• • •  ELLEN ISALY CLARK • • •  
BIRTHDAY: May 17, 1951
Daughter of Bud Isaly and Bette Williams Shuman
Granddaughter of Walter Isaly and Henrietta Isaly
Married to Bill Clark
Mother of Bill Clark and Rob Clark
Email Ellen

was born here in Columbus, Ohio to Walter Thomas "Bud" Isaly 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!

I 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.

I 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.

Right 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!

In 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 graduated.

When 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 the Upper 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.

I've been president of the Upper Arlington Alumni Association for several years now and I love working with the group. Besides doing the Bearalums.com website, I work with reunion chairmen to help plan reunions.

I 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.

The 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 better.

We 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.