Services Saturday for former educator, Willie Isby, Jr.

A prominent educator and churchman in the Monroe community died recently but will be memorialized in services Saturday.

Funeral services for Willie Isby, Jr. will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Zion Traveler’s Baptist Church in Monroe. Isby was a former teacher, principal and Director of Child Welfare and Attendance for the Ouachita Parish School System.

His official obituary is as follows:


Mr. Willie Isby, Jr.’s legacy began December 2, 1938 to the union of the late Willie Isby, Sr. and Rosie Tyler Isby. On July 14, 2018 he transitioned in Dallas, Texas to his final resting place.

He was baptized at an early age at the First Baptist Church in Holly Grove, Arkansas under the leadership of Reverend E. C. Goldsbury. His Christian boundaries caused him to have a quest to study God’s word throughout his life as a leader and teacher of the holy word. He served as head of the Deacon Board and as Sunday School Superintendent for many years at the Zion Traveler Missionary Baptist Church where he has been a member since the mid 1970’s.

Education was the key to success in the family. His pathway started with the Hollygrove, Arkansas public schools. He later matriculated at the Agricultural Mechanical and Normal College in Pine Bluff Arkansas now known as the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff. There he obtained 2 degrees, a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science degree. He began his teaching career in Eudora, Arkansas and then later obtained a teaching position at West Monroe, High School as a Civics teacher. Because of his strong desire to be an influence in the lives of troubled youth, for many years in the summers, he also worked at the Green Oaks Juvenile Detention Center in Monroe, La. Mr. Isby sought additional educational advancement and educational certifications at Harding University and at Northeast Louisiana University now known as the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Eventually Mr. Isby earned a position of Assistant Principal at Ouachita Junior High School and from there he became the Director of Child Welfare and Attendance for the Ouachita Parish School Board which was his position upon retirement. His 45 plus years as a teacher, principal, and supervisor caused him to be a positive “change agent” that made a difference in the many lives he touched.

Mr. Isby was a proud and dedicated man of the Mu Tau Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity where he held many officer positions including Basileus/president, Keeper of Seals/treasurer and honors including the Omega Man of the Year award. As a life member of this organization he served with dignity to aid other brothers and his community. He was also a member of the Jomadi Temple #171 Ancient Egyptians Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine Prince Hall, Masonic Lodge, a member of the Sickle Cell Anemia Board, Louisiana Educators Association, Louisiana School Principles Association, Louisiana Association of Child Welfare and Attendance, I &I Educational Services and was recognized for his exceptional and unwavering support by the Opportunities Industrialization Center of Ouachita Parish where Major Jamie Mayo was the OIC Board Chairman. Mr. Isby has left an imprint of services to his community, his family, especially his grandchildren, nieces, nephews and each student who has passed his way.

Mr. Isby’s love for family and his students went above and beyond those in a time of need. He often visited the sick and shut in as a deacon serving communion and just being a servant leader and outstanding Christian man. Affectionately known as “Uncle Jr”, by a host of nieces and nephews he paved the way for many to further their educational endeavors.

He loved his church and always wanted Zion Travelers and its members help in high esteem. The annual Men’s Day Celebration was his yearly highlight competition with Women’s Day committee. He loved studying God’s holy word while performing his duties on the Board of Trustees and Deacon Board.

Mr. Isby was preceded in death by his parents Willie Isby, Sr. and Rosie Tyler Isby.

He leaves to cherish his memories, his wife of 50+ years Clarease Isby. Two daughters Chandra Isby Melancon, Plano, Texas, Mavis Lewis, Baton Rouge, LA., one son in law Pastor Thomas Lewis, one sister Chester V. McClair Seaside, California; four grandchildren; Sir Norman Tyler Isby Melancon, M. D., Los Angeles, California, Chance Alexander Isby Melancon, Los Angeles, California; Kirsten Melani Joyrease Melancon, Plano, Texas and Kelsey Normandy Melancon, Plano, Texas, as well as a host of nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

Funeral services will be at Zion Traveler Missionary Baptist Church on Saturday, July 28, 2018 at 11am.