In memory of
Some people only walk this earth for a short time. Their departure reminds us that angels truly are watching over us. On July 4, Isabelle Odette Hilton Papadimitriou rejoined her heavenly family and gained her wings. Isabelle passed just one week after battling a mild case of COVID-19. As a young woman, she was an avid flute player and talented baton twirler at her high school in Brownsville, where she was born. Isabelle was a compassionate spirit whose fervour was caring for others. So, nearly 30 years ago, she chose to switch careers and spend her days helping others breathe as a respiratory therapist, all while caring for her two children, Isaac and Fiana. The mental drive, focus and commitment needed for her job on the front line were admirable. But it was her infectious smile, joyful spirit, and strong will that made her a ray of light in everyone's life. Isabelle, who was often called "Obie" by her friends and family, was a lover of her two dogs, Shadow and Gauner; the Greek Orthodox religion; books; travel; Facebook; her friends and family; and most of all, her 10-month old granddaughter, Lua. Isabelle is loved and missed by her son Richard Isaac Elizondo; her daughter and son-in-law Fiana Paulette Tulip and Charlie Tulip; her grandbaby Lua; her siblings Terrie Vasquez and her husband Josue Vasquez, Vicky Borrego, Robert Hilton and his wife Louise Ara and Xavier Hilton and his wife Susan Hilton; along with her treasured nieces and nephews, countless friends and the greater Dallas Fort-Worth, Hawaii, and Brownsville communities. She is preceded in death by her brother John Joe Hernandez, her brother Luis Hernandez, her brother-in-law George Borrego, and her parents. Isabelle was a giant, and powerful in her kindness. She made a difference each and every day in many people's lives. And like hundreds and thousands of others, she should still be alive today. Her undeserving death is due to the carelessness of the politicians who continue to hedge their bets on the lives of healthcare workers through a lack of leadership, through a refusal to acknowledge the severity of this crisis, and through an inability and unwillingness to give clear and decisive direction on how to minimize the risks of the coronavirus. Her death could have been prevented. Now, every year, on July 4th, when Americans celebrate their independence and watch the fireworks in awe, her family will be reminded of how their very resistance--rooted in liberty--detrimentally clashed with Isabelle's inalienable right to life. Isabelle's son and daughter are channeling their grief and anger into driving home the severity and realness of COVID-19 so fewer families are forced to endure this nightmare. They ask you to honor Isabelle's life by wearing a mask, remaining socially distant, washing your hands and staying inside as much as you can for yourself, for others, and especially for our healthcare heroes. On Thursday, July 23 at 2:30pm CST, a funeral service will be held to celebrate Isabelle's life. Her immediate family only will be in attendance. The service can be viewed via the livestream link provided by the church where it will be held, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church.
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