William A. “Bill” Heitman, age 82 of Laurel, Nebraska died on Monday, May 06, 2019 at the Hillcrest Care Center in Laurel.
Funeral Services will be on Thursday, May 9, 2019 at 10:30 am at the United Lutheran Church in Laurel, NE with Pastor Matthew Quanbeck officiating. Burial will be in the Laurel Cemetery. Visitation will be on Thursday morning, at church, from 9:30 until service time. Arrangements are under the direction of the Wintz Funeral Home in Laurel.
Pallbearers will be Marlin Papenhausen, Todd Heitman, Troy Heitman, Scott Urwiler, John Pehrson, Steve Luedtke, John Kock, and Curt Jeffries.
Honorary Pallbearers will be Coleen Jeffries, Debra Wert, Gary Lute, Carroll & Tootie Lipp, David Luhr, Sara Pehrson, Katelyn Pehrson, Samantha Pehrson, Lilly Pehrson, Nancy Abts, Joan Thies, Teri Fettig, Kathy Keifer, Sandy Paben, Pastor Lynn Qualm, and the 2-Cylinder Club members.
Bill was born on June 5, 1936 in the family farm home north of Laurel to Arnold John and Lucille Mae (Puntney) Heitman. He moved with his family to a farm south of Belden, NE in 1942. He attended country school District 37 and Belden Public School. He was baptized and confirmed into the Lutheran faith at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Laurel, NE. He was a member of the United Lutheran Church, where he had served as an usher, helped with Luther League events and caroling. Bill liked kids!
In his early years, Bill loved art and spent many hours drawing pictures of cattle, horses, and other animals. After high school, Bill worked for several farmers with cattle feeding. Bill decided to get his own equipment and did custom farming. He also had a hay moving machine, which not only moved hay, but also buildings, etc. The bigger the challenge, the more he enjoyed it. After selling his equipment, he worked for local farmers helping with field work, hauling grain and livestock, running for parts and whatever he could do to help. Bill loved the farm!
His biggest joy was the 2-Cylinder Tractor Club and he enjoyed lining up a “Tractor Ride” He looked forward to their Monday night meetings at JoDeans in Yankton. Bill sold his IHC tractor and was so happy the day his niece took him on a road trip to see his tractor all shined up, at the new owner’s farm.
After his health started to decline, his faith led him to make wooden crosses to give away to hang on rear-view mirrors, to hang on walls, or to sit around. After he moved to the care center, his wood-working took him to making name plates for all of the residents. He was disappointed that his health wouldn’t let him finish names, which people had asked him to make.
Bill is survived by two sisters, Vivian Papenhausen of Coleridge, NE and Dorothy Wert of Wayne, NE; sister in law, Carol Heitman of South Sioux City, NE; nieces, nephews, and friends – too numerous to mention.
He was preceded in death by his father Arnold in 1994, mother Lucille in 2013, brother Roger Heitman in 2008; and brothers-in-law Curtis Papenhausen and Ronald Wert.