Clarence Rece Heirtzler Jr.

Obituary
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  • "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, Dr Heirtzler..."
    - Kim Gauthier
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    - Mike and Kelly Pickard
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    - Lawrence Phelps
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1926-2014 Clarence R. Heirtzler, Jr., 88, went home to his Lord and Savior, on Wednesday, December 10. He passed away peacefully at his home in Buna, TX, surrounded by his wife and four children, following a brief battle with metastatic pancreatic cancer. He is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Norma Perkins Heirtzler; daughters, Pam Bickham and her husband, Jim, of Dripping Springs, TX; Paula Blazek and her husband, Joey, of Beaumont, TX; Tammy Gothrup and her husband, Lonnie, of Sulphur, LA; son, Jimmy Heirtzler and his wife, Joan, of Buna, TX; brother, Jerry Heirtzler and his wife, Mildred, of Ethel, LA; sister, Lora Callicott of Baton Rouge, LA; grandchildren, James Bickham, Jr.; Amanda Bickham Karka and her husband, Michael; Alicia Bickham Holder and her husband, Will; Anne Bickham Neighbor and her husband, Seth; Lydia Gothrup Fruge and her husband, Jeff; Timothy Gothrup; Jaelyn Heirtzler and Justin Heirtzler; great grandchildren, Rowdee and Sophie Neighbor, and Kynlie Holder; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, Clarence R. Heirtzler, Sr. and Mattie Belle Heirtzler, and sister, Mattie B. Ziegler. Born on July 13, 1926, in McManus, LA, he was raised on a farm, where he learned his terrific work ethic and love of the outdoors. Clarence proudly served in the U. S. Navy during World War II and then attended Louisiana State University, where he graduated in 1949 with a B. S. in Dairy Products Manufacturing. Active in the Baptist Student Union, he considered a career in the ministry before following his love of agriculture and animal husbandry. Clarence's first job out of college brought him to Port Arthur, TX to manage Townsend Dairy's milk plant. There he met the love of his life, Norma Perkins, at Proctor Street Baptist Church. They married there on July 19, 1952, and enjoyed more than 60 years of love, friendship and devotion to each other. The demise of independent dairies in the mid-1950's led Clarence to change course and pursue a career in dentistry. He attended the University of Texas Dental Branch in Houston, graduating in 1959 with his D.D.S. degree. Following a three year preceptorship studying orthodontia, he opened his practice in orthodontics in Port Arthur in 1962 and retired in February of this year. Clarence was a good and honest man who worked hard to provide a wonderful life for his wife and family. He never met a stranger and endeared himself to all with his kindness and gentle humor. If he wasn't working out in the hay fields, he could be found watching his beloved LSU Tigers in any sport or on the deer stand during hunting season. When we learned of the cruel hand fate dealt him, his only regret was that he wouldn't be able to tell us he loved us anymore. His lifetime of showing us his love in every action will have to suffice until we are all reunited in Heaven. Visitation will be from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Adams E. E. Stringer Funeral Home in Buna, TX on Friday, December 12. Funeral services will be held at the First Baptist Church in Buna, TX at 1:30 pm on Saturday, December 13 followed by graveside services at 4:00 pm at Greenlawn Cemetery in Port Arthur, TX. Bros. Paul Boughan and Lonnie Gothrup will officiate. Jim Bickham, Joey Blazek, James Bickham, Jr., Timothy Gothrup, Billy Brown, Will Withers, Joel Clark and Andy Whitehead will serve as pallbearers. Memorial contributions may be made to the Elkins Pancreas Center, Baylor College of Medicine, 6620 Main, Suite 1450, Houston, TX 77030 or the .

Funeral Home
Adam E E Stringer Funeral Home
34490 Us Highway 96 S
Buna, TX 77612
(409) 994-3646
Published in The Beaumont Enterprise on Dec. 12, 2014
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