Born: March 3, 1915
Location: Hancock, Michigan
Arthur Leonard Heinonen was born in Hancock, Michigan on March 3, 1915. Before he was born, his mother had another son. His name was Arthur Lawrence. Sadly, shortly after birth, he died. When Arthur Leonard was born, his sister Ella said, “Oh, Arthur came back!” So his mother named him Arthur also, but she gave him the middle name Leonard. When he got older, his brother teased him that he was named after a dead person. When he was eighteen he had pneumonia. Around that time they didn’t have antibiotics to fight the disease. The doctor had to take the infection out with a needle. The needle was either rusty or not sterilized because the infection got worse. He had to go to the Ann Arbor Hospital from Hancock on a stretcher in a freight train. At the hospital, the doctors had to remove three ribs from his back that were badly infected and they collapsed one lung. He was in the hospital for eighteen months. He had to sleep sitting up because there was a drainage tube sticking out of his back to drain the infection. When he finally returned home at nineteen and a half, he graduated from Suomi College. He then moved to Detroit and worked at American Motors Corporation for thirty-five years. He retired to Hancock, Michigan. He taught us to always work hard and dream big.
Contributed by: Katri Rajala, South Range Elementary