinto of Ocean Beach.
Reunited with his beloved wife and best friend of 70 years Bette Jo, Wallie will forever be a part of Ocean Beach history and remembered as a giving, humble man.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Foundation or Wounded Warriors San Diego in honor of James Wallis Isom.
A viewing and services were held June 3 at the Greenwood Memorial Park. A celebration of life also took place