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Dr. Paul Richard Heath

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Dr. Paul Richard Heath Obituary
Dr. Paul Richard Heath, 78, of Cedarville, Ohio, went home to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on Thursday (Dec. 27, 2012) at Legacy Assisted Living Center, Xenia, Ohio.

He was born Sept. 1, 1934, in Sparta, Mich., the son of Lowell and Minnie Larsen Heath.

He was a veteran of the U.S. Navy, serving in the medical corps at the Naval Air Base in Jacksonville, Fla.

A star athlete at Sparta High School, Heath went on to play collegiate football and baseball. He completed his graduate and undergraduate work at Central Michigan University. Paul was a teacher and coach in Howell, Mich., and New Smyrna, Fla., for many years. His educational administration career began in Battle Creek, Mich., at Kellogg Community College. Heath worked in several capacities from 1964 to 1973, ultimately becoming the vice president of instruction. Heath completed his doctoral degree (Ed.D) in educational leadership at Western Michigan University while he was at KCC. During this time, he interned in the Michigan legislature. In 1973, he moved his family to Parkersburg, W.Va., where he served as academic dean at Parkersburg Community College.

In 1974, Dr. Heath was named the founding president of John Wood Community College in Quincy, and served in this position until 1987. While at John Wood, Heath was contributing author to "Cutting Edge Technologies in Community Colleges," published by the AACJC. He was elected chair of the Council of Presidents for the Illinois Community College Association 1985 and 1986.

In 1987, Heath became the fifth president of Elgin (Ill.) Community College where he continued to develop innovative education programs for the next seven years.

Dr. Heath was honored at the White House for his work at ECC. He retired in 1994.

In 1994, Heath received the Centennial Award from Central Michigan University. This prestigious award is presented to alumni that have distinguished themselves in their profession.

In 2000, he was honored as a Transformational Leader by the League for Innovation in the Community College and Community College programs, sponsored by the University of Texas, Austin, College of Education.

In 2006, his dedication to the growth and success of John Wood Community College as well as his passion to serve the people of the communities JWCC served was honored when the college chose to name the $8.8 million community and adult education building in his honor. The Paul Heath Community Education and Fine Arts Center houses JWCC community and adult education programs as well as the fine arts center and auditorium.

He will be missed most by his family for his patient guidance, his loving notes, his engaging laughter and his love of athletics. He was so very proud of his children and grandchildren's competitive athleticism and musical prowess. His pride in his family was unconditional. He shared in each accomplishment and reveled in their unlimited potential. Paul loved to read, listen to gospel music and golf. To the end he remained an avid Michigan Wolverines fan.

He is survived by the love of his life, his wife of 56 years, Mary Jean Kearce Heath. Paul and Mary were married Sept. 21, 1956. Paul leaves behind a daughter and son-in-law, Kathleen Renee (Bruce) Bunyer of Shannon, Ill.; a son and daughter-in-law, Dr. Kevin (Karen) Heath of Cedarville; five grandchildren, Alexandra Smith, Ariana Smith, Peter Heath, Mary Heath and Benjamin Heath; two grandchildren by marriage, Chelsey Bunyer and Megan Bunyer; a great-granddaughter, Autumn Ilseman; two sisters, Sandra Russ of Harrison Township, Mich., and Evelyn Crown of Des Moines, Iowa; a brother and sister-in-law, Lowell (Gail) Heath of Sparta, Mich.; several nieces and nephews; and by many close friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Gordon Heath; and by three sisters, Virginia, Doris and Mary Lou.

SERVICES: Private services will be held at the convenience of the family

VISITATION: There will be no visitation.

MEMORIALS: Hospice of Miami Valley in Xenia and the Legacy Assisted Living Center in Xenia.

ARRANGEMENTS: Neld Funeral Home Inc., 1276 N. Detroit St., Xenia, Ohio 45385-1208

WEBSITE: www.NeeldFuneralHome.com.

Condolences may be expressed online at www.whig.com.

Published in Quincy Herald-Whig from Dec. 31, 2012 to Jan. 2, 2013
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