GRAVETTE After a short bout of pneumonia, Jeanne Annabelle Stieglitz Hubbard, 93, passed away Sunday evening, February 25, 2018, at her home in Gravette, Arkansas, surrounded by family, friends and her beloved cats.
By the numbers, Jeanne was primarily an Iowan. She was born in Des Moines to Harry and Bessie Stieglitz on October 19, 1924. And Iowa is where she remained for more than three decades. But Minnesota and Arkansas also played major roles in her life story.
She grew up riding her bike and learning to garden and sew from her parents. As a family, later joined by sisters Laura and Shiela, they traveled the country by car, from Tarpon Springs in Florida, to Atlantic City in New Jersey, and the Bay Area in California. She also discovered music and learned to play piano, violin, clarinet, and the accordion.
After graduation from East High School, Jeanne attended Iowa State College (later Iowa State University) in Ames and earned two degrees from the University of Iowa in Iowa City. Then with her husband, Elbert “Al” Hubbard, and three children, Michael, Harriet, and Carole, she moved to Durant, not many miles from the Mississippi River that forms Iowa’s eastern border.
That’s where Jeanne switched careers from the electrical engineer she had been when she met Al until the birth of Carole, their youngest. She decided she wanted to become a teacher! Durant had an opening for one in fourth-grade, so she took it, even though fourth grade was one of the grades Jeanne had skipped in her own school career. But that did not keep her from instructing 9- and 10-year-olds for 25 years, including both Carole and Harriet.
The last 20 of those years were spent in Anoka, Minnesota, northwest of Minneapolis, with the Mississippi this time just two blocks down the street and the name of her school. Then it was on to Gravette, in extreme northwest Arkansas, for 30 years as a retiree.
Travel with three children was not Jeanne’s idea of a vacation, so trips in that era were mostly to visit her in-laws in upstate New York. However, travel as empty nesters held a real appeal to both Jeanne and Al. Spurred by a trip she took with Harriet to England, Scotland, and Wales, Jeanne talked Al into accompanying her on another trip to England. That turned into many, and eventually led to excursions to France, Spain, Morocco, Panama, Gibraltar, Egypt, and many points in between.
Joining organizations was also an interest Jeanne and Al shared. As a young adult, Jeanne was active in the American Association of University Women and the alumni association of her college sorority, Chi Omega. In Gravette, she was active in a quilters group, travel group, an investment club, among others. The Hubbards also often supported such organizations as the Billy V. Hall Senior Center in Gravette and the Gravette Public Library, their alma maters, the University of Iowa and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., and PBS, the home of so many of her favorite programs, from the 1960s “Upstairs Downstairs” to today’s “Victoria.”
Architecture was another of Jeanne’s interests. She used her knowledge of design principles such as the benefits of cross ventilation and the kitchen work triangle to modify blueprints to build houses in three of her four hometowns. Designing the kitchen for her first home, in Des Moines, won her a double-oven electric range as a prize. In the fourth hometown, Durant, she developed plans to update a 1901 grand family home left nearly untouched by its residents for 60 years.
Sewing, quilting, gardening, cooking, preserving, crafting, and ceramics were other creative yet practical pursuits Jeanne perfected. (Frivolous was not in her vocabulary.) She was proud of growing broccoli, kale, and kohlrabi decades before they became stars of the produce aisle.
Jeanne was preceded in death by her parents, her husband of 55 years, and her son.
Left to cherish her memory are her daughters, Harriet and her husband John Breuer of Cinnaminson, N.J., and Carole Hertz of Laramie, Wyo.; her grandchildren, Jennifer Thomas of San Francisco, Paul Hertz of Ames, Iowa, and Lindsey Breuer-Barnes and her husband Alan Barnes of New York City, and sisters Laura Darrah of Folsom City, Calif., and Shiela Park and her husband Richard of Carmichael, Calif., as well as many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at Gravette United Methodist Church. Memorials may be made to the Gravette Senior Center or another organization of the donor’s choice.
Arrangements are by Bella Vista Funeral Home and Crematory. Online condolences may be made at www.funeralmation.com.