LAUREL — William Arnold “Bill” Heitman, 82, Laurel, died May 6, 2019, at the Hillcrest Care Center, Laurel, surrounded by family.
Visitation was Thursday morning, at church, from 9:30 until service time.
Funeral Services were May 9 at the United Lutheran Church, Laurel, with Pastor Matthew Quanbeck officiating.
Burial was in the Laurel Cemetery.
Pallbearers were Marlin Papenhausen, Todd Heitman, Troy Heitman, Scott Urwiler, John Pehrson, Steve Luedtke, John Kock and Curt Jeffries.
Honorary Pallbearers were Coleen Jeffries, Debra Wert, Gary Lute, Carroll and Tootie Lipp, David Luhr, Sara Pehrson, Katelyn Pehrson, Samantha Pehrson, Lilly Pehrson, Nancy Abts, Joan Thies, Teri Fettig, Kathy Keifer, Sandy Paben, Pastor Lynn Qualm, and the 2-Cylinder Club members.
Arrangements were under the direction of the Wintz Funeral Home, Laurel.
Bill was born June 5, 1936, on the family farm home north of Laurel, to Arnold John and Lucille Mae (Puntney) Heitman. He moved with his family to a farm south of Belden in 1942. He attended country school District 37 and Belden Public School. He was baptized and confirmed into the Lutheran faith at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Laurel. He was a member of the United Lutheran Church, where he had served as an usher, helped with Luther League events and caroling. Bill liked kids.
In his early years, Bill loved art and spent many hours drawing pictures of cattle, horses and other animals. After high school, Bill worked for several farmers with cattle feeding. Bill decided to get his own equipment and did custom farming. He also had a hay-moving machine, which not only moved hay, but also buildings, etc. The bigger the challenge, the more he enjoyed it. After selling his equipment, he worked for local farmers helping with fieldwork, hauling grain and livestock, running for parts and whatever he could do to help. Bill loved the farm!
His biggest joy was the 2-Cylinder Tractor Club and he enjoyed lining up a “Tractor Ride.” He looked forward to their Monday night meetings at JoDean’s, Yankton, S.D. Bill sold his IHC tractor and was so happy the day his niece took him on a road trip to see his tractor all shined up, at the new owner’s farm.
After his health started to decline, his faith led him to make wooden crosses to give away to hang on rear-view mirrors, to hang on walls, or to sit around. After he moved to the care center, his woodworking took him to making name plates for all of the residents. He was disappointed that his health wouldn’t let him finish names people had asked him to make.
Bill is survived by two sisters, Vivian Papenhausen, Coleridge, and Dorothy Wert, Wayne; sister-in-law, Carol Heitman, South Sioux City; nieces, nephews, and friends too numerous to mention.
He was preceded in death by his father, Arnold, in 1994; mother, Lucille, in 2013; brother, Roger Heitman, in 2008; and brothers-in-law, Curtis Papenhausen and Ronald Wert.