Born April 9, 1917, in Cleveland, Isabel Mordush passed away May 4, 2013. She was the firstborn child of Madge and James Forrest. Her idyllic early childhood was spent in Richfield in the Salt Box House that was eventually moved to the historic Hale Farm in Bath. At the age of 10, Isabel along with younger brothers, Garvin and Jack, moved with their parents to a farm in Burton. In 1934, Isabel graduated from Burton High School where she excelled in arts, literature and home economics. She entered Kent State University that same year, but not before attending the Great Geauga County Fair where she met George Mordush of Painesville at the Dance Pavilion. George wrote to Isabel after the fair, but she didn't answer. The following summer of 1935, they danced together again at the fair and this time the romance took hold. They eloped to Ripley, N.Y., on April 13, 1936, at the height of the Great Depression, keeping their marriage a secret while Isabel continued to attend Kent State University.
All that changed when George's mother found the marriage license in a dresser drawer! Isabel left Kent State and began living with George's family until he could build their first home on Madison Avenue in Painesville. Their family grew with the arrival of Gayle (1937), Brenda (1939) and Candace (1945). Much to their surprise and delight, their only son, Benjamin George, arrived in 1956.
Isabel was an exceptional homemaker, devoting a great deal of time and energy to her children. She passed her love of literature to them and she herself earned a reputation for devouring good books at a rapid rate. Her quick wit and gift of lively conversation coupled with her kind heart, warm spirit and generosity were an inspiration to all who knew her. A dedicated music lover, Isabel oversaw the music education of her children and enjoyed playing the piano herself nearly every day until the end of her life.
Isabel was a founding and continuing member of the Infant of Prague Study Club of St. Mary Catholic Church in Painesville, and was active in the Women's Auxiliary of the Painesville Township Volunteer Fire Department, co-founded by her husband. She was much beloved by both her own and her larger extended family, with devoted friends from coast to coast.
Isabel is survived by her children, Gayle Greenleaf, Brenda Hickey-Waldbauer, Candace (husband, Ken Sakatani) Forest and Benjamin (Shelley) Mordush; grandsons, Sergio (Victoria) Martins de Oliveira and Mauro (Laureen) Martins de Oliveira; great-grandchildren, Kalen and Lara Martins de Oliveira and Mahai'a, Ciyin, Rize and Aren Martins de Oliveira; stepgrandsons, Ryan Weed and William Cavanaugh; and devoted nieces and nephews, including Wanda and Jerry Chop and Linda, Kathryn and Cecil Murphy.
The family wishes to thank Isabel's compassionate care teams of both the Hospice of the Western Reserve and Precious Care Assisted Living for their loving care and support.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 9:30 a.m. Thursday at St. Mary Catholic Church, 242 North State St., Painesville, with calling hours from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Spear-Mulqueeny Funeral Home, 667 Mentor Ave., Painesville. Burial will be in Riverside Cemetery, Painesville.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations to the Hospice of the Western Reserve.