Doris Tanger Heller Teufel (1933-2022) – or Dodie, as she was affectionately known – grew up in Williamsport. Thus, it was convenient for her to attend Lycoming College as a suburban student from her home at 1215 Penn St. However, unlike many suburban students, who only stayed on campus for the duration of attending classes, Teufel thrived on the entire college. had to offer. Williamsport Junior College had become a four-year institution in 1948, and the new Lycoming College was established with all the accreditation procedures, traditions, and organizations that a four-year school should have.
Much information about Teufel’s university years can be gleaned from documentary evidence: his album, his yearbooks and the university journal.
Printed on the first page of Teufel’s plain purple scrapbook is “1950-1954.” The photo on the page is of a young woman in formal attire and a bodice, accompanied by her date in a tuxedo.
Although the album does not say that Teufel graduated with honors, it does include a certificate commemorating that she received the faculty award in 1953. What primarily fills the book is evidence of Teufel’s passion for the music. Like she said, “Singing has greatly enriched my entire college experience.” She was chosen for The Singers, a selected choral group from Lycoming College which toured and was in high demand in churches and schools. As a member of the A Cappella choir, she sang at the dedication of the Long Library, a building essential to the accreditation of the new four-year school. His main music recital included works by Bach and Schubert.
The album also contains programs and letters showing that Teufel maintained a musical connection with the city’s Civic Choir. In fact, she was chosen as one of the soloists for Handel’s annual choir performance. “Messiah,” held at Pine Street Church. She was to sing many lead roles with the band over the years after graduation.
The directories confirm Teufel’s position as a campus presence. In the yearbooks for her second year and first year, she is depicted as one of three students (one per class) selected for a “Who is who” characteristic. Yearbooks also show that she was a crown bearer at the May Day celebration, a fraternity friend at Homecoming, and Crescent Queen of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. In honor of her coronation as queen, she received both a kiss and a bouquet of white roses.
The college newspaper
A search of the college newspaper, The Courier, reveals numerous occurrences of the name Heller. Doris Heller Teufel was involved in the commercial management of the newspaper, as well as in organizations such as the Nonresident Women’s Association, of which she was vice-president; the Pre-Medical Society, associated with its major in biology and minor in psychology; and student government. But being mentioned in the newspaper was nothing new for Teufel. On August 30, 2021, an article in the Williamsport Sun-Gazette’s “A piece of our past” the column included a photo in which ninth grade Doris from Curtin Junior High School was featured for her appearance in the operetta “Pirates of Penzance.”
A university journal article titled “AWS Plan to Eat” describes many of the activities of the Student Associates, an organization of which Teufel was the first president. The article shows young women in saddle shoes sponsoring coffee hours, holding tea parties for Christmas and Mother’s Day, meeting at local restaurants, and serving refreshments when guest speakers came to campus. Lycoming was one of the few colleges to adopt such a program, open to all female students and designed to foster relationships between women on campus. The mission of the organization was “to encourage and sponsor activities and to encourage co-operation in community life and to create a spirit of mutual aid and understanding.” To instill a community spirit, the group organized activities such as talent shows, picnics and a masquerade ball. Later, this organization would fall under the auspices of the National Intercollegiate Association of Women Students, a group dedicated to developing attitudes by which women could govern themselves throughout college and life.
It should be noted that not all newspaper references to Teufel were complementary. A gossipy mention of her in the school newspaper said: “We want Doris Heller, ’54, to pay attention to the chapel speakers.”
“The arts make life worth living”
Teufel’s connection with his college lasted a lifetime. She returned to present a recital for the Clarke Chapel Alumni Concert Series, and she participated in many other alumni activities, including fundraising. His love of travel led to the creation of a scholarship for students to study abroad. She is quoted in a college newsletter as saying, “It’s such a pleasure to give outside of yourself.”
Teufel believed that “the arts make life worth living”, and she dedicated her talents and resources to the causes she was passionate about. She devoted herself to her career as an art and music teacher, teaching students at George Becht, Jefferson, and Sheridan Schools, then at Roosevelt Junior High School and Williamsport Area High School. She has sung in community productions and her work has appeared in local exhibitions.
As cultural director of the Williamsport Recreation Commission’s summer programs from 1971 to 1979, she started Home Made Days. Her membership in the Williamsport Music Club spanned 60 years, and during that time she not only led the Williamsport Junior Music Club for 17 years, but was also instrumental in coordinating the Budd Memorial Scholarship to support young people. musicians.
Teufel was proud of her family’s history in the community. She was a member of the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and served as regent from 2004 to 2007. Her name figures prominently in the programs, which cite her as serving on committees, organizing meetings, helping to write original music and singing at events.
Teufel married late in life. She and her husband, Thomas Teufel, were longtime members of the Lutheran Church of Messiah. They had no children, but she mentored many young women who saw themselves as her “student girls”. Some young people have been inspired by her gardening to seek careers in horticulture.
Thomas Teufel’s obituary stated that “Community involvement and service to others were a big part of his life.” The same was true for Doris Teufel. She was described at her funeral service as “fierce and fearless in his dedication to people and programs”, a “dynamo” with her enthusiasm for the causes she believed in, and “generous” with his time and many talents. Teufel said his father, who worked at the Williamsport Water Authority for more than 50 years, taught him that “As long as you know you did it, that’s all that matters.” Doris Teufel’s life is a testament to the difference one person can make in a community.
Sieminski is the former director of the Madigan Library at Penn College. Hurlbert is Emeritus Professor of Library Services at Lycoming College. Sieminski and Hurlbert are the founders of the Lycoming County Women’s History Project (www.lycominng.edu/lcwhp). Their column is published monthly and they can be reached at [email protected]
Janet Hulbert, founder of the Lycoming County Women’s History Project and contributor to this Lycoming County Women’s Column for 10 years, moves to Ames, Iowa, her hometown. Janet has had a long career as a librarian, including many years as Dean and Director of Library Services at Lycoming College. Her research, writings and insights into women’s lives will be greatly missed.