News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.


Bill Isaac

A Renaissance Man, Bill Isaac, 81, Founded Gallery, Artworks, LEAF


A Renaissance Man,

Bill Isaac, 81, Founded

Gallery, Artworks, LEAF

In 2011, Bill Isaac shows off a rare A-shaped forge he saved during his restoration of the Old Blacksmith Shop on Route 28, Schuyler Lake, which he then ran as a art and crafts gallery. (

CHERRY VALLEY – William Gordon “Bill” Isaac, a Renaissance man and a beloved member of the greater Cherry Valley community, best known recently for operating the Cherry Branch Gallery, died on May 5, 2019, at his home here with his beloved partner, Willow Partington, by his side along with her children and son-in-law.

Bill Isaac

Born on May 3, 1938, in Aurora, Ill., Bill was the son of Helen and Gordon Isaac, of Downers Grove. Bill’s mother was Chippewa (Ojibway).

Bill attended Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, receiving the S.C. Johnson Award in Chemistry. He left in May 1958 without a degree, and worked as a chemist in Allied Chemical’s uranium refining plant in Metropolis, Ill.,  where he worked with radioactive materials. In 1960, Bill moved to New Orleans where he worked as a picture framer and began oil painting, selling his works in Pirates’ Alley and local galleries. He was drafted into the Army in 1961, and worked at Fort Detrick, Frederick, Md.. In 1963, he received an honorable discharge.



Cherry Branch Gallery To Close At Year’s End

Cherry Branch Gallery

To Close At Year’s End

A painting by Richard Saba and sculpture by Chris Duncan in a 2015 exhibit at the Cherry Branch Gallery.

CHERRY VALLEY – After 15 years, the Cherry Branch Gallery is closing at the end of the year, proprietor Bill Isaac announced today.

The gallery is currently exhibiting a ceramics exhibition entitled: “From the Ground Up: Clay Forms,” which continues to Dec. 2.

It will participate in the village-wide Holiday Market with a two-day, all-day open house Dec. 8-9, featuring Christmas gifts.  The Holiday Market will continue until Dec. 20, the gallery’s last business day.

“My intention in starting the gallery was to provide a venue where local artists could exhibit and market their work,” Isaac recalled.

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