Dr. Bessie Leora Schuelka, 82, of Cedar, died Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, at the MHP Hospice Serenity House in Oskaloosa.
She was born Sept. 1, 1931, in Fort Madison, the daughter of Theodore and Nora Brodsky Davis. She graduated from Montrose High School with the class of 1949. Leora furthered her education, obtaining her B.S. degree from Simpson College, her M.S. degree in education from University of Northern Iowa and her PhD in Education Curriculum and Administration from Iowa State University. On Aug. 24, 1952, Leora was united in marriage to Francis Schuelka in Montrose. She began her life-long public education career at Vinton, teaching business courses at junior high and high school levels. She also directed the O.E.A. (Office Education Association) at the school. She later taught junior high and high school business courses at Red Oak. Leora organized and directed Red Oak’s FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) team at the high school. Her encouragement and support of her students led them to excel. Several Red Oak students became state and national FBLA officers. She went on to become the elementary principal in Dayton, Iowa. Last she was the assistant superintendent and curriculum coordinator for the Lynnville-Sully and Twin Cedars-Bussey school districts. She was member of the Cedar United Methodist Church and of late had transferred her membership to the First Christian Church in Oskaloosa. She was also a past member of the Forest Cemetery Board, Iowa School Administrators, Lions Club, and the American Association of University Women. Leora was also a life member of the National Education Association. She was an avid reader and regularly donated her books to local libraries and the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville. She enjoyed gardening and loved tending to her flowers and houseplants. Leora inspired her children with her love of education, community service, current events and world travel.