|Richard J. Heuwinkel
A Role Model for Women As Educator, Family Leader and Good Neighbor
Lucille Anna Heuwinkel has been a life-long educator by profession and within her community and family. Born of Swedish immigrant mother and Danish immigrant father in 1913, Lucille was raised and educated in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Always a good student, she was inducted into the first chapter of the National Honor Society at Abraham Lincoln High School in 1929. At an early age, Lucille exhibited an interest and talent for music. She began playing the cello in the high school orchestra while still in junior high. During her tenure as first cellist, her high school orchestra went to state competition four years in a row, taking first place in each of the last two years. After completing "Normal" training at Abraham Lincoln High School in Council Bluffs in 1931, Lucille worked as an unpaid teacher for disadvantaged children at a local elementary school. Based in part upon a recommendation from the elementary school principal, Lucille "got her school" -- a one-room school in rural Pottawattamie County, Iowa in 1932. She taught there for over three years, delaying marriage for more than a year to do so.
In 1935, Lucille married Herman J. Heuwinkel and settled into the farm community near her first school. Over the years, she taught Sunday School and Bible School, encouraged her husband to continue his self-education, boarded the local school teacher, supported her husband in his service on the school board and set high expectations and encouragement for her own six children to achieve degrees ranging from Bachelors to Doctorate. Today Lucille keeps track of her seven grandchildren’s interests and sends them books, magazine subscriptions and newspaper clippings.
Lucille has been a family leader in four generations of her extended family. She was a confidante of her own mother. She helped raise her younger siblings and a nephew. She raised her own six children and is avidly interested in the development of her grandchildren, numerous great-nephews and great-nieces, and children in the neighborhoods in which she has lived. She has maintained contact with her father's family and offspring in Denmark.
Her nieces and nephews report profound memories of visits that occurred nearly 40 years ago to her farm home. Lucille maintains a diversity of interests ranging from astronomy, world affairs, travel, cross-word puzzles and music. On many a clear cold winter night, one of her children or grandchildren has been enjoined to venture outside, examine the heavens and experience a treatise on identification of a planet or constellation. Lucille's interest in travel was sparked by a train trip to the Chicago World's Fair in 1933 and has continued via bus, train, plane and automobile since. While the Cello was her first musical triumph, Lucille became accomplished in piano and vocal music as well.
Over the years Lucille taught countless school children, some of whom seemed tone deaf at the outset, to sing beautifully and enthusiastically. She sang her own children to sleep not only as babies but up into the "memory years." She awakened them on summer mornings with her piano playing. These experiences created a love of music in her children and her students such that now they are singing to their own children and participating in musical events all across America.
Lucille leads through observing and teaching basic values. She teaches and practices that a person should never stop learning that each person should strive to be the best that they can be and that every person regardless of gender color or station in life has an innate value to the world. She follows the path of honesty, integrity, hard work and service to mankind. She teaches that women are intelligent, independent leaders and contributors. And above all she practices these values with love and a profound sense of humor.
In her life's work and her personal beliefs Lucille Anna Ingeborg Johnson Heuwinkel is a role model for women. Her influence has been felt by several generations of children, from those she formally taught to her own family to the children of neighbors today.
Lucille's children: Ann Margaret Platt, Karen Elinor Leake, Richard John Heuwinkel, Joan Elizabeth Sanders, Deborah Lucille Heuwinkel, Mary Kathryn Heuwinkel
A Role Model