Longtime Alaska resident Keith E. Heffner died Saturday, Nov. 5, 2005, at home with his family beside him. He was 66.
Visitation will be held today, Nov. 9, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Evergreen Memorial Chapel in Anchorage. A funeral service will be held at at 9 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, at Evergreen Memorial Chapel, 737 E. St. in Anchorage. Graveside services will follow at 11 a.m. at Fort Richardson Cemetery.
Mr. Heffner was born Oct. 6, 1939, in Jackson, Mich., and moved to Alaska on July 4, 1974 with his wife, Shirley, and their three children. They lived the Alaska experience in Willow in 1975 in a log house without electricity or running water and heating only from their wood stove. That is why they came to Alaska — to experience it.
They moved to Talkeetna, and Mr. Heffner worked in Anchorage, coming home on weekends until he took a position as custodian at Susitna Valley High School, where Shirley was the secretary and the children finished their high school years.
In 1982, the family moved back to Anchorage, where Mr. Heffner worked for Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. until April 1999. In 1996, they moved to Cooper Landing, while he was in the process of retiring from Alyeska. He retired for three months and went back to work, working under his own contracts and later working for the Arctic Slope Regional Corp. In 2004 he left ASRC because of his health.
Mr. Heffner received the Governor's Special Achievement Award from Gov. Tony Knowles for outstanding achievement in the field of safety and health in March 2000 and was proud of this special recognition.
His tour of duty in the Marines was something he was always proud of, and he never ceased to talk about how "tough" the Marines are.
"Words are futile in describing Keith and his positive and caring impact he had on everyone he came in contact with. Keith was an intelligent and caring person with such a great sense of humor. He excelled as a fly fisherman and outdoorsman and was a perfectionist in everything he attempted. Keith was extremely proud of his marriage of 47 years to his childhood sweetheart, best friend and confidant, Shirley, and his children and grandchildren," his family said.
Mr. Heffner was preceded in death by his mother, Margaret V. Heffner of Jackson.
He is survived by his wife, Shirley; son and daughter-in-law, Maurie and Velvet Heffner of Sterling; daughters and sons-in-law, Vicki and John Street of Anchorage and Valerie and William Deaver of Auburn, Wash.; grandchildren, Kyle, Shelley and April Heffner of Sterling and Jessica and Rebecca Street of Anchorage; brother and sister-in-law, Alan and Debby Heffner of Jackson; sister and brother-in-law, Janet and August Barbrick of Tucson, Ariz.; and father, Paul Heffner of Jackson.
Flowers are welcome, and donations should be made to the Renal Care Group, 3950 Laurel St., Anchorage, AK 99508.
Published in the Peninsula Clarion on Nov 9, 2005