Alice Hehl Trnka  was born on February 28, 1925 in Portsmouth, OH and passed away on December 27, 2018 in Dayton, Ohio. Alice was loved by many and will be dearly missed by all friends and family.

A memorial will be held on
January 25, 2019
4 to 6 pm
Fairhaven Church
637 E. Whipp Road
Centerville, OH 45459

Afterwards, please join the family at 
Marians Piazza
241 N. Main Street
Centerville, Ohio

In a tribute to Alice, her California daughters are arranging a "knot-in" for quilts for the teachers of Paradise, California, who lost their homes in the wild fire. Alice loved working on the quilts for kids and we felt this would be a fitting memorial for her (the Quilts for Kids group has already provided quilts for the children of Paradise).

Anyone who would like to make a quilt top - no matter how simple - or contribute funds, please contact us at Alice.Hehl@comcast.net. Quilts will be finished and sent to the teachers. Supplies will be purchased in cooperation with the Paradise United School District.

Thank you for visiting, please view Alice's life story and add your own memories of Alice.

Posted by Kelly Guba on February 3, 2019
You were the most wonderful Grandmother to me and the most amazing Great Grandmother to Kendall...Watching the bond the 2 of you had made coming back to Ohio worth every second...You were such an amazing woman and I loved you with all my heart and always did and always will...I miss you so much Grandma...Bye for now
Posted by Matt Shorey on January 25, 2019
You are truly missed but never forgotten. I really cherished sitting around the projector or even just the table just learning about our family history I cant thank the lord enough for placing me in your life love you grandma Trinka
Posted by Anna Wahl on January 24, 2019
I love and miss you so much. So glad I got to spend so many great memories with you and the rest of the family.
 Go find them all and dance a dance with them daily.
Posted by Terry Hammel on January 23, 2019
I loved you to the moon and back. I will miss your wonderful smile
Posted by SHARON STONER on January 23, 2019
I loved you so much. I will miss our adventures. You were the best.
Posted by Janet Schwartz on January 22, 2019
I love and miss you very much.

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Kelly Guba on February 3, 2019
You were the most wonderful Grandmother to me and the most amazing Great Grandmother to Kendall...Watching the bond the 2 of you had made coming back to Ohio worth every second...You were such an amazing woman and I loved you with all my heart and always did and always will...I miss you so much Grandma...Bye for now
Posted by Matt Shorey on January 25, 2019
You are truly missed but never forgotten. I really cherished sitting around the projector or even just the table just learning about our family history I cant thank the lord enough for placing me in your life love you grandma Trinka
Posted by Anna Wahl on January 24, 2019
I love and miss you so much. So glad I got to spend so many great memories with you and the rest of the family.
 Go find them all and dance a dance with them daily.
her Life

Alice's Story

Alice Hehl was the fourth child of Winifred and Arthur Hehl, born February 28, 1925, in Portsmouth, Ohio. She loved being part of a large family with 10 brothers and sisters: Bill, Ralph, Poke, Jeanne, Pat, Jack, Lou, Sue, Jimmy, and Jerry.

Growing up during the Depression, Alice started working as a shop clerk at 16 to help her family. When World War II began, she was anxious to sign up and do her part. Ultimately, the Navy realized she was too young and gave her an honorable discharge. 

She started working at Wright Field (later Wright-Patterson AFB), where she met the love of her life, James Ernest Trnka. They married in December 1944.

Alice and James welcomed their first child, Agnes Louise (Jaymie), in September 1945 just a month after the war ended. Alice was happy her first child was born in peace time. Sandra Kay, Kathleen, Sharon Lee, Terry Rose, Janet Marie, and Lisa Joye all added to the family.

Shortly after Jim’s death in 1956, Alice worked for Antioch College where she met many interesting authors and artists. She especially enjoyed meeting Dr. Benjamin Spock because she swore by his innovative child rearing advice.

In February 1968, Alice lost her oldest daughter, Jaymie, and two grandsons to a devastating house fire. They were loved and are greatly missed.

For most of her career, Alice worked for the Air Force’s Aerospace Medical Research Laboratories, during the exciting times of the space race and moon landings. She worked with many of the astronauts and space scientists. She counted the aerospace nursing pioneer, Pearl Tucker, as a very dear friend.

Alice loved sewing, bargain hunting, and traveling and never passed a garage sale. She enjoyed having a small antique and vintage goods kiosk after retirement. Having a bi-coastal family, Alice often traveled along the West Coast, counting her cruise to Alaska as a highlight of her retirement.

Alice will live on through her 14 grandchildren, 25 great grandchildren, and 5 great great grandchildren. And through the many friends who called her Mom or Grandma because they loved her, too.

Alice had a special place in her heart for her in-laws: brothers, sisters, and sons and loved her many nieces and nephews. She enjoyed being part of a huge family and celebrating births, graduations, weddings, and enormous family reunions.

Through bad times and good times, Alice lived a full life right to the end. She will long be remembered and loved.

Recent stories

Barbara Webb emailed this and said it was okay for me to post it.

Shared by SHARON STONER on January 25, 2019

Hello,

Although I will not be attending Aunt Alice's service tomorrow, my thoughts will be with all of you.
Living miles apart separates families and Facebook has been so instrumental in keeping me close to all of you.  We have lost so many loved ones, but even though years and distance came between us, I never forgot the fond memories I shared with each and every one of you and those who are no longer with us. 
Saying goodbye is so hard, and although Aunt Alice had a long and fulfilled life, we never wanted to let go of her.
My thoughts are especially with all of her daughters, and Lisa, I am so thankful that God gave you that window to find her.  It was bittersweet for us to learn of a secret she carried alone all those years, and knowing she left with peace in her heart.  I can only imagine what she endured all those years, but such a blessing in the end.
I was so thankful that Sean brought her to the family reunion in TN.  I was so excited she was in the other half of the cabin, and got to visit with her alone.
Once I went to see her in Dayton and she was having a yard sale.
She had a serving plate that looked like leafs of lettuce.  I told her I wanted to buy it and she said it was not for sale, smiled and said for me to take it.  I've had it for years and think of her everytime I use it.   It will never make it in one of my yard sales.
I'm sorry I will miss being there tomorrow, hearing stories, sharing in the family being together, the hugs and tears.
But I will be there in heart and spirit and send my love.
We have a big beautiful family and through the years in happiness and our sorrows, we never forget that we are the children of the Hehls.  How lucky we were to have them as parents, aunts and uncles.
I will miss her...I loved her smile, I loved her tenderness, I loved her.
Sending my love,
Barbara


Cruise

Shared by SHARON STONER on January 24, 2019

One of our great adventures together was a cruise to Alaska.  Mom, Terry and I shared an outside cabin with a patio.  We took a train trip on the White-Yukon Railroad and it was the first time that Mom had left the United States.  The cruise was her 80th birthday present from her CA family and she absolutely loved it.  We docked in Vancouver and Samantha picked us up.  We even stopped at a yard sale in Canada.  One of our many exciting adventures together.  She was always up for an adventure. 

Saving Lt. Camarena

Shared by Bob Camarena on January 23, 2019

In 1970 I was assigned to Wright-Patterson AFB as a young, brand-new Air Force 2nd Lieutenant.  One of the first projects I was assigned to do on my own was a work-flow improvement study at the Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory where Alice worked.  She "took me under her wing" and guided me through the process, advising me on the somewhat difficult personalities within the unit I was to study.  Her involvement was key to my development as a young officer.

When I first met Alice, one of the things she did was tell me about her daughters, whose photos were on her desk.  Little did I know that, some many months later, she would introduce me to her beautiful daughter, Kathy, who became my wife in November of 1972.  Thanks, Alice, for Kathy and my wonderful daughter, Samantha.