John and Genevieve Heil Obituary

Description: John and Genevieve Heil Obituary... Our Heartfelt Condolences To Their Loved Ones...

Published: 09/11/2023
Byline: SECO News

Genevieve Heil

March 23rd, 1938 - August 31st, 2023



John Richard Heil went home to be with his Lord at the Sangre de Cristo Hospice House in Pueblo, Co on August 24, 2023 at the age of 83. John was born in Liberal, Kansas on September 24, 1939.
Genevieve Heil went home to be with her Lord 1 week later at the Sangre de Cristo Hospice House in Pueblo, CO on August 31, 2023 at the age of 85. Genevieve was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on March 23, 1938.

John and Genevieve were preceded in death by their sons Larry, John and Tom Heil. His parents Scott/Nina Ruth Heil and her parents Harold Rawlins and Hannah/Bill Nace. His siblings Scott Heil Jr., Bill (Carol) Heil, Jack Heil and Mary (Henry) Rush and her sibling Billy Nace.

John and Genevieve were married for 63 years and are lovingly remembered by their daughter Debbie (Mike) Walter. Their grandchildren Tennille (Mark) Chicarelli, Nolan (Annie) Walter, Torie (Dylan) Pepper, Anthoni Walter and Jemma Walter. Their great grandchildren Arrisa (Dante) Begano, Addie and Connor Nash Chicarelli, Raelee, Cayden and Bailey Walter, July Dunagan, Whitlee and Moxie Pepper and their great, great grandchild James Josheph (JJ) Begano.

Sister- in-laws Norma Heil, Linda Heil and Beatrice Nace and Genevieve’s brother Richard Nace. Along with nieces and nephews, Kathleen Heil, Ruth Rush, Laura Nitanda, Barbara Zeman, Karen DeZetter, April Rush, Cindy Previte, Lora Bundy, Lavinia Franklin, Chrissy DeCamillo and Patrick and Jordan Nace.

John was born September 23, 1939 in Liberal, Kansas to Scott and Nina Ruth Heil. He grew up riding horses and helping on the family farm. He worked at the local grocery store to help put food on the table. He graduated from Rocky Ford High School in 1957 and soon after joined the Navy on November 18, 1957. He honorably served and was discharged September 2nd 1963. While in the Navy he worked as a mechanic and maintained submarines. He repaired the USS Nautilus and was one of the first in the Navy to be taught how to weld stainless steel. After the Navy he became a mechanical engineer and built on site mechanical processing equipment for food companies such as Tyson Chicken, Sinton Dairy, Jackson Ice cream, Western Canning and Green Bay Foods. He enjoyed designing and building equipment but most of all he loved to farm and ranch with his grandchildren and son-in-law Mike. During his free time, he and his son Tom would go fishing. Sometimes they would fish all night. It would be so dark that they could only here their line drop in the water.

John was a child of God above all else. A loving husband and father to his wife and children and to his grandchildren and great grandchildren, he was known as Poppy Heil. Like Jacob from the Bible, he wrestled with God. Although John had given his life to Christ as a boy, he was angry over the death of his 3 sons. Towards the end of his life, he finally laid his hurt down at Jesus feet and was at peace. Jesus restored the joy in him again and he wanted everyone to know. Even sharing his hope with friends and staff at the nursing home. John was a jack of all trades. If you had a problem, he could solve it. He put others needs in front of his own and he will live on through what he has taught and passed on to his grandkids.

Genevieve was born March 24, 1938 to Harold Rawlins and Hannah Nace. She attended Roxborough High School in Philadelphia. She did not graduate but later earned her GED. Genevieve loved music and dancing, she and her friends would wait in line for hours to dance on American Bandstand. As a little girl Genevieve would spend her summers at the Jersey shore with her dad, deep sea fishing and catching crab. Winters were spent with her mother, stepfather and two brothers. Later in life she enjoyed cooking, going to the movies and spending time with her grandkids. Although she was a city girl, Rocky Ford became her home. Life totally changed for her. She went from taking the subway to driving a watermelon truck and from block parties and fancy dresses to picking the fields in jeans and living by the feedlot. She easily took to being a house wife, when she wasn’t helping out on the farm you could find her doting on her kids. She was a fun mom and Friday nights were always made special with a fancy home cooked meal and a family movie. She loved fashion and shopping with her daughter Debbie and would even work part time every Christmas to put extra presents under the tree. Christmas was her favorite holiday, always made magical when she would turn on worship music and have her grandkids over to decorate the tree. She traveled all over the world with friends and family and considered the ocean her second home. She had a faith in Jesus that carried her through the loss of her 3 sons that she adored. She loved life, family, and friends with her whole heart and never lost her since of adventure. Genevieve’s made you feel special, like you were the most important person in the world to her. She was a beautiful soul and will not be forgotten.

John met Genevieve while on shore leave in the Navy. He was a country boy and she was a city girl. They fell in love and were married on April 30th, 1960. They wrote letters to one another and at the end of each letter John would say “May God keep you safe my darling Jeanie,” Love your John Richie. Genevieve even came up with the cute idea of turning their stamps upside down as a sign of their love for one another. After the Navy they settled in Rocky Ford, Co and bought a farm. They had 4 children, Debbie, Larry, John and Tom. They raised their children on the farm just down the road from grandma and grandpa’s house. When their kids were young weekends were spent in their boat or on the banks of the water, jet skiing and fishing. Music was a big part of how they bonded with their grandchildren. Grandma Heil (Genevieve) would teach the grandkids old time songs and they would sing them to their Poppy Heil (John). They loved their children, grandchildren and each other. Their life was not without heartache, as they endured the loss of their 3 boys but God does not promise a life without pain, He does however promise to walk with us as we go through it which is what He did for them.

Jeremiah 29:11-14 says: I know the plans I have for you says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me and I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.” Rest in peace John and Genevieve.

A special thanks to Crowley County Nursing as well as Sangre de Cristo Hospice and Ark Valley Hospice.

Services on Monday, September 18th, 2023 at 11:00am at the River of Life Fellowship.

Bellwood Ford Ustick Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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