Donald J. Heath, 91, of Decatur, passed away peacefully on May 29, 2023.
Funeral service will be 11:00 AM, Friday, June 9, 2023 at Westside Church of the Nazarene. The family will receive friends and host a reception following the funeral at the church.
Don was born October 19, 1931 to Donald Douglas and Violet Myrtle (Shafer) Heath in Black River Falls, Wisconsin. He arrived in a log home. At the age of 16 he went to live with his half-sister, Beatrice Allen. There were many cousins who were more like brothers and sisters.
Don enlisted in the Army at age 16. He lied about his age so the Army did not keep he or his cousin who was in on it. Then at age 19, he joined the Air Force and proudly served for four years.
Don met and married his first wife, Barbara Hendriex in Decatur, IL. Don had many adventures around Wisconsin and to and from Santa Monica, California. He worked in a hosiery factory, as a farmer, at the Lockheed factory, and after 38 years, retired from Caterpillar.
God led Don to meet his second wife at the Church of the Nazarene campground, Nazarene Acres in Mechanicsburg, IL. Don and Susie L. Ahrens were married on May 23, 1981 in Independence, Missouri.
Don accepted Jesus into his life at age 21. He actually read the Bible and pursued following Christ. He held services in nursing homes as well as visiting there and in prisons; passed out tracts; taught children’s Sunday School; drove the church bus and van; worked in various children’s ministry projects; and helped in other areas in the church. He wrote a book – “Well, Follow Me” and also wrote a tract and a song.
Don was preceded in death by his first wife Barbara Heath; mother and father; brothers: Roland A. Heath, Terry L. Heath, Gayman E. Heath and Allen B. Heath; sister, Beatrice Allen; great-granddaughter, Emma Ahrens; cousins: Walley Allen, Clyde Windsor, Dick Windsor, Virginia Sherer, and Maxine McQuaid.
He leaves his wife, daughters: Lynn Heath and Michaele Ahrens; granddaughter, Bethany Ahrens (Dean Bond); great-grandsons: Wyatt and Bryson Ahrens; sister-in-law, Alice Barnett; and numerous relatives and friends.
Don loved God, family, church, and country. He will be dearly missed.