Abernethy Isaly was born in Circleville, Ohio
on August 3, 1890 to Blanche Mitchell and Thomas
Jefferson Abernethy (we grandchildren all remember
the many references to "Papa" Abernethy,
don't we?) Her sister, Elizabeth
Beatrice (Auntie), was born on November 24,
1892. Their mother, Blanche, died from typhoid
fever when Gramma and Auntie were very young;
she had taken care of the rest of the family as
they suffered through the illness before her.
Abernethy, an attorney in Pickaway County and
later in Columbus, raised Gramma and Auntie alone
until he married Nellie Cain, whom we knew as
about Papa here.
married Grampa (Walter Eugene
Isaly) on October 24, 1916. She devoted her
life to Grampa and Auntie and to her children:
Betty born in 1918; Bud,
born in 1920; and Earl,
born in 1924.
1953, when Gramma was 63 years old, my father,
Bud, was tragically killed in an automobile accident.
Because my parents had been divorced and my mother
simply couldn't handle the responsibility of a
not-quite-two-year-old child, Gramma and Grampa
decided to have me come to live with them, and
they raised me.
died in 1962, when I was 11 years old, and Gramma
and I lived together there in the house at 2342
Arlington Avenue until I was married in 1973;
after I moved out, she continued to live in the
house a little more than one year. She passed
away on September 4, 1974.
all fondly recall the Sunday dinners at Arlington
Avenue ... the Christmas and Easter celebrations
... and the warm sense of family that Gramma and
Grampa nurtured in all of us. I feel blessed to
have had the opportunity to look to Gramma as
my mother figure; she may have been two generations
removed chronologically, but in spirit and energy,
she was younger than women half her age. She was
devoted to all her family, and I remember her
sitting in the dining room during the evenings
talking to Aunt Betty on the phone, laughing,
solving the problems of the world.
my eyes, Gramma was the finest woman who ever
lived. She was, as so many people commented, a
"Great Lady." She had high standards
and principles, and she taught her lessons by
remember how she would sit in the breakfast room
with me in the evenings and quiz me for tests,
or proofread my work. She always had time for
me ... ALWAYS. I know that raising a young girl
when she was in her sixties and seventies had
to be exhausting; after all, these were her "Golden
Years," and she gave them to me. What a gift!
Even as a child, I had an appreciation for the
sacrifices she made to take good care of me.
taught me about my father, Bud, and when she told
those stories, even as she smiled, her eyes would
fill with tears. Now that I am a mother, I can
finally understand that mother-child bond, but
I can never understand the grief she must have
had endure upon his passing.
know that Gramma holds a special pace in the hearts
of all the six grandchildren. Remember her delicious
fried chicken and mashed potatoes? Can't you just
picture her scurrying around the kitchen in her
embroidered apron, fussing over the Sunday dinner,
and then barely sitting down because she was fretting
that someone might go hungry?
how, as each grandchild left the house, she would
slip a little money into your hand?
miss Gramma every single day of my life, and while
I've been working on this web site project I have
felt her presence, and I sense her smiling as
she knows that we six grandchildren are about
to reunite. This time, it'll be the six of us
PLUS the amazing children and grandchildren who
would also make her proud.
Anne Latham Stiles:
Grandma was indeed a fine lady, in the truest
sense. She was refined, elegant, poised, patient,
generous, loyal and gentle. She is the type of
woman I always strive to be, but know that I could
never even approach. I do remember so well our
regular Sunday family dinners of fried chicken
and mashed potatoes in the winter months and homemade
potato salad and lemonade in the summer. No one
could cook better than Gramma! Her pies, cakes,
and cookies were to die for. I think my need to
serve big meals on holidays comes directly from
Gramma. Of course, my mom carried on her tradition
with gusto. Sometimes Heather and Jeremy ask me
why we need to have such elaborate meals at Christmas.
Well, its all because of Gramma- and I wouldnt
change it for anything. Memories are truly created
around the dinner table.
remember our summer vacations when my mom would
drive me, Ellen, Grandma and sometimes Ray (if
he wasnt away at Culver or some other camp)
to some really neat places. We traveled out west
to the state parks, up to Canada, to Niagara Falls,
and New England. We had such a wonderful time.
Ellen and I would sit in the back seat giggling,
playing with our dolls, and playing the ABC road
game. We whispered and made fun of Gramma and
mom for always wanting to go antiquing
in quaint towns. Their favorite expression
was, Isnt that quaint? Ellie
and I would just roll our eyes when they said
it. They sat up front in the car munching on Jordan
almonds as we traveled the highways.
In 1964 we took the big boat to Europe.
Boy was that fun. We had a large suite and I remember
that Gramma got real seasick. But she did love
the ship and the excellent meals. It was definitely
the trip of a lifetime. In Europe she and mom
loved visiting the art museums and seeing the
architecture and historical sites. Ellie and I
tolerated those, but I was more interested in
checking out the cute guys (hey, I was 15!). Ellie
wasnt sure what was so cool about guys at
the time, but I think she was secretly taking
lessons from me. Ray was also in Europe, but was
traveling with his buddy, Charles Mahan. I was
kind of jealous that he got to do whatever he
wanted while I had to go to all the museums!
Anyway, back to Upper Arlington and Gramma. She
was always supportive of me, and always willing
to listen to my problems. I knew that I could
trust her and talk about some things with her
that I couldnt talk about with my mom. I
remember the Easter egg hunts in the side yard,
the croquet games, picking cherries off the trees,
and smelling the beautiful flowers that Gramma
grew. What wonderful memories she provided me.
Thank you, Gramma!
you would like to write your memories of Gramma
them to me, I will post them here.