༺✿✿✿✿༻ LOVING MEMORY ༺✿✿✿✿༻
Leah L. Penner Hiebert
February 21, 1909 - February 28, 2009
Mrs. Leah L. Hiebert, 99, formerly of Winchester, Virginia, passed away at her home in Bel Air, Maryland, on Saturday, February 28, at 2:00 PM.
Mrs. Hiebert was born September 21, 1909, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, the daughter of the late Cornelious and Helena Loewen Penner. She became a citizen of the United States soon after marriage. She received nurses training and began studying art in Hillsboro, Kansas, in the late 1920's and was an artist and art teacher for most of her long life. She traveled worldwide with her husband, the Reverend Samuel L. Hiebert, who had become a military chaplain during World War II. Following retirement of Chaplain Hiebert from the military, they settled in the Winchester, Virginia area. Reverend Hiebert assumed pastorship at Opequon Memorial Presbyterian Church and Mrs. Hiebert became a Visual Arts teacher at Shenandoah University for nine years and received an honorary degree in Art.
Mrs. Hiebert had over 60 years of art experience studying, teaching, lecturing, judging and creating paintings and sculptures in America, Korea, Japan and Germany. She was the first Western woman to have a solo art exhibit in Korea in 1947, and to have sculptures accepted in the Metropolitan Museum of Tokyo, Japan, reported in the art review of the illustrated quarterly Japan Magazine's 1957 premiere. She taught at her private art studio every place she went.
Mrs. Hiebert created, under commission of the Army, a 15 foot war memorial statue honoring the Airborne Trooper, which stands in the center of Fort Bragg, North Carolina. It is affectionately call "Iron Mike" by those stationed there and has become a mascot of Fort Bragg.
Versatile and prolific, she created her art in all media, and had over 15 solo exhibits of her work, sponsored by art associations, banks, art galleries, libraries, country clubs, colleges and civic organizations, and sold more than 500 paintings.
Mrs. Hiebert was also the author of three books: "Fifty Journeys" in 1982, "Silent Prairie" in 1991 both based on life experiences and at the age of 96, printed "The Making of Iron Mike".
In 1963, she received a special award as Outstanding Community Leader and Art Promoter of the Visual Arts in North Carolina. She was president and founder of the Shenandoah Art Association, founding board member of the Arts Council in Winchester and organizer of art clubs in Japan and North Carolina.
Surviving is one son, Dennis L. Hiebert and his wife Carol of Bel Air; grandchildren, Col. Mark Hiebert and his wife Linda of Tampa, Florida; Donalee Hiebert Tingley and her husband Robert of Parkland, Florida; Denise Hiebert Piercy and her husband Donald of Indian Harbour Beach, Florida; Susan Hiebert Kleiman and husband Bill of Franklin Grove, Illinois and Sarah Hiebert Watkins Evans and her husband David of Mertztown, Pennsylvania; Also five great grandchildren: Tyler and Trisha Piercy, Thomas Watkins, Leah Rose Kleiman, and Logan Nicole Tingley.
Mrs. Hiebert was preceded in death by her husband, Samuel, a son Adoniram "Don" Hiebert; a daughter-in-law, Diane Frazin Hiebert; a brother Ben Penner and a sister Nancy Penner.
The family will receive friends on Sunday, March 8, 2009, from 7:00-9:00 PM, at Omps Funeral Home, Amherst Chapel.
A funeral service will be conducted at 2:00 PM at First Presbyterian Church, Winchester, Virginia. Interment will be in Shenandoah Memorial Park, Frederick County, Virginia. A reception will follow at 4:00 PM at the church.
---Omps Funeral Home Obituary
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