Eugene “Gene” Thomas Heidenreich, 87, passed away Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015, with family by his side.
Gene, the son of George and Elsie (Auth) Heidenreich, was born in Fort Wayne on Oct. 11, 1928. He attended St. Peter’s Catholic School and Central Catholic High School until the family moved to Tri-Lakes in 1944. He graduated from Columbia City High School in 1946.
Gene was a hardworking man of integrity with many talents. He owned several businesses and farms, built homes, flew a plane and could fix anything. His excavation company “turned the first dirt” at Industrial Park, Southtown Mall, Pine Valley and many other places throughout the area. He loved his family, playing the organ, listening to music, reading and was very knowledgeable about world affairs. He was a member of the Columbia City Elks Lodge #1417.
Surviving are his children: (Ret.) Major Tim (Floy) Heidenreich; Kathy (Kenny) Bills; Carol (Rick) Westenfeld; and Todd (Jeannie) Heidenreich; 11 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren plus one due in March; and a sister: Carol (Lee) Thomas. He was preceded in death by his parents; son: Tom; former wife: Marilyn; three great-grandchildren; grandson-in-law: Joe Richards; and a brother: Jerry.
Per Gene’s wishes, arrangements are by Midwest Funeral Home and Cremation Society. A celebration of life will be held from 4-8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 22 in the Coach Room at Smith and Sons Funeral Home, Columbia City. Private interment will be at a later date.
Memorials are to Heartland Hospice or The Lighthouse in Columbia City.