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My 18-year-old grandson died at 4:30 p.m., Friday, August 29, 2003, two hours after leaving the Penfield office. Jordan Hans Heusinkveld was driving his new car one mile from his home in the Amana Colonies of Iowa. A young woman driving a pick-up truck passing another car swerved into Jordan’s car, which he aimed at the shoulder to get out of her way.
Jordan died on impact. His passenger, his father, my son, David Heusinkveld, was saved by a passer-by who applied a tourniquet to David’s severed artery to his left wrist. David was taken by helicopter to emergency at the University of Iowa Hospitals. His shattered arm should recover after additional surgeries.
Jordan took several graphic design classes at Kirkwood Community College so he could scan photographs for our publications. He beautifully handled nearly all the black and white photographs for the new book The Amana People: The History of a Religious Community by Peter Hoehnle, released last spring. Jordan assisted with many other books and projects, including this catalog.
Without protest, he always did whatever was asked of him with grace during his entire life. He was admired and loved by his co-editors for his diligence, wonderful manners, and sense of humor.
Without complaint Jordan dealt with Type I Diabetes, which he had from age 12. Memorials are to First Responders and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Hundreds of people attended the visitation and his funeral in the historic Amana Church of the Community of True Inspiration, a 17th-century off-shoot of the Lutheran Church. His German-speaking ancestors first came to America for religious freedom in 1844 to near Buffalo, New York, moving to Iowa in 1854. In 2004 this religious sect celebrates its 300th anniversary.
Buried on his 19th birthday, Jordan rests in the simple Amana cemetery ringed by pine trees where members of this religious community are buried in their order of death, designated with simple white markers.
Joan Liffring-Zug Bourret
David B. Heusinkveld, Amana, March 2006, “The Des Moines Register,” letters to the editor:
“When Amana’s sexton, Brian Hollrah, mentioned how it’s harder to make some tombstones than others, he was alluding to the death of my son, Jordan Hans Heusinkveld. Besides dying in a car crash on his mother’s birthday, Jordan was buried in the Amana cemetery on what would have been his 19th birthday. The 19-year-old girl who hit us head-on was fined $37 for unsafe passing, plus court costs.”