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.

Dixie Slaughenhaupt, former Elyria RN, always looked for ways to help others

Even after Dixie Slaughenhaupt lost the ability to control her balance in the 1980s and depended on an electric wheelchair to get around, she acted as an advocate for fellow patients at Amherst Manor nursing home, coached young nurses and volunteered as a reading tutor for elementary school students.

Dixie, who died June 15, 2010, at age 68, had mobility issues for most of her life.

As a child in the 1940s, she had surgeries to correct scoliosis or curvature of the spine, which doctors believed was caused by undiagnosed polio during infancy.

Years later, the results of tests performed at the Cleveland Clinic identified Chiari malformation, a structural defect in the part of the brain that controls balance, as the culprit.

"She overcame so many physical obstacles in her life," said her neighbor Muriel Koepp. "She never let it get in the way of her doing the things that she wanted to do."

Mainly, Dixie wanted to help others.

"She was an incredible person, so insightful to problems and situations, always focusing on the positive, interested in everything," Koepp said. "I just know she was put here on Earth by God to be a shining example of courage and faith to each one of us."

Click here to read more about the "Dash Between" January 8, 1942, when the Elyria Township, Ohio, resident was born Dixie Cole in Galion, Ohio, and June 15, 2010, when Jim Slaughenhaupt's wife died at Aristocrat Berea, in the July 25, 2010, edition of the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Bernie and Virginia Plus 13

Bernie and Virginia Schalther lived most of their respective 90 years together, producing 13 offspring during the first 18 years of their marriage.

Eyes turned when the couple took their kids on Sunday drives in their 9-passenger station wagon in the 1950s and '60s.

“When we’d come to a red light, you could see the people next to us counting us in the car,” said Jeanne Frey, their 4th-born child said.

A special "Double Dash Between" was published in the July 11, 2010, edition of the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram for Bernie, who died May 21, 2010, and Virginia, who passed a few weeks later on June 26, 2010.

Both were born in Olmsted Falls, Ohio, and lived in Elyria, Ohio, since 1948.

Click here to read their "Dash Between" and view 20 photos of them at various phases in life, including this family portrait from 1961:

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Mae Pulaski Dillworth's "Dash Between"

The story of the "Dash Between" July 16, 1922, when Mae Dillworth was born Maria Agnes Pulaski in the North Hill section of Akron, Ohio, and June 20, 2010, when the grandmother and longtime resident of Granger Township, Ohio, died at Hospice of Medina County at the Inn, appears in the July 5, 2010, edition of the Medina County Gazette.

The daughter of Polish immigrants worked for many years as a teller at First National Bank of Akron.

Mae married Verne Dillworth, who served in the Army Infantry in Europe during World War II, on Oct. 17, 1942, at St. Hedwig Catholic Church in Akron.

She once served as president of the Polish Legion of American Veterans Ladies Auxiliary Chapter in Summit County. Her husband, who is of Irish descent, is a past president of PLAV Post 32 of Akron.

Mae and Verne raised two children, Jerry Dillworth and Veronica Hayes, on a farm in rural Medina County.

Click here to read the full story in The Gazette.

At the top, Mae is pictured with her parents and older siblings at her First Holy Communion. Below is a photo of Mae, center, with other PLAV Auxiliary officers.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Rose and Fred Ketchum married in a furniture store window 100 years ago

Rose Herman, a resident of Litchfield, Ohio, in 1910, married Fred Ketchum, who lived all his life in Elyria, Ohio, were married in the display window of the Harry H. Smith Co. furniture and home furnishings store in Elyria on July 4, 1910.

Storeowner Harry H. Smith devised the wedding-in-a-window as a promotional gimmick. The Ketchums, both in their 20s, were chosen for the holiday event after answering an ad that promised free furniture to a couple who would get married at the store in front of thousands of folks who spent part of Independence Day in downtown Elyria following a parade.

The couple also had to ride in the parade on the furniture store's float -- a horse-drawn wagon, specially decorated for the occasion.

Fred Ketchum died Nov. 10, 1964. Rose followed on Jan. 15, 1967.

A fuller account of this unusual holiday story appears in the July 4, 2010, edition of the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram. Click here to read all about it.