Charles “Dick” Heller passed away at 3:15 pm on Saturday, March 24, 2012 at Shell Rock Care Center in Shell Rock, Iowa. He was born on February 2, 1919 in Fayette, Iowa the son of Charlie and Leta “Fern” (Spatcher) Heller. His father died before he was born of the flu in 1918. Dick grew up in the Fayette and West Union area, graduating from West Union High School in 1936. He enlisted in the United States Navy right out of high school and served four years. After returning home from the Navy, he continued his education in welding school in Milford, Iowa. He met Phyllis Niemann in 1941, and they were united in marriage on December 24, 1942 in Duluth, Minnesota. Dick re-entered the Navy until his Honorable Discharge in 1945.
He came home and began farming, and later got a job with John Deere in Waterloo as a machinist. In 1954 he and Phyllis bought a farm near Sumner, Iowa, where he lived until 2009. He retired from John Deere in 1976. After his retirement, Dick and Phyllis spent the winter months in Brownsville, Texas until 2003. From 1989 through 1997, they spent time during the summer months on the farm and at their mobile home in Harpers Ferry, Iowa. Dick loved the ocean and fishing, gardening, and playing cards with his wife, Phyllis.
He is survived by two sons, Doug Heller of Oelwein and Matt (Gloria) Heller of Fayetteville, Tennessee; three grandchildren, Alana and TJ Heller of Fayetteville, Tennessee and Maria Heller (daughter of Rex) of Waterloo; two great grandchildren, Jonathen and Calvin Davis (sons of Maria); a daughter-in-law, Shirley (Paul) Regenold (wife of Randy, deceased); a half sister, Alice (Payne) Hughes of Huntsville, Texas and an aunt, Irene DeBow of Davenport, IA. He was preceded in death by his wife, Phyllis (2003); three sons, J. Arthur “Pug” Heller (1987), Randy Scott Heller (2009) and Rex Radford Heller (1988); his step father Robert “Bob” Payne and his parents, Charlie and Fern.
Graveside Service: 10:45 AM on Saturday, July 21, 2012 at the Fayette Cemetery. Following the service, the family will be meeting at Boike's Trailside Inn, located at 152 S. Main Street in Fayette.