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Mary Niet
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Mary Ann Goedeker
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Donald McKay
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Lucius Brigham
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John Galmiche III
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D. Michael Linihan
B: 1941-08-30
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Nathaniel O'Reilly
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Theresa Brennan
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Clarence Darnton
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Alydia Johnson
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B: 1934-02-03
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Obituary for William H. Heidger

William H.  Heidger
Heidger, William Herbert (Bill)
September 27, 1941 – February 7, 2019

Loving husband of Patty (Coyle) and father of Carrie Barry (Patrick), Ann Heidger, Margaret Heidger and Julie Cahill (Michael). Proud grandfather of Ethan, Olivia, George, James, Maren, Lucy, Cailin and Henry. Dear brother of Nancy Bocklage and son of the late Herbert and Dorothy (Muskat) Heidger. Admired brother-in-law, uncle, cousin, card player and nerd. Wonderful friend to many.

Bill was born in St. Louis and grew up south of Tower Grove Park on Wyoming. He attended Holy Family grade school and St. Mary’s High School. He was the host of frequent poker games with his friends, which still continue to this day. Bill and this group of friends remained close as time went by, as they grew their families, navigated careers and celebrated milestones in their lives. They shared many laughs and beers together over the years.

Bill earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Electrical Engineering from Saint Louis University. He worked as an aeronautical engineer at Boeing (formerly McDonnell Douglas) for 46 years. During his career, he worked on sensors and weapons for F-18s along with “top secret” projects and traveled to Malaysia, Scotland and other international locations. He arrived to work promptly each morning and made it home by 5 p.m. each evening where he would quickly take off his pocket protector and pop open a Budweiser.

Bill and Patty met through friends and were married on July 19, 1974. Little did they know growing up that the love of their life was just on the other side of Tower Grove Park, as Patty lived on the north side on Flora. They both wanted to start a family quickly and had their first baby, Carrie, on October 4, 1975. Annie, Margaret and Julie followed sequentially soon after.

Evenings and weekends were filled with his girls – driving each daughter to and from practices and games, lessons, movie theaters, malls and friends’ houses. The Heidger family was part of Holy Redeemer Parish and he and Patty formed special friendships with other parents there. Bill was part of the Men’s Club and served in various volunteer capacities on the Parish Council.

The Heidger home hosted many a slumber party over the years, where the rambunctious girls would quickly quiet down as soon as Bill’s knees were heard popping as he walked down the creaky stairs. The “Eating Olympics” were often held during these evenings, when the pantry was raided for any and all kinds of snacks that were tucked in there. Friends of the Heidger girls knew they would never leave their house hungry.

In contrast to the slumber parties and fun, Bill regularly served as the math and science tutor in-residence at 48 Sylvester. Many evenings were spent at the kitchen table, working through complex algebra, chemistry and other difficult subjects… often through tears. But he was so patient and so brilliant, and incredibly proud of how well his daughters did in school.

Bill was generally a soft-spoken man, but when he did speak, you did not want to miss it. His razor sharp wit and astute observations brought countless laughs and smiles. He was the guy in the room you wanted to make sure you were sitting next to at any event. His girls still aren’t sure if he really was that quiet… or if they just never let him get a word in edgewise. He was always outnumbered but it seemed to suit him just fine. He would frequently offer to “run to the store,” which was likely just an excuse to escape the house for a bit. One man can only handle so much giggling, bickering, Barbies, dolls, singing and silliness. The staff at Schnucks in Webster Groves knew him well and greeted Mr. H each time he arrived.

Bill was a master planner and instilled a love of organization and making lists in each of his daughters. Family vacations involved a visit to AAA and a Trip Tik to lay out the route and each stop along the way. Given a piece of graph paper and a mechanical pencil, or an Excel spreadsheet in later years, he could outline a solution to any problem. For many years, he did the taxes for him and Patty, along with each daughter, using the dining room table as his ‘office’. He referred to himself as “H&R Dad.”

He loved watching sports on TV, from the St. Louis Cardinals to college basketball and international soccer. He was a wealth of information on players, teams and statistics… along with other general knowledge on just about anything from geography to world history. He knew the fastest route to any location in St. Louis and was a frequent Trivial Pursuit champion.

Parkinson’s and Lewy Body Dementia took an unfair toll on Bill. He fought as hard as his compromised body would allow up until the very end. Through the struggles, the one thing that was never lost was his sense of humor. A funny joke or one-liner would always lighten the mood and enabled him and those around him to push forward.

His family wants to thank the many doctors, nurses and other medical professionals who cared for Bill, especially during the past few years of his declining health. They also offer their appreciation to the kind and attentive staff at Mari de Villa as well as gratitude for the dear friends and family who regularly took the time to visit Bill. He truly did love having guests, even if they interrupted his eavesdropping on other conversations going on in the room. Bill never liked to miss anything—he kept an eye and ear on everyone at all times.

Bill will forever be remembered for his selflessness, humor and kindness; along with his unwavering, unconditional love for Patty, his daughters and grandchildren. Memorial Mass at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, Wednesday, February 13, 10 a.m. Visitation prior to service at 9:15 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Parkinson Disease Association – www.apdaparkinson.org.
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