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Natalie I. Isenberg, 82, Helped Fund Tay-Sachs Research

January 14, 2010
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Natalie I. Isenberg
Natalie Irene Isenberg, 82, a founding member of the National Tay-Sachs Association, died Dec. 10 at Lankenau Hospital. The former Natalie Gilbert, she was a resident of Merion.

Born in Philadelphia, Isenberg graduated from Girls High School and Temple University.

She also attended the Settlement Music School, and was a popular piano teacher when the family lived in Broomall some 30 years ago.

Isenberg, whose son Robert had Tay-Sachs, helped organize the first-known attempts to fund research into the deadly genetic disease, which strikes mostly infants of Eastern European/ Jewish lineage.

Along with her husband of 61 years, Stanley, Isenberg joined with a handful of other parents coping with Tay-Sachs to establish the group.

They raised funds through personal letter appeals, "bids and buys," and cake sales.

Isenberg enjoyed the scope of the performing arts, and often attended concerts at the Academy of Music and at the Mann Music Center with her husband for nearly 50 years.

In addition to him, Isenberg is survived by two sons, William Isenberg and Matthew Isenberg, and two granddaughters.

She was predeceased by a brother, Alfred Gilbert.

 

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