Audrey (Heckler) Prince was born on March 22, 1911 in Monroeville, to Alonzo and Clara Heckler. Her dad, Alonzo, was of German decent and her mother’s family was originally from England. Her father worked as a logger, a farmer, a construction worker and also worked on the railroad. Audrey went the first two years of high school at South Side and then moved with her family to Freemont, Indiana where she graduated with honors. She said, “I would have been Valedictorian, but you had to be at the same school for four years to qualify.”
After graduating from Fremont High School in 1929 she went to work at General Electric in the heavy motors division. She met her future husband, George Prince through a marriage between Audrey’s aunt and George’s dad Norman. Audrey was 18 when she started work at GE and she and George Prince were married in 1935 when she was 24 years old.
Audrey said, “We had our first son Roger in 1936 and I decided to quit GE.” She had two more boys, Bob who was born on January 8, 1944 and Neil, born on August 23, 1946. Both sons, Roger and Bob have passed away. Neil works for the Allen County Sheriff’s Department and lives at Crocked Lake.
Audrey fell and broke her hip a couple of weeks ago and she is now at Riverbend Healthcare rehabilitating. She said, “I’ll probably be here another couple of weeks and then I hope to go back to Bridgedale.” Audrey has lived in Bridgedale Apartments for the past 17 years. She and her family used to live on Lower Huntington Road where the Super Wash Car Wash now sits. While the kids were growing up, Audrey worked at the Colony Dress Shop as well as other Waynedale businesses. Audrey has been active in the Waynedale United Methodist Church for 70 years. She commented, “My husband, George’s father, hauled used brick from the poor farm down to the church where they were cleaned and re-used in the church building.”
Audrey has served as President of the Elmhurst PTA, as well as, Sunday School Superintendent, Bible School teacher, and a long time member of United Methodist Women. Her husband George served as Chief of the Waynedale Volunteer Fire Department after he retired from GE in 1971.
Audrey said one of her fondest memories, as a child was after a fresh snow she would go outside and throw snowballs with her father.
When asked what she contributed to her longevity she replied, “I don’t know. My father lived to be 97, but my mother passed when she was just 51. I guess it’s just clean living.”
Audrey will be at Riverbend Healthcare, Room 128, on Winchester Road for another couple of weeks. Stop by and wish her a Happy Birthday. She will be 95 on March 22, 2006.
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