Family Login:

Nancy Isaly

Obituary for Nancy Isaly

October 23, 1931 - October 30, 2017
Avon, Ohio | Age 86

Loving Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother


Nancy Lee Pennisten Isaly
Nancy Lee Isaly, age 86, of Avon, Ohio, died at her daughter's home in Avon Lake with her daughters beside her, and a grandson close by, on October 30, at 8:12 a.m. She was born on October 23, 1931, in Marion, Ohio, to Charles Robert and Leah Roberta (Johnstone) Pennisten.

Nancy married John Deardorff Isaly in September 1950. They were married for sixty years. She is survived by three daughters, Deborah (David) van Dommelen, of San Francisco, CA, Lorraine (Randy) Barker, of Nashville, TN, and Melissa (Lester) Isaly-Johns, of Avon Lake, OH, eight grandchildren, Evan, Ian, Ben, Hans, Mia, Stefan, and Lucas, and four great-grandchildren, Nina, Inez, Bailey, and Addie. Nancy was preceded in death by her parents, daughter, Cynthia, sister, Roberta Sue, husband, John, and grandson, Brant.

Mrs. Isaly graduated from Marion Harding High School in 1949 and attended Otterbein College. Nancy's early married life from 1950-55 took her to Ithaca, New York and Ft. Hood, Texas. From 1955-1969, she lived in Marion, while her husband, John, served as general manager of the Isaly Dairy Company. In 1969, the family moved to New Jersey to live briefly before returning to Marion in 1970 when Mrs. Isaly and her husband assumed ownership of the Isaly Shoppe on Mt. Vernon Avenue, at that time, a new concept in family dining. For twenty-five years, Nancy was an active business partner, supporting the family enterprise as bookkeeper and manager. She was a favorite face for many customers, her welcoming presence reason enough for many to patronize the restaurant. In 1995, she and Mr. Isaly retired and moved to Port Clinton, where they lived for fifteen years, moving to Avon in 2010.

Nancy was active in many business, service and church organizations, serving the Marion community as Program Chair of the PTAs of her daughters' elementary and junior high schools; Deacon of the First Presbyterian Church; Neighborhood Chair for Girl Scouts, USA; secretary of the Senior Women's Hospital Board; Chair of the Charity Ball Committee, which raised funds to support the Well Baby Clinic for low-income families; Co-chair of membership for the United Way Foundation, as an active participant in Mobile Meals, and as the first woman member of the Marion Chamber of Commerce.

Worldly and adventurous, Nancy enjoyed planning family camping trips with John to such places as Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, the Outer Banks, the Blue Ridge Mountains, and around the Great Lakes, sites of many fond family stories. Summers at Lake Erie were special for grandchildren when she and Grandpa encouraged family gatherings, so all could enjoy boating, swimming, and fishing, activities that strengthened family ties. After retirement, Nancy and John cherished their travels abroad to Italy, Greece, Australia, and the Caribbean as well as domestic sites, often with friends from their life-long, tight-knit group, many of whom had graduated from Marion Harding together.

Loyal and generous, Nancy was a model of acceptance and unconditional love. Extending through her last days, Nancy was steadfast in her support of her adult grandchildren. In their words: "She was so proud of each one of us for just being who we are, our diverse accomplishments and personalities. A great listener, she was understanding of our weaknesses, always striving to be helpful and comforting." "With her strength and positive attitude, she had an amazing ability to keep going through loss and difficulty." "I am so appreciative to have had Grandma in my life. She was a kind, fun, giving woman, and she made my childhood so special."
Memorial services will be held on December 30 at the First Presbyterian Church of Marion, Ohio. Calling hours at the church will be at 12:00 p.m. with the funeral service at 12:30 p.m. followed by burial at The Marion Cemetery.
Nancy's daughters express their gratitude to family, neighbors, friends, and caregivers for their gentle and compassionate support. Memorial contributions may be made to Marion Community Foundation, 504 South State Street, Marion, OH 43302, or at

Recommended Local Florist

Arrangements By

Busch Funeral and Crematory Services

163 Avon Belden Road
Avon Lake, OH 44012
Map  | Profile

View Phone Number
Email Us