Sunday, August 24, 2003

Margaret Heisel was a volunteer, leader

By Karen Andrew
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Community and church volunteer Margaret C. Heisel died Aug. 12 at Mercy Franciscan Hospital Mount Airy. The College Hill resident was 85.

A 1935 Norwood High School graduate, she later worked as a secretary at Procter & Gamble Co.

In 1938 she married Bruce E. Heisel of Westwood.

During her late 20s, Mrs. Heisel contracted polio but eventually recovered except for some lingering physical problems. Her daughter, Peggy Somoza of Finneytown, said her mother "often attributed her determination and zest for life to the struggle she had at that time in overcoming the disease."

In 1945, the Heisel family moved to Westwood, where they became members of the Westwood First Presbyterian Church. Mrs. Heisel served as a Sunday School teacher, youth leader, president of the women's society, the church's archivist and an elder.

She was a member of the Westwood Woman's Club, where she held several positions including treasurer.

She was active with the Girl Scouts, serving as a leader and as a director of the summer day camp in Delhi Hills, where she and her daughters spent weekends clearing new camp units and digging latrines.

In 1950, she rejoined the workforce and held a number of secretarial positions, most recently with the University of Cincinnati. She retired from UC in 1980.

The Heisels loved to travel, visiting Beirut, Lebanon and Europe a number of times. After her husband's death in 1973, Mrs. Heisel continued to travel to Europe; she also visited Egypt.

She moved to the Twin Towers Retirement Community in College Hill in 1996, where she was known for her bright red scooter with the license plate, "Margaret's Wheels."

Mrs. Somoza said her mother was always trying to expand the minds of her grandchildren to make them aware of the vast opportunities available in the world.

"Her family remembers Margaret for her zest for life, her spirit, her kindness, and upbeat personality," said Mrs. Somoza. "She was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, aunt and friend."

In addition to her daughter, survivors include a brother, Harry F. Schlueter of Milford; two other daughters, Nancy Dawley of Kenwood and Jane Foy of Scranton, Pa.; and five grandchildren.

Services have been held. Memorials to a charity of donor's choice.



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