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The Suburbanite
  • Obituary for Luella D. Cordier (nee Heupel)

  • Luella was born April 7, 1922, in Akron, the eldest daughter of Philip A. Heupel, Sr., and Julia Cole Heupel, whose romance as young deaf students at Gallaudet College eventually blossomed into a large, happy Akron family.  They valued education highly. Lou excelled academically and loved sports and writing.

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  • Luella was born April 7, 1922, in Akron, the eldest daughter of Philip A. Heupel, Sr., and Julia Cole Heupel, whose romance as young deaf students at Gallaudet College eventually blossomed into a large, happy Akron family.  They valued education highly. Lou excelled academically and loved sports and writing.
    She graduated as the Valedictorian of the Springfield High School class of 1940, and was also President of the National Honor Society, editor of both the school newspaper and yearbook, and received awards in music and drama.  Lou, who worked as a stringer for the Akron Beacon Journal even in high school, won a four-year scholarship to Kent State University where she pursued her dream of becoming a journalist.
    The United States entered World War II while Lou was in college, and she became a “war bride,” marrying Albert T. Cordier of Mogadore in March 1942. After Albert was deployed overseas, she continued to pursue her education at Kent State.   As a married woman, Lou was eligible to be a “house mother” to her journalism classmates Donna Payden and Frances Murphy, long-time columnist for the Akron Beacon Journal. Lou was among the first of her generation to attend college while pregnant with her oldest daughter. Lou and Albert were married for nearly 60 years before his death in September 2001.
    Luella, who was a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, worked as a journalist during and after college.  She devoted herself to her growing family in the mid-1940s through mid-1960s, though continued to read voraciously while seeking a way to pursue her passion for writing.  She often remarked that if times had been different, she might have pursued more of a career earlier, but was very glad she chose Albert and children.  In the late 1960s she returned to work as a journalist with the Record-Courier as reporter, feature writer, assistant city editor, and city editor.  She ultimately became the paper's editor, a position she held for eight years until her retirement at the end of 1990.  During that time she received several awards from the Ohio Press Women. In 1980 she received the KSU School of Journalism and Mass Communications' Taylor Award for alumni who have made significant contributions to the profession. Under her editorship, the Record-Courier received the R. K. Brown Award for being the top newspaper in Ohio for 1988.  Luella received the John S. Knight award in 1996 from the Society of Professional Journalists for exemplary contributions to her community through journalism.
    During her years as a journalist, Lou frequently wrote columns about her parents. With the help of her daughter Kristine she completed a book about them: Out of Their Silence: A Memoir of Philip and Julia, published in 2005. The book recreates some of her experiences growing up in a large family with deaf parents. She wrote it as a loving tribute to her amazing parents, who did not regard their deafness as a disability. 
    Page 2 of 2 - Luella was a member of The Chapel for many years, where she enjoyed singing in the choir. She was a lifelong resident of Northeast Ohio, except for a 10-year period spent in Pittsburgh from 1958-1968, where she made good friends with whom she stayed close. Friendships were important to her, and she continued many, including those with grade-school classmates who attended her 85th birthday celebration in April 2007 at Rockynol Retirement Community, where she lived since 2002.  Lou also made many friends among the staff and residents at Rockynol, and her kindness was returned by the many caring people there.
    Lou was predeceased by her parents, husband Albert, and brother Philip Jr. She is survived by daughters Nancy (Dick) Bauer, Suzanne (Frank) D'Annolfo, Kristine (George) Karnezis, and son James (Betty) Cordier; grandchildren Erik (Izabela) Bauer, David (Sheila) Bauer, Tammi (Will) Crain, Sherri (Mike) Landis, Matthew and Casey D'Annolfo, Katherine and Jason (Amber Baker) Karnezis, Suzi (TJ) Kropp, Cindy Cordier, Jimmy (Cheryl) Cordier, and Julie (Chuck) Malivuk; 17 great-grandchildren;  sisters Doris (Tom) Kot and Marie Dittebrand, brother Ray (Judy) Heupel, many nieces and nephews, and many friends.
    Funeral services were held June 13. at Hopkins-Lawver Funeral Home.
    In lieu of flowers, contributions in Luella's name may be made to Camp Carl c/o The Chapel, 135 Fir Hill, Akron, OH 44304, or to the KSU Foundation for a journalism scholarship, c/o Christine Isenberg, 131 Moulton Hall, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242