Monday, February 20, 2006
Tessie Lisann, 99, who became a District public school teacher at 19 and eventually retired from Lafayette Elementary School in
1965, died Feb. 7 of cardio-respiratory arrest at Montgomery General Hospital. She was a resident of Leisure World in Silver
Mrs. Lisann was born in New York in 1906 and moved to Washington the following year. She graduated from Central High
School at 16.
The daughter of a grocer who ran a store on what was then Union Street in Southwest, she was the first in her family to attend
college. She graduated from Wilson Teachers College and began teaching at Amidon Elementary School in the District.
Over the years, she taught at Park View, Whittier, Barnard and Keene elementary schools, before heading to Lafayette, where
she spent most of her career.
From 1942 to 1946, she accompanied her husband to Richmond when the U.S. Patent Office, where he worked, relocated there
during World War II. After returning to Washington, she resumed teaching at Lafayette in 1947 and remained there until 1965.
At her retirement, she was described as a superior teacher who sought always to give her best to the profession and one who
felt a great responsibility for the progress of the children she taught.
After she and her husband retired, they traveled extensively across North America and Europe. A dedicated duplicate bridge
player, she played several times a week until the last days of her life.
A former resident of the District's Chevy Chase neighborhood, she moved to Leisure World in 1976, becoming an original
member of her condominium association.
Her husband, Isaac "Lefty" Lisann, died in 1982.
Mrs. Lisann recently completed a trip to Weston, Mass., for a celebration of her 99th birthday. While there, she participated in her
great-granddaughter's bar mitzvah.
Survivors include two children, Maury Lisann of Arlington and Barbara Talamo of Weston; two sisters, Ida Shankman and Irene
Rich, both of Chevy Chase; five grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.