Skip to main content

Long-time Indiana Farm Bureau leader dies

LAGRO TWP., IN -- Carolyn M. Hegel, long-time Indiana Farm Bureau second vice president and director-at-large, died June 10 at her home.

Hegel served as INFB second vice president and director-at-large for 26 years. A tireless speaker and advocate for agriculture, she for many of those years traveled more than 40,000 miles per year for Farm Bureau, speaking to groups around the state and elsewhere.

She devoted much of her adult life to Farm Bureau, serving as bookkeeper and office manager for what was then the Huntington County Farm Bureau Co-op; and as township, county, and district woman leader for Farm Bureau before being elected to the INFB board of directors.

In her role as director-at-large, Carol was a member of the INFB board of directors of the parent company and affiliated companies, including Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance. She was a member of the executive committee and served on the audit and verification committees for the insurance company.

She also chaired the State Women’s Committee (now called the Women’s Leadership Committee), and she was director of both the women’s and health and safety divisions. Hegel also served as Midwest region representative on the American Farm Bureau Federation’s women’s committee and was a member of the AFBF net farm income study committee.

Among her notable projects was a visit she paid to Kazakhstan in the former Soviet Union to coordinate a program to assist private farmers in developing their own farm organization.

Born Carolyn Marie Lynn in 1940 in Lagro Township, Wabash County, she farmed all her life in Wabash County. She married Tom Hegel in 1962, and even after his death in 1992, she remained on their farm near Andrews and maintained a cow-calf herd.

While devoting herself to Farm Bureau, she remained active in other organizations – with the Indiana Rural Health Association; as a volunteer with Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Wabash County; and with her church, Bethel United Methodist.

As she was retiring from INFB, she was asked by The Hoosier Farmer (a publication for members of Indiana Farm Bureau) how she hoped to be remembered.

“That I have a deep love of agriculture and of the families and people who work in it,” she said. “I want to be remembered as a person who really cared about our members and our employees…and as a person of integrity.”

Memorial contributions may be made to the Farm Bureau Foundation, care of Indiana Farm Bureau (225 S. East Street, PO Box 1290, Indianapolis, IN 46206); or Bethel United Methodist Church (checks should be made payable to Bethel United Methodist Church and mailed to Grandstaff-Hentgen Funeral Service, 241 Manchester Avenue, Wabash, IN 46992, and marked “for Carolyn Hegel memorial”).

Services were held June 14 at Bethel United Methodist. She is survived by a brother, Clair L. Lynn, and sister, Barbara Ann Lynn, both of Lagro. Besides her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents, Ralph H. and Mary Lucile Lynn, and a brother, Richard Lynn.