DR. GISELA SPIEKER, the only child of Erwin and Emma Spieker, was born in Cleve, Germany on September 13, 1928. In 1938 her parents moved to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic where she completed her elementary and high school education. She was fluent in English, German and Spanish languages. In February 1948, Gisela and her parents came to the USA and resided in New Orleans. She became an American citizen on June 2, 1953.
She worked for an insurance agency while at the same time pursuing her undergraduate degree at University College, Tulane University. Upon completing her degree she continued the Master Degree program in Social Work at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, La.
In 1963 she joined the staff of social workers at the Veteran’s Hospital at Fort Roots in North Little Rock. She remained there for five years and then continued her education at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., where she completed her Ph.D. in June 1971. She returned to the VA on a research project and taught Research Methodology at the Graduate School of Social Work, University of Arkansas at Little Rock and a year later became Associate Professor.
In addition to her teaching schedule she devoted a great deal of time on research and publishing in the areas of Alcohol Abuse, Child Abuse and Family Violence. She was instrumental in establishing the first shelter for abused women in Little Rock. In 1976 she was promoted to full Professor and in 1981 she became the Dean of the Graduate School of Social Work.
After her retirement in 1990 she traveled extensively, both in the USA and abroad. She attended three Elderhostels yearly for at least ten years. She was a member of AARP Chapter 34 and Holy Souls Senior Club and played bridge and canasta. She had two precious cats whom she liked so much that she had a sign on her front door which read: “Two Spoiled Cats Live Here.” Dr.Spieker was a Lutheran and member of Grace Evangelical-Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod.
Funeral services will be at Grace Lutheran Church on Tues., May 3, 2016 at 10 a.m. followed by burial at Forest Hills Memorial Park. A general visitation will be Monday, at Ruebel Funeral Home from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Donations may be made to Grace Lutheran Church or a charity of your choice. Arrangements by Ruebel Funeral Home, www.ruebelfuneralhome.com.