Daughter, Former Exchange Student Visit Noel Couple
JIM AND JOAN STAUBER HOSTED STUDENT FOR 1989-90 SCHOOL YEAR
They’re just like family.
Jim and Joan Stauber of Noel recently had a visit from their former exchange student and his daughter from Stuttgart, Germany.
Toby Heubach and his daughter, Lisa, arrived in the United States on Aug. 1 and went to Yellowstone National Park for six days. Then they came to stay with the family that hosted Toby for the 1989-1990 school year — Jim and Joan Stauber.
The families kept in touch over the years and had even visited each other.
During the August visit, Toby stayed a week, then went back to his medical practice in Germany. He left Lisa to visit for the remainder of the month.
“I was overwhelmed when he said he was going to come again,” Joan said. “We had two boys and he was just another boy. He fit in our family so well, and so has (Lisa).
“I’ve sent them Christmas letters for lots of years and he called me on my 75th and 80th birthday. We went and stayed with his parents in ’93.”
The Staubers did not have any children in school when Toby came to stay with them — theirs had already graduated. But that didn’t stop the family from hosting a student.
“I’d always wanted an exchange student and I wanted one from Germany because my grandparents were German,” Joan said. “The whole family enjoyed him. When you come to the farm it’s not just one or two people involved, it’s the whole family.”
Lisa, 16, said this is her first time in the United States.
“I really enjoyed it,” she said. “If I had a choice I would stay longer, but I can’t. There was always something to do here, and I was never alone. I was in the school and we watched a football game and there was a dance. It was cool because we don’t have something like that at my school.”
She went to McDonald County High School for two days, she noted. She also went to a mall in Arkansas.
Asked how McDonald County High School was different from her school, Lisa said, “It was different because they can use their phones and we are not allowed to use our phones while we’re in the school building. The lunch was different because they got to choose what they wanted.”
She said that at her school there are two options for lunch — regular and vegetarian.
She also noted her school takes more breaks than does McDonald County High School. Lisa said Stuttgart has about 700,000 people, and they live in a suburb. Asked how she felt about visiting a rural area, she said, “It has been different, but I liked it.”
She said she does not want to be an exchange student.
“I don’t want to because it’s too long. I would miss my family and my city and my friends,” she said.
Joan recalled Toby observing the Springfield airport was small when they picked him up in 1989.
“Jim said, ‘It gets worse,’” she said.
Joan shared memories of Toby.
“He would eat whatever I fixed. He loved going to Braum’s for their steak sandwich. He just fit in with our family. Jim said I couldn’t have another one because I’d never find another like Toby. He was just pleasant to have around. He enjoyed playing baseball. He enjoyed the school. He said it wasn’t as hard as in Germany. He had some really good teachers that helped him enjoy school,” she said.
One day he asked her to come outside, and when she did, there was a double rainbow in the sky. He told her, “I just wanted to share that with you.”
“That was just the kind of boy he was,” she said. “I thought it was pretty special that he let Lisa stay with us for three weeks. I will miss her.”
“I will miss you, too,” Lisa said.
Lisa Heubach of Stuttgart, Germany, is pictured at the Jim and Joan Stauber farm in Noel. She came to visit with her father, the Staubers’ former exchange student, and stayed for three weeks.