HEFFERNAN, M. Michael Mike passed away peacefully May 11, 2013 at age 89. He was born in Milbank, S.D. to Thomas and Agnes Heffernan. After graduating from Omaha Tech High School in 1941, he enlisted in the Naval Air Corps. While flying a Navy F-4U Corsair fighter airplane, he made a forced landing on the beach at Jacksonville, FL in 1944. The plane was intact, but Mike became a paraplegic, spending the following 69 years in a wheelchair. He was in the vanguard of disabled veterans entering college under the G.I. Bill. He enrolled at UCLA because it was the first campus to begin to make their campus wheelchair accessible. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and he earned both a BA and MA in Economics. Mike was a stockbroker with Merrill Lynch from 1954 to 1980 when he retired. He was president of the Brentwood Optimist Club, Co-founding Chairman of the St. Martin of Tours Committee for the Poor, and a 25 year member of the Association of Naval Aviation. He was widely travelled and a devotee of the unabridged dictionary. He was a loving and loved husband, father, uncle, brother, and grandfather. For 58 years he was married to Dee, his loving wife and soulmate. He is survived by Dee, sister Irene Lause, daughter Alicia Millikan, son-in-law Alden Millikan, and grandchildren Mikhaila and Miles. His son, Michael, preceded him in death in 2010. He will be remembered for his generosity, kindness, humor, and thoughtfulness. We miss him already.
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Published in the Los Angeles Times on June 9, 2013