Annetta Jean Ludwig was born to loving parents Etta and Fred Ludwig in Sioux City, Iowa, on November 19, 1935, and grew up on their well-kept farm near Laurens, Iowa. Jean inherited her mother's green thumb and her father's talent for planning, organizing and managing. After graduating from Laurens High School, she attended Iowa State University, where she earned a bachelor's in Home Economics and Science, followed by a Master's degree in Counseling from the University of Iowa. Her first jobs included teaching home economics and science at Wilson High School, school counseling in Waterloo, and assistant to the counselor for women at the University of Iowa. She married Conrad Hornbuckle in 1958 and they lived in Southern California and Boston, returning to Cedar Rapids in 1972. They had two children, Keri and Gavin.
Jean was a talented and dedicated teacher and school counselor for almost 40 years, working in the Cedar Rapids school district most of her career. She loved her students and families at Polk Elementary, Monroe alternative Junior High, and Wilson Middle School. She was especially dedicated to students with challenges including poverty, disability, and difficult home lives. She always kept up with the latest research on best practices for teaching, psychology, heath, social services and government. She was very practical, not judgmental, and had a great sense of humor and style.
She married Bruce D. Fenchel in 1987 at Westminster Presbyterian Church. Together Bruce and Jean lived on an acreage outside of Robbins, Iowa, which they turned into a garden showplace. They held numerous gatherings with family and friends in their large, welcoming living room and at their small lake. Their home was the site of family reunions, barbecues, and weddings; events filled with joy and laughter that are fondly remembered. Jean and Bruce were active members of the First Presbyterian Church in Cedar Rapids. Jean loved music and was a member of the choir most of her adult life, singing alto and tenor and playing the bells during Sunday services.
Jean will be greatly missed, and leaves an enduring positive legacy in the lives of those she loved. She is survived by her daughter Keri Hornbuckle (Iowa City, Mike Cervantes) and her son Gavin Hornbuckle (Brasilia, Brazil), her grandchildren Leiden and Franklin (Iowa City), her sister Roni (Steve) Sawin, her nieces Sue (Marek) Szmyrgala, Julie (Jim) Christensen, Sandi (John) Thompson, stepsons Bruce and Steve (Beth) Fenchel, and many nieces and nephews. She is preceded by her husband Bruce, her parents, and her brother Dick.
Her children thank the First Presbyterian Church and Methwick community for supporting and enriching the last decade of her life with so much joy and love. In lieu of flowers, Jean would welcome memorials to the Cedar Rapids School Foundation or to Foundation 2 of Cedar Rapids. Visitation is at 10, service at 11 followed by a light lunch, all at First Presbyterian Church Thursday morning May 10th. Private burial for family will be held at Strawberry Point Cemetery. Cedar Memorial Park Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.