Cover photo for Isabel Lay's Obituary
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1926 Isabel 2021

Isabel Lay

July 8, 1926 — January 9, 2021

Brenham, TX

Isabel Swanson Lay “Bell”, age 94, passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 9, in Brenham, on the birthday of her Beloved Mother. She was born and raised in El Campo, Texas by Otto and Myrtle Swanson with her three siblings, Carl, Johanna, and Ann, all deceased.

Isabel married her husband and war veteran William Harden Lay of Springfield, Kentucky in 1944.  They lived in New Iberia, Louisiana with their loving and treasured daughter, Christine.  Isabel and Christine were active in the First Presbyterian Church of New Iberia and The Eastern Stars and Rainbow Girls. They loved cooking, sewing, growing flowers, and, singing together. The Lay home was often filled with friends for sleepovers, meals, and parties.

Bell and Bill moved to “The Farm” in Brenham, Texas in 1973 where they kept honey bees, maintained a fish pond, grew fruit trees, grapes, pecans, and an acre of vegetables which they shared with their neighbors.  She was an active member of the Women of the Presbyterian Church.  When she wasn’t canning, freezing, baking, pickling, and preserving, she worked part-time at JC Penney and later at Perry’s.  After retiring, Isabel was a volunteer at Baylor, Scott, and White Hospital in Brenham.

She is survived by her loving and treasured daughter Christine Lay Radcliffe, and her son-in-law Dr. Dennis Radcliffe of Smithtown, New York.  She doted on her Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren, all of Olympia, Washington.  Her Grandsons are Andrew William Bramham, and Trent Campbell Bramham along with his wife Shelly and their children Jillian Belle Bramham, and William Campbell Bramham.  Her nephew Frank Carl Swanson and his wife Judy reside in Houston.  Her nephew Richard Earl Swanson resides in El Campo, Texas. She is also survived by her friends, neighbors, and members of the Presbyterian Church who loved Bell with insurmountable amounts of love throughout the years, which include Kitty Adair, Melissa Bruckner, Melissa & Patrick Draehn, Cathy & Mitch Holder, Oleta Kellogg, Debbie Powell, Jan & Bob Wilhelmsen. STAFF at Baylor Scott & White Hospital, Argent Court Assistant Living, Focused Care Nursing Home, and Amedisys Hospice Care.

For those who wish to pay their respects, Isabel will lie in state at Memorial Oaks Chapel on Friday, January 15, from 7am until 7pm. Please note that social distancing is encouraged, and masks are required in our facility.  A funeral service for the family will be held on Saturday, January 16. Although in-person attendance to the funeral service is limited due to public health concerns, you are invited to view the live stream here on our website at 10am. A graveside service will be held at Garden of Memories Cemetery in El Campo, Texas at 1pm, also on Saturday. Rev. Amy Klinkovsky will officiate the services.

The family asks you to consider making a donation to the Women's Group of the Brenham Presbyterian Church.

Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Memorial Oaks Chapel, 1306 West Main Street, Brenham, TX 77833.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Isabel Lay, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)

Garden of Memories Cemetery, El Campo, Texas


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Private Service

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