Sunday, July 25, 2010

Julanne Rotta, piano teacher, owned Bell Studios in Elyria, Ohio

Julanne M. Rotta, pictured here with her husband, Donald, taught students to play piano and keyboards at Bell Piano Studio on the second floor of the Driscol Music building on Broad Street in Elyria, Ohio, from 1978 to 2000.

She retained the name of the business after purchasing it from its founder.

After moving to Huron, Ohio, Julanne commuted to Elyria several times a week to continue giving lessons to her students, most of whom lived in Elyria.

She estimated that she taught more than 2,000 students – from young children to retirees – during her teaching career.

In order to keep students interested in their lessons, Julanne had them practice music they liked - from classical to pop to country - in addition to scales and other basics.

Julanne died of complications from cancer on July 25, 2010, at Concord Care Center in Sandusky, Ohio, at age 60.

She was born Julanne Marie Isabelle, the eldest of three siblings, in Marquette, Mich. Her father was an iron ore miner; her mother, a schoolteacher.

"Jules," as she was known to many, played piano at an early age. At 4, she began playing piano for church choirs in Marquette.

When she was 5, she appeared on television with several other young pianists in a segment of the "Ed Sullivan Show" featuring piano prodigies.

Julanne graduated from Marquette Senior High School and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, where she majored in piano performance.

In recent decades, she occasionally played piano at Zion Lutheran in Huron, according to her husband. She also played for fellow Concord Care residents and for church services conducted by local ministers at the nursing home.

She and Donald were married on April 12, 1986, at Messiah Lutheran Church in Marquette.

In addition to her husband, Julanne is survived by her sister, Mary (Terry) St. Pierre of Escanaba, Mich.; brother, Henry J. Isabelle of Fredonia, Wis.; and a nephew.

She also is survived by her husband’s sons, Christopher (Gwen) Rotta of Amherst, Ohio, Stephen (Laura) Rotta of Riverview, Fla., and Jeffrey Rotta of Woodstock, Ga.; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Henry Wilfred and Julanne Marie (nee Honkavaara) Isabelle.

Arrangements were by Hempel Funeral Home of Amherst, Ohio.

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