Love of Classmates: Eileen Zelis Aria, ’02

The BHS Class of 2002 is remembering the shining light that was Eileen Zelis Aria, known as Zelis or “Z” to her classmates. She lost her life traveling back to Columbus from New York City on January 5 the when the bus she was on crashed on the Pennsylvania turnpike. A 2017 graduate of The Ohio State University of Dentistry, she was completing an anesthesiology residency in New York City at Jacobi Medical Center. 

While attending dental school and living in the Columbus area, Zelis was a member of the Ohio Roller Derby and skated under the name Loraine Acid. After moving to New York, she began skating with the Suburbia Roller Derby team. She was a fierce competitor, yet according to a teammate, she was also “the nicest person on the planet.” Following graduation from the College of Dentistry, Zelis did a monthly rotation during her residency with Bryant Cornelius, DDS, Dental Anesthesiologist at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center. Dr. Cornelius described Zelis as compassionate, very smart and who worked well with patients. He thought she would make “a perfect anesthesiologist.”

Zelis attended the Bexley Schools from elementary through high school. In high school, she played field hockey and the flute in the marching band. She was a National Merit Scholar and member of the National Honor Society. BHS Classmate, Travis Irvine remembers her amazing kindness, and in a social media post following her death noted that, “I want to take my memories of Zelis and practice kindness as much as I can, so that the people around me feel that kindness.”