Calista Leigh Isbell, age 15, of Hays, Kansas passed away Wednesday, May 2, 2018, in Hays. She was born November 17, 2002, in Suixi, Guangdong China. Calista was adopted on May 24, 2004, by Jeanne Isbell, who became her loving and devoted mother.

Calista was a student at Hays High. She participated in softball, tennis, and karate. She enjoyed chess and started the Hays Middle School chess club. She was a vocalist and musician, playing the clarinet, piano, and guitar. She was also an avid reader and enjoyed drawing.

She cherished her friends, especially Alexis White, who would spend the night filling the house with laughter long into the night. Singing and music were Calista's passions. Her happiness could not be contained as she, along with a friend, won first place in the Hays High School talent show. She also earned a I rating for her clarinet solo at the State Music Festival and an excellence rating for her vocal solo. Listening to her play the piano at home was a joy for her mother.

She worked so hard at school, earning straight A 's, and her teachers loved her attitude, helpfulness and sense of humor. She aspired to be a pediatric oncologist and was considering colleges with Stanford being her first pick. Last summer she was invited to tour with the Kansas Ambassadors of Music to seven European countries singing the choir and playing in the band.

Calista loved her brothers and sisters. We will always remember her playful banter with Christopher, whom she cherished. She considered being a family the most important part of life. She hoped as they grew up they would always stay connected.

She is survived by her mother, Jeanne Isbell of Hays; two sisters, Cori and Judith Isbell, and two brothers, Jesse and Christopher Isbell, all of Hays; uncles Scott Isbell (Carol) of San Juan Capistrano, CA, Rand Isbell (Vilma) of Canyon County, CA, and Dann Isbell (Jessica) of Taiwan; aunts Lynne Isbell of Davis, CA, and Leigh Isbell of Oberlin, KS, numerous cousins, and a very special family friend, Merlin Schroer of Hays. She was preceded in death by her grandmother, Judith Isbell Miller, and family friend John Leyda of Oberlin, KS.

Memorial services will be 3 p.m. Sunday, May 6, 2018 with a memorial visitation starting at 2:30 p.m. all at the North Oak Community Church, 3000 Oak Street, Hays, KS 67601.

Arrangements in care of Brock's-Keithley Funeral Chapel and Crematory, 2509 Vine St., Hays, KS 67601.

Condolences may be left by guestbook at or by email at

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Calista Isbell Memorial Fund for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention at