December 18, 2019

The journey to finish a college degree had been decades in the making for Susan Heitman. She started her college career in 1975 thanks to her parents support but never completed her degree. Fast forward to May 2019 and Susan is a successful graduate of East Central College by finishing her Associate of Fine Arts degree.

“Thanks to the understanding and a do not give up attitude of my family, teachers and other students made it possible for me to graduate in May,” says Susan Heitman. “The faculty at East Central College were very supportive of me and I learned so much from them.”

The 62 year old from St. Clair always wanted to learn oil painting, sculpture in pursuit of her goal of being a freelance artist. Her friendship with American Legion Post 347 in St. Clair put her skills to good use.

“We installed an electronic sign this summer at the post and wanted a POW/MIA message placed on the sign’s base”, says Fred Arflack, Commander of American Legion Post 347. “I knew Susan was the one to do it because she puts her heart and soul into every project she involved with.”

It’s a passion project for Susan. She has a long line of family who served in the military including her current husband, her first husband who passed away, as well as her father, father-in-law and an uncle.

Susan designed and painted the POW/MIA logo in just over a month and it was ready for Veteran’s Day.

“The sign reminds us to enjoy the freedoms we have and to remember those who sacrificed for our country. Lest we forget.”





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