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Mary Lou's Story

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Mary Lou Hinrichsen, 90, of Elvira, Iowa, died Sunday February 5, 2017, at Prairie Hills Memory Care in Clinton, Iowa.
Mrs. Hinrichsen, the former Mary Louise Sullivan was born February 20, 1926, in Des Moines to C.E. Sullivan and H.C. (Benedict) Sullivan. She graduated from high school in Des Moines. Mary Lou went on to graduate from Drake University with a bachelor's degree in music education with departmental honors and a minor in journalism. She later studied criminal justice at Clinton Community College. Mary Lou was united in marriage to Hans F. Hinrichsen July 3, 1949, in Des Moines. The couple farmed at rural Elvira until his death in 1980.
She was an Associated Press copy girl in the Des Moines bureau while in college. Mary Lou was employed as a city desk reporter at the Clinton Herald. She was a free-lance reporter for the Clinton Herald, Quad City Times and Des Moines Register. She was a staff writer for the DeWitt Observer. Mary Lou was also published in Wallaces Farmer Magazine, Current News (REA paper), and The Agenda (National Federation of Press Women).
She was a member of the National Federation of Press Women (NFPW), serving on the board, Iowa Press Women Inc. (IPW) serving as president, Investigative Reporters and Editors Inc., Society of Professional Journalists, Clinton County Farm Bureau and Clinton County Cattlemen. She served on the boards of Clinton County Mental Health Center, Clinton Community Concert, Clinton County Farm Bureau Women, and Center Township. Mary Lou received the Distinguished Service Award from the Iowa Newspaper Association in 1996. In 1998 she received the Communicator of Achievement from IPW. In 2012 she received the Older Worker of the Year Award from Generation of Area Agency on Aging. Her state and national awards from IPW and NFPW continued until 2014. She was active in the First Amendment Network of NFPW.
Her honor fraternities included Sigma Alpha Iota (music), Theta Sigma Phi (journalism), Sigma Tau Delta (creative writing), Alpha Lambda Delta (freshman scholastic achievement), and Theta Kappa (national honorary scholarship society).
Mary Lou played violin and viola in the Drake-Des Moines Symphony for 6 years (high school and college). She also played for the Quad City Symphony Orchestra for one year and the Clinton Symphony Orchestra for two years. Mary Lou later learned to play the cello.
She is survived by children Sue Goddard-Gerrald (Don) of Princeton, Pete (Meg) Hinrichsen of Camanche, Hans (Joy) Hinrichsen of Clinton, and Mickey (Steve) McClusky of Sabula; 8 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.
Mary Lou has donated her body to the University of Iowa for scientific research.
A memorial gathering will be held from 9:00 until 11:00 a.m. Saturday, April 22, 2017, at the Evangelical Free Church 1010 13th Avenue North, Clinton.
Memorial donations are suggested to National Federation of Press Women Education Fund in memory of Mary Lou Hinrichsen https://national-federation-of-press-women.myshopify.com/products/education-fund-donation.
Arrangements are in the care of Schultz Funeral Home, DeWitt.
Published on February 10, 2017
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