Richard "Dick" Heitholt

Mar 17, 1927 - Mar 30, 2021

Richard "Dick" Heitholt

March 17, 1927 - March 30, 2021


Richard "Dick" Heitholt, age 94, of Yorkville, IL and formerly of Quincy, died on Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 12:02am in his home.

Dick was born on March 17, 1927, in Hannibal, MO, the son of Roy and Hazel (Loos) Heitholt. He grew up as a member of the Bluff Hall Congregational Church and was a lifelong member of Salem United Church of Christ of Quincy.

He grew up on a farm in the Fall Creek/Bluff Hall area. Dick attended the one-room Bluff Hall Grade School, Seymour High School in Payson, and spent his senior year at Quincy Senior High School where he graduated in 1945. At QHS he was a member of the National Honor Society and lettered in football, basketball, and track. The Blue Devils finished 3rd in the 1945 State Tournament with Heitholt attaining all-tournament honors. Dick was later inducted into the Quincy High School Sports Hall of Fame. He is proud of being the first of three generations of Quincy High School athletes with his brothers, Bob and Bill; son, Chuck; and grandsons, Steve and Scott Berry.

Dick met the love of his life, Fern (Heimer) in 1942 when her family moved to the Payson area and they were classmates at Seymour High School. They were happily married on June 22, 1947.

Heitholt was called into the U.S. Navy Reserves one month before graduation from QHS and entered the Navy as Seaman 1/C assigned to Radar Technician School in Wright College, Chicago. As WWII ended, he finished his naval duties at Farragut, Idaho where he played on the basketball and baseball teams.
At the end of his naval tour of duty, Dick accepted a Basketball Scholarship at Northwestern University in 1946. After one semester, he joined his high school teammates to play basketball and baseball at Quincy University where he was All-Conference in both sports. Awards at Quincy College included being the first recipient of the Mart Heinen Memorial Student-Athlete Award, elected to Who's Who in American Colleges and inducted into the Quincy University Sport's Hall of Fame.

In 1949, Heitholt signed a Professional baseball contract with the Chicago Cubs and spent two years as first baseman for the Sioux Falls, SD Canaries.

Dick began his teaching and coaching career in 1950 at West Pike High School in Kinderhook. At the same time, he pursued a Master of Education degree at the University of Illinois. In 1954, he taught one year in Carlyle, IL before taking a math position and varsity basketball coaching position at Pittsfield, IL. In 1957, while attending a Summer National Science Institute at the University of Wyoming, he was appointed Principal of Pittsfield High School. He enjoyed this position until he received a prestigious Mott Foundation Fellowship at the University of Michigan for advanced educational studies in 1964. A year later, Heitholt accepted the appointment as Assistant Principal at his alma mater, Quincy Senior High School. He became principal at QHS in the Fall of 1967, where he remained until retirement in 1985.

During his educational career, Heitholt was an active member and office holder in the Illinois Principal Association and the National Association of Secondary School Principals. He presented several papers at national meetings. He was also elected to the Legislative Commission of the Illinois High School Association where he was an early advocate of expanding athletics for girls. He was one of the original founders of the Western Big 6 Conference and the Quincy Thanksgiving Tournament. He was a member of the National and Illinois Education Associations, Adams County Retired Teachers Association and a past member of the Quincy Rotary Club. Following retirement, Heitholt, was Executive Secretary for the Society for Academic Achievement.

Dick was an avid golfer. His accomplishments include two holes-in-one, shooting his age at 73, and Quincy City Seniors (over 70) Champion in 2000. He was a long-time member of the Bogey Busters Golf League at Westview.

Dick is proud and thankful for his 72 year marriage to Fern and for her partnership in his career. They acquired innumerable, long term friends throughout their years. They loved golfing together, traveling which included 12 winters in Arizona, and being with friends. Their biggest enjoyments came from family. Thus, their move to Bloomington, IL in 2005 and Yorkville, IL in 2012 to be closer to their children and grandchildren. Their great-grandchildren added happiness to their later years.

Survivors include his daughter, Becky (Heitholt) Berry of Yorkville, IL; his son Chuck Heitholt and his wife Jan (Huelsmeyer) of Carmel, IN; Grandchildren: Steve Berry and wife Lee Anne (Sibley) of Aurora, IL; Scott Berry and wife Sarah (Burkert) of Yorkville, IL; Lynsey (Heitholt) Romine and husband Grant of Carmel, IN; Emily (Heitholt) Tuleja and husband Jeremy of Golden, CO; and Michael Heitholt and wife Kelly (Ponder) of Westfield, IN; Great-Grandchildren: Collin, Ashley, Julien, Morgan and Maddie Berry; Cooper and Crosbee Romine; Thomas and Calvin Tuleja; and Matthew and Luke Heitholt; Brother, Bill Heitholt of Campbell, TX; and numerous nephews, nieces, cousins, and friends including the very close Hoerner family of Dubuque, IA.

Dick was preceded in death by wife, Fern (Heimer) Heitholt; parents, Roy and Hazel (Loos) Heitholt; brother Robert and sister-in-law, Phyllis (Boland) Heitholt; sister-in-law Dorothy (Rose) Heitholt; son-in-law, Tom Berry; and a darling, brave great-granddaughter, Henley Hazel Romine; nephews: Bill, Jr. and Jim Norton, Stan and Robert Heimer, and Kent Heitholt; and niece: Linda Heimer.

Services: 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 11, 2021 at Salem Evangelical United Church of Christ with Rev. Matthew Hunt officiating. Please wear a mask if you plan on attending the service. Dick's service may be viewed remotely by clicking the following link at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 11, 2021:

Burial: Quincy Memorial Park, Quincy, Illinois

Visitation: 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 10, 2021 at Hansen-Spear Funeral Home. Please wear a mask if you plan on attending the visitation.

Memorials: Quincy Public Schools Foundation for the Richard Heitholt Circle of Investment for Quincy High School or the Henley Romine Foundation

Hansen-Spear Funeral Directors are in charge of the arrangements.

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Sat, Apr 10, 2021 at 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Hansen-Spear Funeral Home

1535 State Street
Quincy, IL 62301

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Sun, Apr 11, 2021 at 3:00 pm
Salem Evangelical United Church of Christ

435 S 9th St
Quincy, IL 62301

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