On October 8, 1941, in Houston, Texas, Mannis Dorian & Annie Cormier Dorian were blessed with a beautiful daughter, Isabella Rose Dorian. She was raised in the Catholic faith – first as a member of St. Anne De Beaupre Catholic Church.
She joined St. Monica Catholic Church in 1960, which remained her church home and extended family until her passing. She eventually became a member of the Ladies Auxiliary of St. Peter Claver, Ct. 151, and served in various other roles at St. Monica for decades.
Isabella attended Carver High School in Houston, Texas, and enjoyed a number of hobbies, including her love for sewing. Her pursuit of academic excellence led to her become the first member of her family to pursue higher education. While at Texas Southern University, Isabella met the man whom would later become her husband, Eugene Edwards. Isabella transferred to and graduated from the University of Texas – Medical Branch in Galveston (“UTMB”) with a Bachelor of Science (“B.S.”) in physical therapy. Isabella was one of the first Black graduates to earn a Bachelor of Science in physical therapy from UTMB.
Upon beginning her fifty-year plus journey as a physical therapist, her uncle and Godfather, Louis Dorian (co-owner of C&L Shoe Shop on Lyons Ave. in Fifth Ward) encouraged her to become a beacon of light and example to others by investing her talents in the Fifth Ward community to serve those in need of medical care. She made the deliberate choice to give back and began working at St. Elizabeth Hospital as a physical therapist until it closed in 1989. Isabella absolutely loved being a physical therapist because it allowed her to transform and impact the lives of people every day. She successfully helped patients transition from grim prognoses to surpassing outcomes they never imagined possible. Under her care, patients learned how to walk again and often credited her with “saving” their lives. In addition to the remarkable results she helped her patients achieve, Isabella was just as well-known for her beautiful smile and infectious spirit. Isabella emanated such joy because she walked in her purpose to serve others daily.
While at the pharmacy picking up a prescription for her father, Isabella reunited with her once college suitor, Eugene Edwards, who had become a pharmacist. They went on to marry in 1976 and raised two daughters – Valerie and Amanda. Isabella’s priorities were God, family, hard work, education and service to others, and she instilled these values in her children. What finally convinced Isabella to retire from her passion of physical therapy was the birth of her only grandchild, Dylan Rose. Isabella relished in spending every waking moment with Dylan and she easily became the light of her life. Isabella went home to be with the Lord on September 15, 2021.