She was born Oct. 28, 1920, in Cooperstown, N.Y. She served as a Wave in the U.S. Navy Intelligence during World War II. She got a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Northwestern University in 1948. She married William Isely in Cooperstown in 1949 and moved to Pittsburgh, where she worked on the materials for the first U.S. atomic submarine. Her first son, Larson, was born in 1951 just before she moved to Baltimore. The next move was to Florida in 1955 because her husband wanted to be part of the space program. Her second son, Erick, was born in 1958 in Clearwater, Fla. She got into teaching Montessori when this innovative educational system was revived in 1960, first to her sons, and then made it a career until she retired. At one point, she bought an old school bus and equipped it as a traveling Montessori school room where she provided summer programs, mostly at Center for Spiritual Awareness on Lake Rabun, and also at Four Winds. She and her husband retired in 1987 to an old mountain farm on Walnut Creek Road in Franklin, N.C., with the idea of demonstrating sustainable living. She was active in the Macon County Garden Club, Save Our Rivers, the Mountain Light Network and Wayfarers Unity Chapel in Dillard. In 2010, she and her husband moved to Durham, N.C., to be near their older son.
She is survived by her two sons and her husband, who now lives in Durham.
A memorial service and ash scattering will be conducted at 10 a.m. Sunday June 24, at Wayfarers Unity Chapel, 181 Wayfarers Lane. For more information, call 706-490-2609.
The Clayton Tribune, May 31, 2012