born here in Columbus, Ohio to Walter Thomas
and Bette Williams
Isaly. When I was not quite two years old,
my father died in a car accident at the
age of 33. My mother didn't feel capable
of raising me, so Gramma and Grampa Isaly
offered to take me until she felt able.
It turned into a permanent situation, and
I lived very happily at 2342 Arlington Avenue
until my marriage to Bill
in 1973. Grampa passed away when I was in
sixth grade, but Gramma and I stayed together
in the house, and were quite a team!
feel the most amazing gratitude to both
of them. Can you imagine that at the age
of 63, they took in this little 2-year-old
girl, with a promise of raising her to adulthood,
if necessary? Gramma often reminded me that
my presence was a way of keeping my father
nearby. Sometimes I caught her looking at
me with tears in her eyes, and I knew it
was because she was missing my dad, and
that she saw part of him in me, somehow.
No one could have asked for more generous,
selfless, caring and devoted "parents"
than Gramma and Grampa. I miss them every
day. I remember and have passed on the many
lessons they taught me; their old-fashioned
values and standards were commendable, and
I appreciate them for providing me with
a secure and happy childhood.
went through the Upper Arlington schools,
graduating in 1969. Bill
Clark and I met and began dating during
our senior year at UAHS. From the time I
was a little girl, I'd wanted to be a teacher,
so I pursued that course of study and received
my BS in Education from The Ohio State University
in 1973 and an MA in Early Childhood Education
from OSU in 1983.
after graduation from college, I married
Bill. For eight years, I taught school -
primarily sixth grade - and was fortunate
enough to spend three of those years teaching
at Barrington Elementary School, where many
years earlier, I'd been a student! At the
same time, Aunt Betty was teaching at Tremont,
and she became my mentor. Aunt
Betty was a master teacher whose memory
is still vibrantly alive in UA. Many of
her former students have told me that she
was the best teacher they ever had, and
I believe them!
1981, our first son, Billy,
was born, and I "retired" from
teaching to be at home with him. Two years
later, Robby was born.
Once the boys were in school, I became active
in the PTO, served as each of the boys'
Cub Scout leader, and discovered that the
teacher in me kept me working at the schools
in one capacity or another until they both
I got my first computer back in 1998, I
discovered the challenges and fun of building
web sites. I made a couple of them just
for fun, and then created a web site for
Arlington Alumni Association in 2001,
which was my first paid site. Since then,
I have built my Web business, Designing
for You Ltd., to include 37 clients
whose sites I designed and now maintain.
Many of them are school and community-related,
and each one provides me with an artistic
outlet and constant challenges.
been president of the Upper Arlington Alumni
Association for several years now and I
love working with the group. Besides doing
Bearalums.com website, I work with reunion
chairmen to help plan reunions.
am also active in the UA Education Foundation
and I belong to a teacher's organization,
Delta Kappa Gamma. Auntie and Aunt Betty
also belonged to this group.
greatest joy of my life is family --- the
one in which I grew up, and the family that
Bill and I have nurtured. This reunion is
a dream of mine, and as an only child, I
considered my five cousins, Tom, Chuck,
Patty, Ray and Anne, to be my "pretend"
brothers and sisters. I looked forward to
our Sunday dinners, crowded around the dining
room table, and those wonderful holidays
that we spent together. In my eyes, everyone
loved each other and life was perfect. Naive?
Maybe ... but that's the way it felt to
me, those are the memories that remain,
and that's why I want to be with ALL my
cousins again, to reminisce, to catch up,
and to know their husbands, wives, and children
all were very fortunate to have been part
of this strong, loving family. Let's celebrate
the legacy of Gramma and Grampa, and continue
the family bond.