(NEWS ARTICLE) Richard and Diane Heuerman, who were married for 51 years, raised a family, and supported each other as their health slipped, died Thursday and Saturday, respectively.
Mr. Heuerman had a heart attack at his home near Waterville, according to the couple's daughter, Alyssa Hodge. He was 72.
She said her mother's breast cancer, at one point considered cured, had metastasized. Mrs. Heuerman moved into Hospice of Northwest Ohio in Perrysburg just days before her death, which followed her husband's by two days. She was 74.
Mrs. Heuerman had taken care of her husband, whose health was declining but whose death the family said was unexpected. When her condition worsened, her husband "did everything" he could for her, their daughter said.
"You could tell they loved each other," Ms. Hodge said. "They looked out for each other."
Dying just days apart would be what they would have wanted "if they could have planned it," said their son, Jeffrey Heuerman.
"My mom worried about what was going to happen to my dad," he said.
The family told Mrs. Heuerman of her husband's passing. She was unresponsive. Though unresponsive, they believe she heard them.
The couple both attended Anthony Wayne High School where they knew each other but didn't date, Ms. Hodge said. They married in 1962 at St. Patrick Parish near Grand Rapids and first lived in the village of Waterville before moving to Waterville Township.
Both also had farming connections. Their son said Mr. Heuerman was raised on a farm near Grand Rapids.
Mrs. Heuerman's parents, Clarence and Alice Hertzfeld, started Hertzfeld Poultry Farms in 1959. For years, she worked there as a bookkeeper alongside her siblings, retiring near age 60, her daughter said.
Mr. Heuerman worked with various companies, including Pinkerton Tobacco Co., Pacific Intermountain Express Co., and Whitehouse Grain. He earned a real estate degree, his son said. He also worked as a Sky Bank courier.
He enjoyed hunting for treasures - including linens, glassware, furniture, and other antiques - at area garage sales and flea markets. His children said he collected items, and for years he held a garage sale each summer to sell pieces he had found.
"People looked for his ad every year," his son said. "He had an eye for it."
He stopped doing the big sale in the last five to seven years because it became too much work, but he continued to go to garage sales.
Her children remember Mrs. Heuerman for her loving and selfless spirit and her hosting of meals for family get-togethers and holidays. She enjoyed doing things for other people, and the family joked that during Thanksgiving "she would never actually sit down," her son said.
"[The] best way I know how to describe my mom is a servant's heart. She lived to serve other people," he said.
Surviving Mr. Heuerman is his brother Roger. Surviving Mrs. Heuerman are her brothers Robert, Thomas, Phil, David, Clarence, and Bill, and sister Barbara.
Also surviving are their children Jeffrey Heuerman and Alyssa Hodge and four grandchildren.
A visitation for both Mr. and Mrs. Heuerman will take place from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Peinert-Dunn Funeral Home in Whitehouse, with a prayer service at 7:30 p.m.
A combined funeral Mass is at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at St. Patrick Parish in Providence Township.
The family suggests tributes be made to St. Patrick Parish or Hospice of Northwest Ohio.
Contact Vanessa McCray at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or 419-724-6065, or on Twitter @vanmccray.
Dunn Funeral Home
408 W. Wooster St. Bowling Green, OH 43402
Published in Toledo Blade on Aug. 26, 2013