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Redbird legacy: Following her sister to Illinois State

Obery family members

Obery family members showed their ISU allegiance and humor while tailgating during a Family Weekend on campus. They are, from left, Morgan Obery, Garrett and Whitney Blunier, Lisa and John Obery.

Lisa (Finch) Obery ’84 followed her older sister Sandra (Finch) Linn ’81 to Illinois State University, not knowing the decision would start a legacy that has created a special family bond.

Sandra studied math education and now teaches in Houston, Texas. Lisa was also drawn to teaching and chose elementary education. She stayed closer to her Central Illinois home, marrying John Obery and settling on his farm in Metamora. She ran a daycare, substituted, worked as a teacher’s aid and taught three years while raising their two daughters, both of whom chose ISU.

Whitney (Obery) Blunier ’08 transferred after completing an associate’s degree. Knowing of her mom’s positive experiences, she decided to study marketing at Illinois State. Beyond obtaining her degree at ISU, Whitney met her husband, Garret ’09. He also studied in the College of Business, focusing on human resource management. The two met through a mutual friend, Nick Boone ’09, and married in 2012. They reside in Nashville, Tennessee, where he is a police officer and she works in real estate.

Morgan’s desire was to choose a school further from home, yet she too found ISU to be a perfect fit for her planned agriculture career. She studied agribusiness and now works for BASF in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The Redbird connection is strong and appreciated by the entire family. Campus visits are planned as often as possible and enjoyed by all, as is the retelling of stories from their collegiate days.

“It’s been awesome because we are able to share our experiences,” said Lisa, who is grateful for John’s support. The two are still farming in Metamora, with Lisa teaching swimming lessons in the summer and managing the farm office. She appreciates the memories and possibilities found at Illinois State, summing up the family’s experience by saying, “We are all so very proud of the education we received from ISU.”

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