The Odessa Record -

Tribute: Anona Margaret Heimbigner


August 30, 2018

Anona Margaret Heimbigner passed away July 2, 2018, four months shy of her 105th birthday. Born in Eureka, Kan. on November 12, 1913 to Mary Margaret Cole and Roy Miller Wilson, she was the eldest sibling to brother Clair and sister Mariana.

She grew up in Great Bend, Kan., where her father worked as an electrician bringing electricity to the city and surrounding area. Graduating in 1931, she completed her first two years of college at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan. studying art. With the help of her uncle, who was a professor at Washington State College (now a university) in Pullman, she transferred to Cheney Normal School (now Eastern Washington University), graduating with a degree in education in 1935. Her first job was teaching fourth, fifth and sixth grades in Johnson, Wash., a small town south of Pullman.

The next 37 years were spent in the Odessa school system. She taught all levels, finishing her career teaching high school English, art and literature and serving as the school librarian. She was an advisor to the Odessa chapter of the National Honor Society and occasionally helped put on the annual high school play. Always a teacher, it was reported to the family that she instructed several of her nurses and caregivers during her later years in the proper use of "lie" and "lay."

Anona married Ed Heimbigner in 1940, and their union produced two daughters, Lynn (Darryl Tapp) and Connie (Don Dahmen). They also became guardians for two children, Debbie Miller (whereabouts unknown) and Harry Barrett of Vancouver, Wash. She is survived by her daughters, her son-in-law Don Dahmen, grandson Jeff Leonard, sister Mariana Foliart, niece Kerrick Mainrender and Harry Barrett, as well as other nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, her brother and her son-in-law Darryl Tapp.

Her hobbies include painting, reading, bridge, teaching, traveling and genealogy. She was able to trace a branch of the Wilson tree back to the 1600s. She was a founding member of the Odessa art club the Palettes, a founding member of the Reader's Club, a founding member of the Town of Odessa's library and belonged to several bridge clubs. She was the first woman council member for the Town of Odessa.

Anona was an avid environmentalist, supporter of the arts, enthusiastic traveler and fabulous artist in her own right. She loved to write and receive letters, hear of her students' successes and learn languages such as Latin, German and Spanish.

For those who wish to do so, memorials can be made to the Odessa Public Library (Friends of the Library, P.O. Box 218, Odessa WA 99159), Planned Parenthood or an environmental organization of the donor's choice. She would encourage others to read (for one's self and to others), travel and be kind to the environment.

A celebration of her life will take place October 13 at the Old Town Hall in Odessa.


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