Keith A. Heitz, 74, Rockford, died Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013 in his earthly home surrounded by family and is now in his eternal home with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
He was born March 24, 1938 at home in Oneca Township in Stephenson County, the son of Merrill and Lela (Seidel) Heitz.
He graduated from Orangeville High School in 1957.
He served in the U.S. Army from 1963 to 1965, serving in the U.S. and in Germany.
He married Vivian El Louise Witmer on Feb. 11, 1967 in Cook County. The two just celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary with a special service held in their home on Feb. 11, 2013.
Keith worked at Chrysler in the Belvidere Assembly Plant for 35 and one-half years, retiring on June 30, 2001.
Growing up on a farm, Keith had a love for the land and the outdoors and understood what hard work was. He found it hard to just sit and do nothing.
Keith enjoyed golfing and played on a work league for many years.
He enjoyed caring for his yard spending endless hours taking care of it. So much so, you would be hard pressed to find a weed.
He enjoyed going to antique auctions and had a knack for restoring antique furniture. He loved antique tractors, especially John Deere.
After retirement Keith took up bicycling and joined the Blackhawk Bicycle and Ski Club.
At the height of his bicycling days Keith rode 15,473 miles in one season.
That same season he rode a hundred century rides (100 miles each), an achievement that few will ever match.
He enjoyed riding on country roads across the Stateline. Since joining the club in 2002 he logged 79, 295 miles.
Keith had the gift of gab and would strike up a conversation with just about anybody about anything. He loved to talk.
Keith enjoyed traveling throughout the U.S. and in Europe with his wife and daughter.
Keith attended Maywood Evangelical Free Church for the past 35 years. He served as a trustee for many years and participated in many activities and events over the years.
Keith was a faithful blood donor for the Rock River Valley Blood Center.
While he will be greatly missed by his family we know he is safely and peacefully in the arms of his Heavenly Father.
He fought the good fight and has now finished the race, having heard “well done my good and faithful servant”. Welcome home.
Lovingly survived by wife, El Louise; daughter, Lori Ann (Ross Peebles); step-daughter, Karolyn (Darrell) Hepp; granddaughters, Amanda and Cassandra Hepp; son, Steve Heitz; and brothers, Larry (Margie) Heitz and Eugene (Gloria) Heitz; and special brother-in-law and sister-in-law Mel and Theresa Witmer.
He was predeceased by his parents.
Funeral service will be held on Saturday, March 2 at 11 a.m. at Maywood Evangelical Free Church, 3621 Samuelson Rd., Rockford, with Pastor Gary Kniseley officiating.
Visitation will be on Friday, March 1 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Maywood Evangelical Free Church and also on Saturday from 10 a.m. until service time at the church.
Private burial will be at Chapel Hill Cemetery, Dixon, at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Maywood Evangelical Free Church. Fitzgerald Funeral Home & Crematory, 1860 S. Mulford Rd., Rockford assisted the family.
To express condolences online, visit www.fitzgeraldfh.com.