Traverse City Record-Eagle

November 17, 2012

Donald Gene Heimforth


LEELANAU COUNTY — Donald Gene Heimforth passed away Nov. 14, 2012, at his home in Leelanau County.

Donald was born June 28, 1920, in Traverse City. He was the only child of Warren (Pete) Heimforth and Inez (Campbell) Heimforth. He grew up on a farm in Heimforth in Leelanau County.

Donald attended grade school in the red school house on Leelanau 641. He graduated from high school in Traverse City and attended Alma College.

He was part of "Special Task Air Group 1" in the U.S. Navy during World War II, which was responsible for the first guided missiles.

After the war he was employed with the federal government as a quality control agent and was part of the Saturn Rocket program.

On Feb. 25, 1949, he married Jacqueline Rae Thompson, of Van Nuys, Calif.

Don loved growing a garden and staying busy, but most of all he loved taking care of his family and helping them when in need.

Donald is survived by his children, Donna Bembeneck, Darlene (Dennis) Buchner and Steven (Karen) Heimforth. He also raised his grandchild, Jeff (Kelly) Heimforth. Additional grandchildren include Donald (Emily) Weathers, Aaron Weathers, Andrew Buchner and Eric Buchner; and great-grandchildren, Jared, Joshua, Jacob, Jonathan, Abigayle, Lillian, Noah, Brody and Hurley.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Jacqueline in 2002; his firstborn child, Donald, who died in infancy; and granddaughter, Jackie Weathers.

Special thanks is extended to Munson Healthcare hospice and Donna, Steve and Karen Heimforth, who provided wonderful care during his final years.

Cremation has taken place. There will be a military graveside service at Oakwood Cemetery on Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012, at 1 p.m., for family and friends.

Memorial contributions may be made to Munson Hospice, 210 Beaumont Place, Traverse City, MI 49684.

Please visit Donald's webpage at to sign the guestbook and share a message or memory with his family.

The family chose Life Story Funeral Home, Traverse City, to handle the services.