Joan Wittry Hannasch

Honored by:Richard Hannasch
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Joan Wittry Hannasch my mom (and never one who liked to be called "Mother") told me once that she wished she could have attended Iowa State University as a full time student. She did spend a few weeks on campus years ago when she was learning to test milk for the Iowa Dairy Herd Improvement Association. She loved the campus and being part of it. Now through the Plaza of the Heroines she will be part of campus for as long as the plaza endures.

Mom attended St. Bernard's High School at Breda, Iowa and in her senior year she was Editor of the school paper. It was then printed in the town newspaper. Her teacher was advising her to go to college to major in journalism but there was no money for college. Mom worked in her Dad's insurance office until she got married. She and her husband had two sons when he was in an auto accident and died of his injuries. Later she later married Jerome Hannasch and they had 10 more children. Over the years Mom worked in and outside the home to help provide for this large family. It was not unusual to have large families in our mostly Catholic community.

Mom saw to it that we got to church school our varied jobs and got chances to succeed. Eleven of us grew to adulthood and eleven of us went to college. Mom is very proud of our achievements. Besides doing all the work that goes into family life my Mom found time to help her church neighbors friends and strangers.

Just recently I learned that she was part of a group that founded Carroll's chapter of the League of Women Voters. In her 40s she attended a class at the High School League in Carroll. The women were very active in local politics supporting the local candidates for office and getting people out to vote. I was surprised I hadn't heard about this before but then I realized I can never know all that my Mom has done for others my family and me.

I cannot begin to list the work my mom has done to earn her place in the plaza and the work she has yet to do. As with many people her work goes without much mention of appreciation and without public notice. I hope that this plaza is sufficient public fanfare Mom. May Joan Wittry Hannasch's place in this plaza be an honor that comes from all those people who know her for all she has done for us. Dick Hannasch