Sunday, September 28, 2003

Ingeborg R. Meckel taught at Lotspeich

Immigrant instilled love of German culture

By Karen Andrew
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Mrs. Meckel

BRIGHT, Ind. - Ingeborg R. Meckel's positive outlook helped her weather the hard times she experienced throughout life.

The retired teacher died Wednesday of cancer at her home here. She was 79.

At age 15, she moved from her birthplace - Erfurt, Germany to Dresden, when World War II broke out. Surviving the Dresden fire bombings in 1945, she then moved to Garmisch, Germany, to work as a human resources director for the U.S. Army.

She hired Dr. Alfred H. Meckel, whom she married in 1951, before the couple immigrated to the United States.

The Meckels moved to Cincinnati in 1954, because of the area's strong German influence and because Mrs. Meckel's sister, Karla Mackley, lived there.

In 1967, she became "Frau Meckel," a German teacher at the Lotspeich School, now part of Seven Hills School in Madisonville.

In addition to teaching, Mrs. Meckel thought it important to experience the culture of other countries. During her 20-year teaching career, she took more 350 children to Germany and Austria on ski trips.

"Known for her eternal optimism, love for children and an insatiable desire to promote cultural understanding, she was able to combine all of these interests over the span of her career teaching German in kindergarten through sixth grade at Lotspeich School," said her son, Timothy S. Meckel of Wellesley, Mass.

" 'Oma,' as she was affectionately referred to by her grandchildren, delighted in watching young children explore and discover."

She retired in 1987.

Her interests included having many pets, one of which was her 40-pound carp, Charlie, who became a local celebrity when he appeared on Channel 12's By George show in 1988. But Mrs. Meckel turned down an invitation to appear on the David Letterman Show because she did not want to harm Charlie with the traveling.

In addition to her husband of 51 years and son, survivors include a sister, Karla Mackley of College Hill; three grandchildren, and a niece, Kara Name of Dallas.

Visitation will be 1-2 p.m. today in the Norman Chapel, Spring Grove Cemetery, 4521 Spring Grove Ave, Winton Place, with a funeral service following at 2 p.m.

Memorials: Margaret Mary Hospice, P.O. Box 226, Batesville, IN 47006.


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