Joan Luce Alizier Heinen, 90 years, was born Nov. 21, 1928 to Andre George Alizier and Lucienne Chagnoux Alizier in Chicago, Illinois.
She married Clarence J. Heinen on March 6, 1950 in Plymouth, Indiana.
Joan was first generation American, her parents both having been born in France. Andre came to America in 1927 with a portfolio of awards for sculpture and architectural design. He had a contract with the Terra Cotta Firm in Chicago. After the stock market crash he decided to devote the better portion of his life training Joan with the piano.
She was a child prodigy first being recognized with superior musical gifts at the age of 18 months. She would read music and distinguish notes. She had perfect pitch which also allowed her to play by ear.
At the age of four she traveled Europe, playing in the Classics including Bach, Beethoven and Chopin. She played solo in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from the age of seven through ten. She became a “Quiz Kid” (NBC Red Network) at the age of ten under Joe Kelly at the University of Chicago, being printed as a paper doll for her pen pals fan base.
She became pen pals with Wilma Faircloth and became her caretaker in Wilma’s later years until the time of her death.
At the age of 16 she was granted a full musical scholarship at the University of Chicago, Hyde Park, Illinois.
Her portrait, painted by her father was placed on the wall at Riley Elementary School in La Porte. She discovered this while visiting the school to register her son Matthew for Kindergarten. Her thought was…”I’m going to be stuck here in La Porte forever.”
From 1956 to 1966 she played the night club circuit across the United States living in 40 different locations.
Joan was employed for 25 years at the Homett Austenal in La Porte, Indiana.
My mother enjoyed reading, music, gardening, drawing, painting (oil and watercolor), thrift shops, antique malls, making jam from her strawberry harvest, via J.D.D. and playing piano. She loved an audience. She enjoyed her calls with Lisou, her cousin in Amsterdam so she could keep fluent in her French.
She was a great communicator. I remember she always had mail. She would spend hours writing letters keeping in touch with family and friends.
In her later years painted on eggs and communicated via the phone.
She loved animals. We always had cats, dogs, turtles, rabbits, all rescues that were hurt or just wandering La Porte. She was a brilliant gal and will be missed.
In 2003 she moved to Texas where she spent the remainder of her life. Joan peacefully passed away Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019 in Baird, Texas.
She is survived by her children, Joseph Heinen, Paul( Tammy) Heinen, Mary Louise (Mitzi) (David) Hall, Matthew (Kim) Heinen; 10 grandchildren, Yvonne (Aaron) Sarber, Heidi (Todd) Benkert, David Kuta, William Kuta, Aaron (Angela) Heinen, Stephanie Heinen, Kimberly Heinen, Matthew C. Heinen, Corey Heinen, Kyle Heinen; step-grandchildren, Andrew (Elizabeth) Hall, Bradley (Shannon) Hall, Erika Hall; 14 great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband Clarence Heinen and a granddaughter, Heather Lee Heinen.
Much thanks to “The Faircloth Family” for the love and care they provided to my mother in her final years. A debt I cannot repay.
Joan will be remembered privately by her family. Burial will be at a date to be determined at the Saint Joseph Cemetery in La Porte, Indiana.
Contributions can be made to La Porte Animal Shelter, 2855 Ind. 2, La Porte, IN 46350.
Flowers can be sent to the Heinen Hall Family residence, 116 “C” St., La Porte. Friends and family are welcome to stop by at any time.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Haverstock Funeral Home, La Porte, Indiana.