A long and happy life of service to others ended suddenly for Paul Roland Heefner when he passed away at 92 in his independent residence at Windsor Park Manor in Carol Stream, IL on Tuesday, December 18, 2012.
Born May 27, 1920 in Des Moines, Iowa, he moved at the age of nine with his asthma-stricken mother throughout Colorado and New Mexico. After her death, his adult sisters in Iowa raised him from 14 to 19, until he left for Chicago to attend Moody Bible Institute. But he interrupted schooling to enlist in the U.S. Army and served as a corporal in the 14th Armored Division, 1942 through 1945, and was awarded the Bronze Star medal for his service in the Rhineland and Central Europe campaigns of World War II. After the military, he graduated from Moody in 1948 and earned his Bachelor of Theology degree from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1955. From 1949 to 1953, he pastored Roberts Road Bible Church in Justice. His career was with Western Electric in Cicero, where he worked in various offices for 35 years. He moved his family to Westmont in 1957, and finally moved with his "Lovey Doll" Viola, his bride since 1943, into Windsor in 1990.
As a retiree, he performed volunteer work for 19 organizations, causes, and events, mostly as daily or weekly assignments. He also registered voters and served as a judge of election and a precinct captain. To directly help others, he manned a hotline at the Billy Graham Center and transported patients at Central DuPage Hospital. Aside from these pursuits, he loved reading, running (especially 5K races, which he competed in until he was 89), singing, leading songs, and teaching the Bible. His proudest affiliation was as member of what he called "Christ's Body on Earth." He did tireless work to honor veterans and, in his final act of service to his fellow man, he gave his organs to the Rush Memory and Aging Project to support their research.
He is survived by three children, Roland (Roberta) Heefner of Pineville, NC, Glen Heefner of Yorkville, IL, and Deborah Wilke (Leona Jones) of Bolingbrook, IL; five grandchildren, Ruth Holmes, Robert (Michelle) Heefner, Ryan Heefner, Melissa (Jon) Sallee, and Charles Wilke; and three great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife Viola; all four sisters, Violet, Margaret, Ruby, and Paula; and his brother Steve.
A visitation will be held Friday, December 28, from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the funeral service to be held at 11:00 a.m. in the chapel at Wheaton Bible Church, 27W500 North Avenue, in West Chicago, IL. A luncheon will follow at the church, and then a committal service in the chapel at Clarendon Hills Cemetery in Darien, IL.
Memorial gifts may be directed to Windsor Park Manor, 124 Windsor Park Drive, Carol Stream, IL 60188.