TORRINGTON – Funeral services for Isabella Katharine (Dunning) Blunsom, 96, will be held on September 3 at 10 a.m. at the Torrington United Methodist Church with Julie Newman officiating. Burial and reception will follow. Memorials may be made to the Torrington Methodist Church or Red Cross. Isabel was a faithful servant of God who loved her family, church, and community. On August 24, 2022, with daughter Carol by her side, Isabel went from this world to her heavenly home to join her Lord and Savior and her beloved husband Olaf.
Isabel was born to Harry and Elsa Dunning in Pretoria, South Africa on December 8, 1925. She grew up in Kirkwood, South Africa, where she graduated from high school and then worked at Barclays Bank. While in Kirkwood, she met the love of her life, Olaf Blunsom, through his sister, Edith, who recognized their shared enjoyment of tennis. Isabel and Olaf were married on January 1,1949. In 1957, after having three children, they immigrated to the U.S. on the Queen Mary. They lived in San Francisco and Omaha (where she worked for missions at Wesleyan Church) before settling in Torrington. She and Olaf became naturalized citizens in 1962 and had two more children. She worked with Olaf as the manager of their CPA business for 20 years before retiring in 1985. She and Olaf were married for 58 years and enjoyed retirement together until his death in 2007.
Isabel was a member of the United Methodist Church of Torrington, where she taught Sunday School, was a member of the United Methodist Women’s circle group and attended Bible study groups. She also served many in the community, especially the home-bound elderly and the Goshen Care Center residents. She served as president of the Business and Professional Women and as manager of Torrington Lifeline. Over the years, she was a leader in the Community Hospital Auxiliary, the Knitting for Newborns program, and the Christian Women’s Club. She also initiated the Torrington railroad quiet zone. In 2012 she received the Jefferson Award of Excellence in Public Service.
Isabel lived life whole-heartedly and was always engaged in activities. In addition to her work and volunteering, she enjoyed hosting Saturday coffees, feeding birds, knitting, playing tennis, Scrabble, bowling, gardening, aerobics, and garden club. She won several awards for her floral arrangements. She was a champion Scrabble player. She knitted over 250 afghans, which were given to families, friends, and other people all over the world. She also wrote a book about her life called “Two Lives.”
She is survived by her children Reginald (Chris) Blunsom, Carol Riley, Pamela (Paul) Soriano, Mary Scott, and Laurie (Lori Evenson) Blunsom, 17 grandchildren, 25 great grandchildren, and many loving nieces and nephews of Canada and South Africa. She was preceded in death by her husband Olaf, parents Harry and Elsa, brother Leon, and four sisters, Eva, Florie, Mabel and Ivy.