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Helen Elizabeth (Adams) Bodensteiner 1907-1999


Posted By: IAGenWeb Volunteer
Date: 7/29/2010 at 17:54:31

Decorah Journal, Thursday, April 1, 1999

Helen Bodensteiner

Helen Elizabeth Adams Bodensteiner, 91, of Decorah, died of natural causes Friday, March 26, 1999.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, April 3, at 11 a.m., at the Congregational United Church of Christ, 209 W. Broadway in Decorah, with the Rev. Sue Hamly and the Rev. William Berg officiating.

Burial will be at Phelps Cemetery in Decorah. The Fjelstul Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Helen Adams Bodensteiner was born Dec. 24, 1907, in Decorah, the daughter of Burton Henry Adams and Winnie Landers Adams of Decorah.

She graduated from Decorah High School in 1926 and from Carleton College in 1930. She received her master's degree in 1933 from Northwestern University and did additional studies at the University of Minnesota.

Helen was united in marriage to Leonard "L. J." Bodensteiner July 22, 1939, in Decorah.

Helen taught speech and theatre arts at Decorah High School from 1932-39. After taking a break to start the couple's family of two boys, she was recruited to teach speech and drama at Luther College after World War II. She was a Luther faculty member from 1946-69.

When Helen arrived on the campus in 1946, the college offered only one course in play production. By the time she left, courses had been added in act-ins, directing and the history of theatre. A student could major in speech with a concentration in theatre.

In the early years, competition for the Preus *{gymn_________ thespians and sport teams. Also, Helen had to ______ch the content of her plays, so that ___________} the strict moral and ethical code of the college.

During her years at Luther, Helen directed 48 major dramatic productions and seven one-act plays, co-directed 11 operas; supervised at least 38 student-directed productions; and taught drama and interpretations of literature, as well as fundamentals of speech.

Helen retired with honor from Luther in 1969. Each year, outstanding actors are selected to receive the Bodensteiner Acting Award.

Helen received the Luther College Distinguished Service Award in 1986.

Helen was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, an honorary life member of the AAUW, and a member of the Minowa Players and Congregational United Church of Christ and its church circles.

Her activities in civic and church organizations often made use of her talents in speech and drama. Helen organized, directed and acted in the first Minowa Players. For years she served as a judge for high school speech contests.

In 1949 she produced and directed a pageant at the fairgrounds, depicting the 100-year history of Winneshiek County. She did a similar pageant in Fayette County. In 1951, Helen directed the "Soli Deo Gloria" pageant with a cast of hundreds, dramatizing Luther College's 90-year history.

Survivors include two sons, Dr. Joseph Bodensteiner, a general/vascular surgeon, and his wife, Emily, of Rhinelander, Wis., and Dr. John Bodensteiner, a pediatric neurologist, and his wife Donna, from Morgan-town, W.V.; five granddaughters, Karin Bodensteiner of Fort Collins, Colo., Kirsten Bodensteiner of Washington, D.C., Ingrid Bodensteiner of Rhinelander, Wis. and Beth Bodensteiner of Morgantown. W.V.; one grandson Peter Bodensteiner of Washington, D.C.; and one great-granddaughter, Anna Faye Bodensteiner-Emerson of Fort Collins, Colo.

Helen Adams Bodensteiner was preceded in death by her parents; and her husband Leonard "L. J." Bodensteiner, who died in 1997.

*{ _____ } the contents of these sentences is unreadable because of a twist in the newspaper paper and I deciphered as best I could.

Transcribed by an IA GenWeb Volunteer from obituaries found in the Howard-Winneshiek Genealogy Society Library, Cresco, Iowa.


Winneshiek Obituaries maintained by Bruce Kuennen.
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