Paul Heitzman 1931-2022
Paul Raymond Heitzman was called to his heavenly home on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022. He passed away in the house he built himself, on his farm near Eudora, surrounded by his loved ones. Paul was born on Feb. 25, 1931. He was 91 years old.
Paul graduated from Wyandotte High School in Kansas City in 1949. He received a bachelor of arts degree in history and religion from Baylor University in 1953. He earned a master of arts degree in history from The University of Kansas in 1967. His thesis was titled “The Reaction Of The Kansas Press To The Career Of Edmund G. Ross, 1856-1907.”
A veteran of the U.S. Army, Paul served as a signal message clerk with the 40th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Brigade in Yokohama, Japan, from August 1954 through May 1956. After his military service, he briefly worked as a stockbroker with the A.C. Allen Company in Chicago, Ill., before finding a long, fulfilling career in secondary education. He taught history at Topeka High School, Shawnee Mission West High School and Shawnee Mission Northwest High School.
Paul married Marilyn Kay Heitzman (née Stidham) on April 12, 1963. They had three children together and seven grandchildren, and they shared 59 years of love and commitment.
Paul maintained a strong work ethic all his life. After spending time at his grandparents’ farm throughout his childhood, he fell in love with farm life and worked hard to purchase land and build up a farm of his own. He carried out his farm chores every day with joy, he never really “retired” from being a farmer, and he never really enjoyed being away from home for any length of time.
Friends and family will remember Paul as a remarkable, intelligent, and loving man. He was a lifelong Christian, attended Hesper Friends Church near Eudora and worked to serve the Lord in all he did. He loved reading, fishing and doing crossword puzzles. As an avid sports fan, he always closely followed and cheered on his favorite teams: the St. Louis Cardinals and the Kansas Jayhawks.
Another interest was in playing contract bridge, and he achieved the ranking of Life Master in the American Contract Bridge League. He was also a competitive long-distance runner who was recognized as the track athlete of the year in 2002 by the USA Track and Field governing body at the age of 71 and was inducted into the USATF Masters Hall of Fame in 2017. He held state and national records for his age group and continued running competitively into his early eighties.
Paul was preceded in death by his parents, Raymond Walter Heitzman and Pearl Ina Heitzman (née Dalton); his sisters, Allene Ray Heitzman and Madeline Heitzman Troyer; and his daughter, Patricia Ann Heitzman.
He is survived by his wife, Marilyn, of the home; his son, Richard Dalton Heitzman of Holton, his wife Aimie and children Jeffrey, Abigail, Gladys and Olivia; and his daughter, Sally Jo Johnson (née Heitzman) of Eudora, her husband David and children Tyler, Haley and Riley.
A memorial service and celebration of life for Paul will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 24 at Hesper Friends Church, and he will be laid to rest at the Eudora Cemetery.
Donations in lieu of flowers and other gifts may be made to the Patricia Heitzman Memorial Scholarship Fund at Eudora High School and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.
For more information or to post a condolence go to warrenmcelwain.com