Eleanor LaFrance Isham was born March 11, 1927, in Williston, Vermont to Alfred Joseph and Dorothy (Grover) Lafrance. She attended elementary school at the Oak Hill School House and graduated from the Essex Junction High School when it was located on Prospect Street. After graduation, Eleanor attended the Johnson Normal School in Johnson Vermont for two years to be licensed as an elementary school teacher.
Eleanor first taught at the Lake Iroquois School in Williston from 1947-1950 a one-room school for grades 1-8 that closed in 1950 when the Williston Central School opened. Eleanor taught many of her future brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law in this schoolhouse. Eleanor boarded with Walter and Bessie Osborne on their farm on South Road.
George Edson Isham and Eleanor were married August on August 18, 1950, by the Methodist Minister Leland Smith in Hinesburg Vermont. They had three boys and one girl.
The Lake Iroquois School closed in 1950 and Eleanor taught at the Williston Central School from 1950-1951. She moved to the Essex Elementary School in Essex Vermont and taught for 38 years. Eleanor enjoyed all the children she taught over the years and would share their stories.
When George was drafted into the Army in 1954, Eleanor with two young children drove across the country to Las Cruces New Mexico to be with him until his discharge from the Army. While in New Mexico their youngest son Terry was born. They lived on Railroad Street in Essex for a while before moving to Williston. George and Eleanor lived at the corner of South Road and Oak Hill Rd in the former Lake Iroquois Schoolhouse for the remainder of their lives.
Her interests included baking and sewing. Everyone looked forward to her ginger cookies and her Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls. Eleanor loved belonging to the Grange and was a member of the Thomas Chittenden Grange, Beacon Light Grange, Chittenden County Pomona, Vermont State Grange, and the National Grange for over 60 years.
Eleanor is survived by her sons Jeff and his wife Elaine of Columbia, South Carolina, Kevin and his wife Gail of Randolph Ctr, VT, Terry and his girlfriend Doreen of Essex, VT and daughter Lori Leclair and her husband Ken of Colchester, VT. Eleanor leaves 11 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
Eleanor is survived by her brother Alfred Larry LaFrance of Essex VT and sister Shirley Tomlinson of Georgia VT. She is also survived by many nieces, and nephews.
She was predeceased by her husband George Edson Isham, her parents Alfred and Dorothy LaFrance and her brother Norman LaFrance, and sister Barbara Micklus.
In lieu of flowers please send any donations in Eleanor’s name to:
Bristol Rescue Squad
45 Monkton Road
Bristol, Vermont 05443
45 Talcott Rd
Williston, VT. 05495
The Beacon Light Grange
c/o Darcelene Wedge
99 Hollow Rd Hinesburg, VT 05461.
A celebration of Eleanor’s life will be held in the Summer of 2021.
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