Sara Heberle joined her beloved husband, Eddie, on July 26, 2013 at the age of 93. She was born on October 12, 1919. She started life as the youngest of five children. She grew up in Bismarck, North Dakota. Full of determination and energy, she pursued life's opportunities with passion, being the first in her family to graduate from the University of North Dakota.
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Sara was defined by her zest of life, love of her family, and belief in God and in America. She exemplified the American dream of hard work and effort bringing individual opportunities and the willingness to improve her community. During WWII, she was a member of USO and also was the director of activities for wounded veterans at the hospital. She met, fell in love, and married Edward Heberle shortly after the war. They danced through life together for over forty years.
As a young girl, Sara joined Girl Scouts. She was selected as the scout to present President Roosevelt with flowers during his train's whistle stop campaign in Bismarck. She earned the highest award in Girl Scouts, the Golden Eaglet, now known as the Gold Award. In the spirit of giving back, she later became a Girl Scout leader. Being a Girl Scout and Girl Scout Leader for over 40 years, Sara received Leader of the Year in 1999. She retired as a leader at the age of 87.
Her teaching career spanned 43 years beginning in North Dakota. She taught at Linton High School and directed the Linton City Band. She moved to Lodi in 1956, and she started teaching kindergarten at Woodbridge School. She is best known for her many years of teaching middle school at Woodbridge School and Lodi Senior Elementary including drama and sharing her love of performing arts. She was particularly fond of marching band music, singing, dancing and directing, performing or attending play performances. She received the Golden Apple Award in 1997. The Golden Apple Award is presented annually to one outstanding teacher by the San Joaquin County California Teachers' Association Coordinating Council.
Interested in serving her community, Sara helped start the Grandparents Reading Program in Lodi Unified. She volunteered in Lodi's classrooms until she was 89. While serving on the Lodi Unified School Board, she was the champion for children. She was awarded the Special Friend of Education by the Lodi Education Association.
Sara was willing to share her time and talents throughout the community in numerous volunteer activities often as the mistress of ceremonies and was known for her quick wit and tremendous sense of humor.
She was a member of several organizations including Emblem Club, Lodi Women's Club, Wednesday Club, the North County Teacher's Association, the American Association of Retired Persons, the American Legion Auxiliary, Dakota Club, Marc Club, Lodi's Newcomer's Club, Delta Kappa Gamma, California Retired Teachers' Association. She loved and supported St. John's Episcopal Church. She was also involved in Boy Scouts, PTA, Rainbow Girls, and DeMolay.
In addition, she was the chairman of the American Legion Auxiliary Americanism Essay Contest for over 20 years, served on Lodi Community Concert Association, was involved in creating Veteran's Plaza and served on the first Lodi Arts Commission. She was a volunteer at Loel Center. Her continued efforts on Field and Fair Day assisted with the development of Hutchins Street Square. After the beautiful building was built, she continued to donate her time to the activities there. Her commitment to the Lodi Grape and Wine Festival covered decades as she served as the manager of the art exhibition building. She earned the Festival's Blue Ribbon Award for her volunteerism.
Her time and effort to improve her community was recognized as she was named the Lodi Citizen of the Year for 2003, and Lodi Business and Professional Women named her the Woman of the Year in 2004.
Her family adored her, and she will be dearly missed by all of them. On a special note, Sara invested her full support of her grandchildren cooking delicious meals for them, attending their sporting events and other functions, giving them the gift of music, and providing support for their education and future endeavors. She exemplified the role of grandmother. Sara is survived by her daughter, Nancy (Tim) Thompson of Lodi, sons, Fred (Judy) Heberle of Lodi and Ron (Susan) Heberle of Lodi, grandchildren: Douglas (Janet) Heberle, Sara Thompson, Laura Heberle, Michael (Marni) Heberle, Cameron (Kim) Heberle, and Anne Heberle, and two great grandchildren, Julia and Jacob.
In lieu of flowers, Sara's wishes were that donations be made to the Sara Heberle Memorial Scholarship for the Performing Arts (F&M Bank, 121 W. Pine St.), to Girl Scouts of America (7475 Murray Dr., Stockton), or to St. John's Episcopal Church of Lodi.
Memorial Services will be held at St. John's Episcopal Church in Lodi on Saturday, August 3 at 1:00 pm and a Celebration of Life will follow the service.
Published in Lodi News-Sentinel from July 30 to Aug. 6, 2013