Ronald Heist
1944 - 2016
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Ronald F. Heist
Ronald F. Heist, 71, was killed in the Line of Duty on March 20, 2016. He was the loving husband of Janet L. (Wolford) Heist. Ron and Janet celebrated their 38th wedding anniversary on December 14, 2015.
Born October 19, 1944, in York, he was the son of the late Gerald Anthony and Mazie Rebecca (Mickley) Heist.
He served in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Ron was a 1962 graduate of West York High School. He retired after 29 years of service with the York City Police Department. He was also employed for 15 years as a Park Ranger for the County of York and was currently a Security Officer with Schaad Detective Agency for 6 years.
His passion was dog training. He was one of the first K-9 unit officers in York City. He trained several of his friends' dogs to Schutzhund III Level and also trained many dogs for the K-9 units for Police Departments. He traveled to many parts of the country for dog trials and had lots of friends in the dog community. He was always willing to help others with their dogs.
Ron enjoyed collecting pocket watches, knives, swords, and Marine Corps memorabilia. He enjoyed long rides in the mountains to walk his dogs. He had a 5th Degree Black Belt in Tai Kwon Do. He made friends everywhere he went. Ron was a member of White Rose Lodge #15, Fraternal Order of Police and the Association of Retired York City Police Officers.
Ron was a husband who loved his wife, father who would do anything for his children, Marine for life "Semper Fi", Police Officer at heart, Passion for Dogs, Loved what he did, and Lived Life to the Fullest.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, Timothy and his wife, Dee Deardorff of Mount Wolf, and Michael and his wife, Jill Heist of West York; a daughter, Heather Wantz of West York; five grandchildren, Victoria and Elizabeth Wantz, Brennan and Avery Heist, and Darren and his wife, Alicia Lawrence; and two great-grandchildren, Rhiley and Alixander Lawrence. He is also survived by a brother, Gerald F. Heist of Manchester; and a sister, Lila Holland of Roseville, Calif. He was preceded in death by three sisters and three brothers.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, March 26, 2016 at 1 p.m. at the Utz Arena of the York ExpoCenter, 334 Carlisle Ave., York, PA 17404. A visitation will be held Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Utz Arena. A Fraternal Order of Police Memorial service will be conducted by White Rose Lodge #15 and Military Honors will be conducted by the York County Veterans Honor Guard at the Utz Arena.
Memorial contributions may be made to the SPCA of York County, 3159 Susquehanna Trail North, York, PA 17406.
"Ronnie to many, Husband to one, Dad to three, Granddad to seven, Loved by everyone. We all will miss you!"
Arrangements by the Etzweiler Funeral Homes and Cremation Service, 1111 East Market Street, York, PA 17403.

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Published in York Daily Record on Mar. 23, 2016.
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56 entries
April 4, 2019
Carol Griffith
March 18, 2019
I can't believe it had been 3 years since you've left this world. I can't believe I've known you since I was 5 years old. You are dearly missed
Lori Sharp
September 17, 2018
Wow, I just found this out. I AM SO SO SORRY to hear this. Janet I know you have to remember me? Lynn from Boundary Ave. Peg and Bill were my parents.
I am so so sad to hear this...I remember when Ron showed up at my dad's funeral and when he hugged me I just collapsed and cried and cried in his arms.
I always loved being around when you all came to visit. I hope you receive this message and get in touch with me.

Linda Keech Bodin
April 11, 2016
Ronny was a big part of my life growing up. My father had a gunshop on Jackson st. He and many of the police officers came around to my father's shop. I remember all of them coming around at that time I was 5 or 6 years old. He always came in to talk to my parents and would spend sometimes an hour there talking. And he always made sure he spoke to me and my sister. And years later when my father had passed away unexpectedly he would always stop at the house to make sure my mom and I were doing ok. And even through the years I would see him around town and he remembered me and ask how my family was. It is such a tragedy to be taken away at such a young age. My heart goes out to the family of a wonderful person who always looked out for others.
Lori Sharp
April 4, 2016
Ronnie was a childhood friend from Monroe St. in West York. His family lived just across and down the street from our home at 1533 Monroe. Ronnie was a couple years older than the crew of boys in that block, but he was still a good friend to all of us.

There was an empty lot next to our home that ran from Monroe St. back to my Dad's garage at the alley. We kids ran the grass off to sheer dirt in the back-half of that lot and called it "the desert".

My Dad put up a basketball backboard and net on the garage and you could see Ronnie shooting baskets down there by himself for hours, after all the other kids had gone home.

Ronnie played on the West York Varsity Basketball team and, even as a boy, he had the self-discipline to train and work to improve his basketball skills to be at his best for the team in athletic competition with the other schools in our district.

I remember his dog, Mutz, and it was the first time I realized Ronnie was getting into training for a career a lot more serious than varsity basketball. But he'd already laid the groundwork for the personal discipline he'd bring to his career in Law Enforcement.

I left York to go away to school and never really returned other than to visit my family and lost touch with Ronnie. But, It just saddens me terribly to learn of his being taken without a chance to defend himself. I'm so glad to learn about his family and know he had a good life as well as a good career.
George Anderson
March 29, 2016
Janet & family... was so honered & proud to be at the service....would have liked to talk to you briefly but it was a long day for my haste, I forgot to sign the guest book...sorry...if you could sign me in the book I would be grateful...I loved "Herbie" & we were friends for 46 yrs ...maybe you remember when Ron found me & Inez's first rottweiller in 1991...he trained her with us & it was you....will miss him with you, till the last great "Boy"
Larry (BOY) Sheesley
March 29, 2016
Prayers being sent to the Heist family So sorry for your loss. We trained dogs with Ron in the York Schutzhund Club for many years. He always had a smile and made us laugh.
Mary Jo & Augie Vinck
March 26, 2016
Dear Heather,
I am so sorry to hear of the tragic passing of your dad. I may not of known him personally, but by knowing you and how caring your are with people, I can see the apple fell close to the tree. May the memories you have of your dad help fill the void his absence has created in your heart.
Prayers to you and your family,
April Antico, RN
April Antico
March 26, 2016
What a sad story, remember him growing up in West York he always had a smile on his face. our condolences may he Rest in peace.
David Glatfelter
March 26, 2016
Such a tragedy. My thoughts are with Janet and the rest of the Heist family today.
Barbara Andersen
March 26, 2016
My condolences to Ron's family. RIP
Louise Lehman
March 26, 2016
Ron was such a knowledgeable and likable ranger that I had the absolute pleasure of knowing while employed by the York County Parks. He always had a smile on his face and a story to tell.
His impact on others was great and far-reaching. May the family and dear friends of this wonderful man find peace and comfort during their time of sorrow.
Matthew 5:4
April Ferree
March 25, 2016
Best dressed helper!
Lynn Salganik
March 25, 2016
Ron will be missed, I pray for the family to have strength, and be assured that one day you will be reunited.
Tracy Longenecker
March 25, 2016
Sorry for your loss my thoughts are with you Janet and your family
Patti Gladfelter
March 25, 2016
Janet , So sorry for your loss. Always loved my visits and stories with Ron. Some day we are going when we meet again we are going to race those mustangs! He will always hold a special place in my heart. So glad I got to come to see you the other day and spend time with you and Tim. Love and hugs to you.
Jean Thomas
March 25, 2016
My deepest condolences to the Heist family on this tragic loss. With Ron gone, what a huge hole in the world there is now. I met Ron through Schutzhund training and a happier, funnier, full-of-life person you'd never meet anywhere. Ron was - and still is - a blessing to all who had the good fortune to meet him.
Anne Flyzik
March 25, 2016
The Heist family is in our thoughts and prayers.

Jan, Georgiana, Justin,& Selina Horst
March 25, 2016
I'm so sorry for your loss. I met Ron when he was a park ranger. He was such a nice guy and will be missed.
Kim Leiphart
March 24, 2016
Isaiah 14:7 says: "The whole earth is at rest and is quite:..." Until then we continue to grieve the loss of our loved ones. We are so very sorry for your tragic loss and hope that your fond memories will bring you comfort.
Willie & Joyce Montalvo
March 24, 2016
March 24, 2016
Marie Musser
March 23, 2016
My old neighbor and friend,
It was 1965 and you just bought a new 250 Honda scrambler motorcycle,a shining beauty ! And you,Ron, twisted my arm to put some miles on your new bike and drive down to Phila. to see my girlfriend !
You and your family are in my prayers.
Tom Bosserman
March 23, 2016
Your family is in my thoughts and prayers. I am so sorry for your loss. I still have vivid memories of Ron and my dad training the dogs! No question those were times he enjoyed. My deepest sympathy in this very difficult time.
Ali (Quickel)Heavener
ali heavener
March 23, 2016
I'm so sorry to here about Ron. Ron was a very special person. I only knew him for a short time but after meeting him you knew that he was the kindest person you would ever meet. What a joy it was just to know him. May God bless his family and give them strength in coping with this tough time. He will be missed by many and will always be remembered.
jeff Smith
March 23, 2016
Jeff Smith
March 23, 2016
To all of Ron's family and friends, I am so sorry for your (our) loss. Ron and I were buddies in high school, and he was always a fine gentlemen. May our God of love that surpasses all understanding give you His peace!
Adrian Smith
March 23, 2016
I wish to extend my deepest sympathies to Ron and his family. 42 years ago I had to honor of becoming a York City Police officer and worked with Ron. He always wore a smile. Rest in pease, my friend.
Doug Meisenhelter
March 23, 2016
Heather and family, my sincerest condolences on Ron's passing. I am so saddened by this as is everyone. I knew him from working at the court house way back in 1965 or 66. Great guy. May God Bless all of you. RIP
Sue Wynegar
March 23, 2016
One Marine to another ... well done, Semper Fi, Marine .. God bless you and your family. Chaplain Ron Bupp
Ron Bupp
March 23, 2016
Praying for this family and our nation as a whole.
God Bless You and know HIS peace at this time.
March 23, 2016
God has given us few people with the ability to make life better and help others cope with difficult situations. Ron was a gifted man that touched many other lives. With his smile, laughter and quick wit, he made many lives better. And as a police officer, he was respected by everyone that he ever worked with. A finer legacy doesn't exist. R.I.P. my friend.
Glenn Flinchbaugh
March 23, 2016
So very sad. So many good memories of high school. Remember Ron, we went steady only in English lit class as a joke to the teacher. Remember your first police dog.Hopefully these good memories will help your family in this horrific time of sorrow!
Ellen Hildebrand/Gable
March 23, 2016
Ron was a very good friend with my mother may years ago. I will never forget all the times "Her guys in Blue" stopped by for food or she carried food into the police department. God really chose a special person. Memories are so precious to your family. RIP
Marie Jennings
March 23, 2016
March 23, 2016
Ron was a Great Man! He had a friendly smile and a warm laugh! He helped me with my two K-9's Shadow and Hank! His energy for dog training was inspiring! Thank You My Brother! Rest In Peace.

Alan Stubbs
York Area Regional Police/York Township Police - Canine Officer
York County Parks Department -Senior Park Ranger
March 23, 2016
R.I.P. Ronnie You will be dearly missed by so many.
Les Markel
March 23, 2016
To the Heist family,
I very saddened to hear of the tragic loss of Ron. I did not know him but may it somewhat comfort you all to know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers at the very sad time.
John Orendorff
March 23, 2016
I new Ron for 40 years was into doge with him and you could not have a finer man . To the family may GOD be with you through your trouble times . Also you might want to put a couple towels in his casket to wipe all the slober from the kisses he will get from his K-9 buddies he will see in heaven.
You will be greatly Missed .
John Swonger
March 23, 2016
Thoughts and prayers are with Ronnie's family. May you find some comfort knowing he lived a life full of riches, especially his love of family, and his beloved animals. He truly was one of the best.
Myrna Barnes
March 23, 2016
Thoughts and prayers for all his family and friends may God give u the strength to go on in this time of sorrow
March 23, 2016
Dear Heist Family,

Because of my own recent loss I know the pain you have, but take comfort from the wonderful memories that you have of Ron and he will always be in your hearts, living on forever. Ron was a great guy who I trained K-9 with, and great memories were made for me during that time.
Take comfort from those memories and share them with others .
Donald Webb
March 23, 2016
For the Heist family you Husband and Father will be saddly missed. I remember when my parents would have Christmas parties and he would stop by to visit, I will never forget him he was my godfather and friend. May God watch over each of you during these hard times and remember he will always be with you and watching over you until we all meet again. R.I.P. Ronnie.
Fred Fink
March 23, 2016
March 23, 2016
Janet & Family

I am so sory for your loss.... May you find the healing process thru family & friends..God Bless You
Gloria Swank
March 23, 2016
You will be greatly missed by all Ron. Blessings & prayers go out to all of Ron's family, with hopes that all of the good memories will help ease your pain during your tragic loss!
Sherry Anne Prowell
March 22, 2016
RIP Ron. God strengthen the family and friends in their time of need.
Carol Griffith
March 22, 2016
Ronnie was a good friend. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. May God comfort you during the days to come.
Ken and Peggy Ann Smith
March 22, 2016
Heather and family,
We are so very sorry to hear about your loss. Love and prayers to you and your family.
Jill, Brent, Ethan and Sophie
Jill Aughenbaugh
March 22, 2016
I have many good memories of Ron from our high school years at West York. I feel very sad for your family but you certainly made a difference here on earth. What a beautiful legacy for your children and grandchildren. Susan Berkheimer Hudson
March 22, 2016
Rest easy my friend. It was a pleasure working with you and a privilege to know you.
Tim Lawson
March 22, 2016
March 22, 2016
Our sincere and deepest sympathy to Ron's wife Janet and family. May your treasured memories give you peace.
We will never forget our old friend Ron from the York Schutzhund Club Days to North Americans and Nationals and many other club trials Rich attended with Ron. Our prayers are with his family.
Rich and Jill Pastucka
Rich and Jill Pastucka
March 22, 2016
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Kathy Scheivert/Heath
March 22, 2016
St. Ferdinand Parish - Comfort Blanket Ministry
March 22, 2016
I remember when they had ride-a-long's, I rode along with Ron Heist. He was such a great person. My thought's and prayer's to the Family.
Eugenia Zaborowski
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