The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Meet Your Neighbor

by Susan Galbraith, Quill Reporter

Meet Your Neighbor Leah Belle Hicks who has lived in Stronghurst over 50 years.

She was born and raised in La Harpe.

Leah Belle spent 8 years at Oak Hill Country School and graduated from La Harpe High School.

Her parents are Lewis and Eva Link.

She also has 4 brothers, Bob and Donald (deceased) and Wendell and Wayne; four sisters, Louise, Louella and Dorothy (deceased) and Jean.

She married her sweetheart, Wayne, in 1952. He passed away in 2008.

To their union were born 9 children. Two daughters, Julie Hicks and Laura (Steve) Crawford, Stronghurst; seven sons, Michael (Sharon) Hicks and Matt Hicks, both of Stronghurst; Tony Hicks and John (Julie) Hicks, both of Burlington, Iowa, Jerry Hicks of Knoxville, Chris (Barb) Hicks of Roseville, and Jeff who passed away in 2008.

Leah Belle has eleven grandchildren, Sarah, Seth, Caleb, Chancey, Molly, Christina, Shelby, Shawna, Jonna, Joslyn and Jaycee and seven great-grandchildren.

She is a member of the Stronghurst Christian Church.

Leah Belle was employed at the Army Ammunition Plant in Middletown, Iowa, for several years, painted and wallpapered for 20 + years, a homemaker aide for the Henderson County Health Department for 4 years and was a volunteer for the Hospice program.

She said, "I really miss those people that I helped when I was an aide. The Hospice program helps to keep many folks in their homes longer."

When asked what she likes about a small community she said, "It is the perfect place to raise a big family. I have been very fortunate to live in Stronghurst all these years. I can't imagine living anywhere else. I absolutely love my neighbors and feel very safe right here."