Dolly Isham was born Zeatha Dolena Smith, the daughter of Allie (McLean) and Joseph “Harry” Smith, on March 11, 1928. Having always preferred the name Dolly, her friends and family remember her by this name.
Dolly passed away peacefully on Wednesday, March 7, 2018 in the company and comfort of family.
She was preceded in death by both her parents; her sisters, Cherry Michaud and Isabelle Smith; her brothers, William Smith and Frank Smith; her son, Scott Isham; and her granddaughter, Laura Isham.
She is survived by her husband, Neil G. Isham (Pete) with whom she celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on February 27, 2018. She is also survived by one brother, Donald Smith; her sons Michael (Don) Isham of Atlanta, Ga., Brian (Barbara) Isham of Traverse City, Gary (Terry) Isham of Charlotte, and Mark (Christine) Isham of Durango, Colo.; daughter-in-law, Joan Isham and Gary (Debbie) Christner who long ago become known as the sixth brother; grandchildren, Jason Isham, Alyssa James, Anne Kuhns, Will Ferguson, Casey Ferguson, Allison Isham, Matthew Isham, Erika Isham, Josh Isham; and two great-grandchildren, Kiera Isham and Zadie James. Many loving cousins, nieces, nephews and family friends will miss Dolly’s loving presence.
Dolly was born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and maintained her Canadian citizenship throughout her life. She loved spending time with her family in Canada. It was a highlight to take her boys to visit their cousins in Canada each summer. The family bond that was developed during those years continues with the family reunions that were held at Sand Bay, Ontario and recently moved to the Sylvan Shores Estate near Cheboygan. Dolly and Pete married in 1948. During the early years they resided in different communities, including Charlotte. In 1957 they began construction on their family home in Albion, where they resided for over 60 years.
Pete and Dolly retired 31 years ago and early on they enjoyed traveling. They worked as campground hosts at Pictured Rocks National Park in northern Michigan and Junction Creek USFS campground near Durango, Colo. Both gave time and talents to the Pine Mountain Settlement School in Kentucky as well as dedicating many hours to their own church, Caring Community Church of Albion. Dolly was a person of strong Christian faith and she had a special heart for the children of the church.
Dolly’s family would like to thank the many people who honored her life by helping her through her last days. She was blessed to have received the best and kindest of care from all she came in contact with, but especially of note are the staff and friends at Maplewood of Marshall and at Eaton County Health and Rehabilitation Services.
Visitations are scheduled at Caring Community Church in Albion on Friday, March 16, from 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, March 17, from 10 to 11 a.m. The memorial service will be Saturday, March 17 starting at 11 a.m. Condolences can be sent to the family through Kempf Funeral Home of Marshall. The family suggest memorial contributions be sent to the Caring Community Church Building Fund. Dolly and Pete were early members of the church and strong supporters of its growth.