Emma Hackle

Emma Jeane Hackle

1925 - 2022

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Obituary of Emma Jeane Hackle

Emma Jean Hackle, 96 of Winter Haven, Florida After four great years at Winter Haven High School, it was exciting but a little frightening for this only child and Winter Haven native to hear for F.S.C.W. (then Florida State College for Women, but now Florida State University, in Tallahassee in the fall of 1942. Helen Roby and I, who were to be roommates, went by train to Tallahassee, by the way of Jacksonville! My four years there were very rewarding. I found that I loved learning and that, although I was competing with girls from much larger schools, our teachers such as Ann Munch, Luna Stewart, Ruth Wolfe and Ruth Conner had prepared us so well. I also enjoyed the activities such as my sorority, Phi Mu, and various honorary and service groups. My proudest achievement was my election to Phi Beta Kappa. After graduation I returned to Winter Haven in 1946 to teach, mainly in high school. Thus, I embarked on a long career of teaching, enjoying over the years so many wonderful students. Just recently I have been attending their reunions and it is wonderful to be able to take so much pleasure in their accomplishments. When it was determined that American history was to be my field, I decided on graduate school and began work at the University of Virginia in 1950. My two years there were a wonderful experience, and I made many fast friends that I enjoy so much today. Virginia is my second favorite state. In addition to courses and then thesis writing, I was chosen by my major professor to help edit an unpublished Civil War diary. It was later published and was very well received in both academic circles and by Civil war buffs. I also had a working fellowship in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Division of the Library. It was very interesting to work on valuable collections of correspondence and writings of people such as Madison and Jefferson, and to do research requested by famous authors and political figures. Following two years in Charlottesville, I taught high school one year in Martinsville, Virginia, and then returned to Ocala, Florida in 1953, where I taught for six years. Do you remember Mr. E. L. Jones, our 8th grade American history teacher? He was my boss there. Ocala is a wonderful community and had great students and I made many friends there. My final teaching move came in 1959 when I moved to St. Petersburg. Both there and in Ocala I participated in various professional groups, chairing county organizations. I just loved teaching; you can see that it was my life for a long time. In 1969, I was chosen “Teacher of the Year” for Pinellas County and was 4th runner-up in the state. It was not all work and no play! I have always loved to travel and have done a great deal of travelling over the years. I have seen most of the United States, much of Canada, and some of the Caribbean. All parts of Europe have been special to me. I saw the Soviet Union and most of eastern Europe in the 1970’s, when it was still slightly scary. Cruise highlights have been the Greek Islands and to Turkey, the Inside Passage after a tour of Alaska, and through the Panama Canal. I’ve crossed China off my list but still hope to see Australia and New Zealand. Forty years seemed a good round number and so in 1987 I retired and returned to Winter Haven to try condo living. I bought a condo on Lake Howard where JoAnn Goff Murray also resides. My parents still live here, and both are moderately active and I enjoy being with them. We have taken some short trips and I have also gotten into genealogy. Retired teachers can’t sit down and shut-up! I am active in Retired teachers’ groups, am on the Board of the Friends of the Library and enjoy a Sunday School class which has several 1942 classmates in it. Volunteering is very rewarding also. I deliver Meals on Wheels one day a week, and work weekly in the Children’s Department of the Winter Haven Public Library. I still try to travel two or three times a year to visit friends or to participate in Elderhostels, fun for learning and socializing. Finally, I appreciate my association and friendship with classmates over the years. Zada, Dorathea and I are often together as we always have been, but I hope that as a class we’ll continue to keep in touch and meet periodically. Our reunions are wonderful! On June 21, 2022 Emma Jean unexpectedly left us to be with God and her parents, James Marvin Hackle and Belle Peters Hackle and many friends and family members in Heaven. A devoted, Daughter, Teacher and Friend she will be remembered and missed by many. She wrote this article sometime back for a Winter Haven High School class reunion. Jean continued her volunteer work, stayed in contact with old friends and family, and remained very active up until her sudden death. There will be a graveside service at Lakeside Memorial Park. Date and time will be announced

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