Eugene “Gene” Heitz, 83, of Aurora passed away Saturday October 19, 2019 at his home in rural Aurora surrounded by his loving family. Visitation will be from 4-7 PM on Wednesday October 23, 2019 at the Geilenfeld-Buehner Funeral Home of Oelwein with a Rosary Service at 3:30 PM and Scripture Service beginning at 7:00 PM. Funeral services will begin at 10:30 AM on Thursday October 24, 2019 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church of Oelwein with Fr. Ray Atwood officiating. Interment will be in St. Albert’s Cemetery at rural Lamont. A memorial fund has been established.
Eugene Raphael Heitz was born in Farley April 8, 1936 to parents Raphael and Frances (Zalaznik) Heitz. He graduated from St. Joseph High School in Farley. Gene then served his country honorably in the United States Army from December 3, 1958 to September 30, 1959. On January 10, 1962 he was united in marriage with Wanda Lentz at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Lamont. Gene began farming at a very young age and continued throughout his life. Even after retirement he continued farming in conversation with his family and friends. He loved farming as it was both his life’s work and hobby. Gene treasured his time with all the grandchildren and great-grandchildren; holding them, watching them and playing with them. They brought huge smiles to his face every time.
Gene was a current member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church of Oelwein and ushered at mass. He was a longtime former member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church of Lamont, where he served as parish council president, school board member, Eucharistic Minister and Holy Name member. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, president of Aurora Community Club and member of East Buchanan Telephone Coop Board.
Left to celebrate Gene’s life is his wife Wanda (Lentz) Heitz, the love of his life; children: Marie (Lowell) Ware of Dubuque, Kevin (Desiree) Heitz of Aurora, Colorado, Alan (Helen) Heitz of Aurora, Terry (Tracy) Heitz of Ankeny, Cindy (Curt) Gentz of Masonville and Nathan (Sara) Heitz of Waverly. His legacy lives on in twelve grandchildren: Bradley Ware, Danielle and Olivia Heitz, Hannah (Casey) Kingsley, Kayla and Rachel Heitz, Cassie (Ross) Kurash, Leah and Alex Gentz, Oliver, Phoebe and Micah Heitz; three great grandchildren: Henry Kurash, Elijah and Lydia Gentz; brothers Elmer (Kay) Heitz of Farley, Richard Heitz of Farley, Matt (Marna) Heitz of Farley, Julian (Ursula) Heitz of Nashville, Tennessee and sister Diana (Tom) Kirkwood of Dyersville.
He was preceded in death by his father and mother: Raphael and Frances Heitz, and sister Carol (Heitz) Dahmen.