|Mary Ellen Wishart and Carol Ann Lunney
Bernice Leiter Muckenhirn had always dreamed of attending Iowa State University, "knowing" it was the top home economics school in the nation. Instead, she sent one of her daughters who graduated from ISU in 1962. We think it appropriate that she "attend" ISU as a permanent member of the Plaza of Heroines.
Indeed she was a heroine…a social worker in Minnesota during the Depression, a wife and mother during World War II, a caregiver to her ill mother, a model for two daughters, three granddaughters, and three grandsons.
Highly creative, she was an accomplished seamstress, cook, and organizer. She gave you the idea that nothing was impossible if you just worked hard enough. And she held high ideals for herself and her family. One look or comment from her was a quick reminder of appropriate behavior, academic performance, or career aspirations.
Widowed at 56, she moved to Kentucky from Minneapolis. During her years there, she helped care for her youngest grandson, building his confidence and creativity.
Now in her nineties, she is challenged to let go of the myriad of activities which filled her life…not an easy task even for a heroine.
Submitted on 03/05/2004