Cover photo for Dorothy J. Isom's Obituary
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1928 Dorothy 2021

Dorothy J. Isom

May 30, 1928 — September 13, 2021

Dorothy J. Isom, born Salvatrice Janello, and then given the English name, Dorothy by her parents, passed peacefully from this world in the arms of the angels on Monday, September 13, 2021. She was 93 years old.

Dorothy, born on May 30, 1928, was the 6th of 7 children born to Calogera (Lena) Palumbo and Giuseppe Ianello, who immigrated to the United States from Palermo, Sicily via ship in 1911 and 1898, respectively. At Ellis Island, NY, her father’s surname was inadvertently changed to Janello by the US border agent. Her parents moved to Christopher, Illinois from New York City in the 1920s. Dorothy remained in Southern Illinois until her marriage to Robert (Bob) Gene Isom on September 11, 1948. The couple lived in various locations during the first 12 years of marriage, including Bethesda, MD and Milwaukee, WI. During that time, Dorothy worked as a bank teller to support the couple’s dreams of college and medical school for Bob. Dorothy was awarded her own PHT (Put Honey Through) degree from Marquette University Medical School in 1961. From there they moved to Oshkosh, WI, where they raised a family of four children. Following retirement, cool weather months were spent in SanDestin of Miramar Beach, FL, where the couple owned a second home, had great friends, and played lots of tennis.

Dorothy was well known in Oshkosh and in SanDestin for her dedication to strengthening and building her community through charitable work. Her favorite causes included Lourdes Academy, St. Mary’s Parish, the Junior League, Mercy Hospital Auxiliary and the EAA Medical Clinic in Oshkosh, along with Sacred Heart Hospital and Grand Boulevard Health and Rehabilitation Center in Miramar Beach, FL.

Dorothy had a natural talent for building and maintaining friendships. Her warm smile and kind words were infectious. She cherished her large group of friends, especially those in her tennis league, bridge club, Edgewater, antique clubs, and quilting group. She loved her home on Lake Winnebago, where she nurtured children, husband, several pets and the surrounding landscape and gardens.

Dorothy’s final years were spent in the assisted living and skilled care areas at Evergreen of Oshkosh, WI. There, she continued her tradition of putting others’ needs before her own, making new friends, warming hearts, and showing genuine interest in each person until her dying day.

Dorothy is preceded in death by her husband Bob, son John, grandsons Jeffrey and Patrick, daughter-in-law Diana, all of her siblings, their spouses, brother-in-law Bill Isom, several cousins, nieces, and nephews. She leaves behind three children: Lori (J. Kelley Bentley), Mary (Tom Nolte), Jeffrey (Sara Roth), grandchildren Helena Krusec (Austin), Mike Nolte (Fiance Liz Harkin), Kevin (Mimi) Nolte, Audrey Bentley, Joseph Isom, Kathleen Isom, Ho-su Isom, Younhee Isom, Henry Isom, and one great-grandson, Hunter Krusec.

She will be remembered for her deep faith, her eagerness to help those around her, her warm personality, her creativity, and her quick wit. Her enduring strength in the face of adversity was extraordinary. May her memory be a blessing.

The Isom Family extends special thanks to the staff members of Evergreen Manor View (especially Perla, Neena, Kerby, Renee, Sam, Theresa, JoAnn and Aaron) and Creekview South, Home Care Assistance companion care (Kathy, Heather and Kiara), and Moments Hospice (Kim, Jenny, Amber, Amy, Brooke and Joshua). We are thankful to the team of healthcare workers who cared for Dorothy around the clock. Our family will never forget their remarkable kindness, talent, patience, and empathy. Additionally, the family would like to recognize Tricia Wagner, who faithfully provided on-site personal grooming, friendship, bouquets of flowers, and treats over the years spent in Evergreen and upon her death. Dorothy loved Tricia like a daughter.

A private Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Jude Catholic Church on September 18th. Dorothy will be interred next to her husband Bob in the Sacred Heart Cemetery, Oshkosh. The family is planning a celebration of life in the future, due to current Covid-19 concerns.

In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to Lourdes Academy or the Alzheimer’s Foundation.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dorothy J. Isom, please visit our flower store.

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