Elsa Marie Heisel was born August 11, 1921 as the only child of a successful Covington Kentucky doctor, Clifford Newell Heisel and a community-minded mother, Elsa Groll Heisel. Elsa was encouraged and supported in her interests and talents, and exhibited unfailing confidence from the very beginning.
The Heisel family, including her maternal grandmother from Switzerland, was industrious and prosperous with old-world values; setting down multi-generational roots in one house on Scott Boulevard in Covington, Kentucky. Elsa had a deep connection and commitment to her family and continued to reside in their home as a professional adult, wife, and widow. She graduated from Holmes High School in Covington and went on to the University of Cincinnati, graduating as a Phi Beta Kappa, Mortar Board, and Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority in 1943 with a BA in English, and a minor in opera. Following a persistent desire to be in broadcasting, Elsa walked into the Crosley radio station WSAI shortly after graduation. She was hired as a script writer for two popular radio programs hosted by Ruth Lyons, a well-known local personality. This was the beginning of a life-long professional and personal relationship. As Elsa moved with Ruth Lyons into television and Ruth’s phenomenal success as host of the “50-50 Club,” she became involved with the Ruth Lyons Children’s Christmas Fund. Eventually she was named Coordinator of the Fund until her retirement in 1987 and the last member of the “50-50 Club” to retire.
Elsa married a chemist named Alader Sule in 1958, who came to town working for Hoechst Pharmaceuticals. He agreed to move in with Elsa and her parents, and their lives together nurtured a strong core of shared interests and mutual support. Both enjoyed an active social life, community service, and travel; which included Elsa’s parents. Following the unexpected death of her adored husband, in 1990, Elsa increased her activities with friends and had her own radio show on WMKV for a few years interviewing local broadcasters and celebrities on “Elsa’s Street.” She continued to play bridge and travel and remained active in organizations and charitable endeavors in the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky communities. Elsa lived a life of passion and involvement marked by her energy, unique style, and unfailing enthusiasm. She passed away quietly on January 13, 2010 and leaves behind an ongoing legacy of philanthropy.