Daugh­ter, For­mer Ex­change Stu­dent Visit Noel Cou­ple


McDonald County Press - - FRONT PAGE - Rachel Dick­er­son McDon­ald County Press rdick­er­son@nwadg.com

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.

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