East Side History Madison’s Blog

By and for the East Side History Club, a project of the Goodman Community Center

The Moving/Marimba Lady

Posted by eastsidehistorymadison on April 17, 2009


Shirley Vickerman Spaith brought up the “Marimba Lady” in a letter she sent us following  the January ’09 History Club meeting:  

“I lived on Atwood Ave. for 25 years – first at 1924 Atwood and after 1941 at 2047 1/2 Atwood.  My father worked for Kennedy Dairy and kept the horse that  he used to pull the milk delivery wagon in the barn that still stands and is used by Krupp Construction as an office (2020 Eastwood Drive).

“A few doors down across from the Eastwood Theater a lady gave marimba lessons.  I baby sat for the Howard Nedderman children (Joyce, Jane & Gayle) who lived in the same house (2087 Atwood).  It was fun to listen to her play.”

Ann Waidelich did a little History detective work and produced the following: 

The ‘marimba lady‘ that Shirley Spaith mentions is/was Dorothy Heick Jorgenson.  An Aug. 16, 1970 Wis State Journal article described Mrs. Jorgenson as president of Heick Moving and Storage Inc.  The company was started by her grandfather and managed by  her father and then her husband Clarence Jorgenson. 

When her husband died in 1956, responsibility for managing the firm was thrust upon her.  Dorothy’s background hadn’t really prepared her for the position.  ‘My background was in music, but I was born in a moving family,’ she said.  She had studied music since she was a child, including private lessons in Chicago and classes at Northwestern University and the University of Wisconsin.  

She had toured with an all-girl band and had given private instruction in piano and MARIMBA. Inexperience did not prevent her from being successful in her new role.  She became the first woman ever named to the board of directors of a national moving firm, and was named woman of the year (1970) in Wisconsin trucking by the Women’s Division of the Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association.

In 1970 she was living with her daughter in Sun Prairie. Our history detectives have not located her in current phone records or newspaper obituary listings.

If you know the rest of the story, please let us know!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: