Retired U.S. Air Force Major William Harry Heitman, M.D., 72, born Aug. 10, 1943, in Sparta, Ill., passed away Jan. 30, 2016, at Cedar Ridge Healthcare Center, Lebanon, Ill., following a courageous 35 year battle against Parkinson's Disease.
Bill grew up in Sparta, Ill. Following graduation from the Air Force Academy in 1966, he was a navigator on the C-130 and a WSO on the B-57 and F-111. He took a hiatus from the Air Force in 1973 to attend University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, from which he graduated in 1979. Returning to the Air Force, he served as a flight surgeon until his Parkinson's Disease caused him to medically retire in 1984. Although his military career was cut short due to illness, he was a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross with 1 OLC, and the Air Medal with 15 OLC. Bill had a strong faith in God, and as able, attended First Baptist Church O'Fallon.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Harold Henry Heitman, DDS, and Geneva Pearl, nee Burns, Heitman; his daughter, Sarah "Sally" Heitman; and brother, R. Donald Heitman.
Surviving are his devoted wife, Mary Frances, nee Burkett, Heitman of O'Fallon, whom he married on Jan. 26, 1971, in Clovis, N.M.; his children, Jaylene (Bill Edwards) McGregor of Truth or Consequences, N.M., Brad (Cyndi) Heitman of Abilene, Texas, and Russ Heitman of Minneapolis, Minn.; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and his sister, Nelda (Dick) Hershberger of Oklahoma City, Okla.
The family requests that no flowers or gifts be sent, and, if desired, donations may be made to
(www.michaeljfox.org). Condolences may be extended to the family by visiting www.wfh-ofallon.com.
Visitation: The family will receive friends from 1 to 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, at First Baptist Church O'Fallon, Ill.
Funeral: Memorial services will begin at 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, at the church, with Revs. Doug Munton and Skip Leininger officiating. Dr. Heitman generously donated his body for medical research to Washington University, St. Louis, Mo.
WOLFERSBERGER FUNERAL HOME, O'Fallon, Ill.
Published in Belleville News-Democrat on Feb. 11, 2016