William Scott Christian “Willie” Heitkamp, age 82, of Centralia, Illinois, passed away at 5:43 A.M. on Thursday, September 7, 2017 at his home with a few of his family members by his side. He was born on May 17, 1935 in Grand Prairie Township, Jefferson County, Illinois, the son of the late William and Mary Jane (Roper) Heitkamp. He married Alice Ann Morris on July 15, 1956 at the First United Methodist Church in Centralia, Illinois and she preceded him in death on March 15, 2014. He lived his entire life in Centralia, Illinois.
Mr. Heitkamp is survived by his daughter, Rose Marie Straeter, MA and son-in-law Richard of Mt. Vernon, Illinois; son, Reverend Dr. Steve Heitkamp and daughter-in-law, Mindy of O’Fallon, Illinois; grandchildren, Mark William Straeter of Hinsdale, Illinois, Jeanette Rose Straeter of Atlanta, Georgia, Brynn Elizabeth (Heitkamp) Hackney and husband Chris of O’Fallon, Illinois and Shelby Lin Heitkamp of Oak Brook, Illinois; sister, Dorothy Aydt of Centralia, Illinois; special friend, Colleen Parker of Centralia, Illinois and many nieces, nephews and good friends.
In addition to his wife of 57 years, Mr. Heitkamp was preceded in death by his parents, brother, Wayne Heitkamp, sister, Grace Sanders and infant brother.
Mr. Heitkamp was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Centralia, Illinois, where he was president of the United Methodist Men. He was a member of the Board of Trustees for the Beulah Holiness Camp Association in Eldorado, Illinois and a chairman of the building and grounds committee for 14 years. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army National Guard serving his country from May 27, 1960 to May 26, 1963 in the 130th Infantry in Salem, Illinois. Mr. Heitkamp was president of the National Association of Retired and Veteran Railway Employees in Mt. Vernon, Illinois. He drove his 1964 Mack Firetruck in the Centralia Halloween Parade for many years. He graduated with Centralia Township High School’s Class of 1955.
He loved woodworking and had an eye for detail in every one of his wood projects. He built cabinets for his home and the cabins at Beulah Holiness Camp. He also enjoyed making children adirondack chairs and flawlessly constructed wood boxes. It was in these wood boxes he stored the plans for the children’s chairs.
Mr. Heitkamp retired in 1982 as a carman welder for the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad Shops in Centralia, Illinois after 34 years and 11 months of service. He was a volunteer for the Centralia Fire Protection District in Centralia, Illinois from September 1983 to November 1994. He retired as a district manager for the fire protection district, where he served as a duty man, Assistant Fire Chief and Fire Chief. He was a hardworking man who loved his family as he worked two full time jobs while building his home.
A Celebration of Life Services for Mr. William “Willie” Heitkamp will be held at 2:00 P.M. on Saturday, September 9, 2017, at the First United Methodist Church in Centralia, Illinois with Pastor Anita Munden officiating. Interment will follow in Hillcrest Memorial Park near Centralia, Illinois. Military Rites will be accorded by Centralia American Legion Post 446 and V.F.W. Post 2055. Friends may visit with Mr. Heitkamp’s family from 12:00 P.M. until times of services at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 9, 2017, at the First United Methodist Church in Centralia, Illinois. Memorial contributions may be made in Mr. Heitkamp’s memory to the Beulah Holiness Camp Association Building Fund and will be received at the Moran Queen-Boggs Funeral Home in Centralia, Illinois. Please view the online obituary, send condolences or share memories with Mr. Heitkamp’s family at www.moranfuneralhome.net or on the funeral home’s Facebook page.