The Ottumwa Courier

December 28, 2012

Isabelle Nasby, 94, Ottumwa


OTTUMWA — Isabelle Mary (Collins) Nasby, 94, of Ossian, formerly of Ottumwa, died Dec. 24, 2012, at the Ossian Senior Hospice in Ossian.

She was born in Prairie du Chien, Wis., on May 30, 1918, to Thomas and Irene (McGovern) Collins. While a student at Luther, she met her future husband, Helge H. Nasby. They were married on April 17, 1943, in Quantico, Va., after he finished officers’ training for the Marine Corps.

As a small child, she and her family moved to Ossian, where she graduated from St. Francis de Sales High School in 1935. She received her B.A. degree in English and music education with a French minor from Luther College in 1939. While in college, she played violin in the college orchestra and sang in several of the college choirs. Isabelle’s class was the first to allow women to enroll at Luther.

She taught high school English, drama and vocal music in several Minnesota schools including McGregor, Waseca, Glenwood and Austin until the end of World War II, when she joined her husband in Lakefield, Minn., where he resumed his job teaching instrumental music. After raising their three children, she resumed teaching English in Sioux Valley, Minn., as well as in Lakefield.

In 1981, she and Helge moved to Ottumwa. While there, she belonged to HR group in PEO, Ottumwa Women’s Club, Ottumwa Civic Music as well as singing in the St. Mary’s choir for many years. In both Lakefield and Ottumwa, playing Bridge with several groups was always a highlight for her. Also in her earlier years, she enjoyed playing golf and bowling as well as creating many beautiful needlepoint pieces, which we treasure.

After her husband and she retired from teaching in 1977, they enjoyed many travels in this country and abroad which included many European countries as well as Ireland, Norway, Turkey and an African Safari. By far her favorite place to visit was Ireland, which she did five times. It was the home of her ancestors.

Isabelle and Barbara moved to Decorah in March of this year. Isabelle entered the Ossian Senior Hospice in May, where she was surrounded by many wonderful friends, both staff and other residents. She received such loving care, for which we are so grateful.

One of Isabelle’s favorite performers was Rosemary Clooney, whose favorite song in later years was “The Secret of Life Is Enjoying the Passage of Time.” These words so aptly describe Isabelle’s wonderful life.

She is survived by her three children, Patricia (Richard) Fechter of Byron, Minn., Robert (Karin Craven) Nasby of Eagan, Minn., and Barbara Nasby of Decorah; four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, Thomas (Gina) Fechter and their children Aidan and Katie of Fanwood, N.J., Jane (Craig) Erickson and their children Isabelle and Nathan of Byron, Minn., Sarah Nasby of Missoula, Mont., and Christopher Nasby of Eagan, Minn.; her brother, Maurice (Elaine) Collins of Decorah; as well as many nieces and nephews. A special friend and neighbor for many years is Debbie Lanzen who often visited Isabelle while enjoying a cup of tea together.

Preceding her in death were her parents, Thomas and Irene Collins; her husband, Helge Nasby; her brothers, Thomas (Evie) Collins and Robert (Madonna) Collins; a special brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Lloyd “Bob” and Olive Nasby.

Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. today at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Ossian; with Monsignor Cletus Hawes as the celebrant. Burial will follow in the St. Francis de Sales Catholic Cemetery in Ossian.

Visitation will begin at 9 a.m. today at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Ossian.

Memorials may be made in Isabelle’s honor to Ossian Senior Hospice.

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