Theodore A. Heitsche, 67 of Collins, died peacefully at home Saturday, Sept. 1, 2007, after a lengthy battle with cancer.
Ted was born Dec. 12, 1939, in Norwalk, where he attended Norwalk High School. Later, he moved to Collins, Ohio, where he raised his sons, ran his business and was the unofficial "Mayor of Collins."
Ted began driving trucks for his father when he was 16 and that was his vocation for most of his life. Before owning his own trucking company, Heitsche Trucking, Ted drove for Ohio Body and K. B. Rowland, both of New London. Ted also taught auto body at EHOVE Career Center in the late 1070's and early 1980's and continued to think of himself as a teacher after leaving the profession with his mentoring the neighborhood children. Ted's garage was always a place where the youth of Collins could bring their mechanical problems and receive help and advice.
Ted was never one to sit idly by and was involved with many organizations and had several lifelong hobbies. Notably, Ted was a 36 year member and active supporter of the East Townsend Masonic Lodge 322, where he served as Worshipful Master seven times. A former Boy Scout himself, Ted was also active with the local Boy Scouts when his sons were growing up. A lifelong passion of Ted's that has spanned generations of Heitsches is motorcycle riding and racing. Some highlights include sporting the National No. 2 Hare Scramble Plate, being a member of the local motorcycle group the Cardinals and a lifelong member of AMA and ABATE-CMRO, being part of the support staff for the six-day ISDE in Europe, and riding in the Barstow to Vegas Race in 1973 and 1995 when he won his class at the age of 55. Restoring and customizing vehicles, especially Corvettes and Mack B-model trucks, was also something Ted deeply enjoyed his entire life. Ted was an avid traveler and visited Europe and most of the states, including Alaska by motorcycle with his wife, Deedra, and his dog, Cinna.
Ted is survived by his wife, Deedra; his sons and daughters-in-law and daughter and son-in-law, Ted and Stacy Heitsche of Collins, Joe and Heidi Heitsche of Collins, Steve and Jenny Heitsche of New London and Renee and Anthony Taramelli of Oakdale, Pa.; eight grandchildren; a sister and brother-in-law, Helen and Walter Leber of Willard; three stepbrothers and their wives, Rod and Betty Williams of North Fairfield, David and Shirley Williams of Norwalk and Luie Williams of West Virginia; two aunts; numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins; several adopted sons; his three loyal Dobermans; and many, many wonderful friends. Ted also left behind an ex-wife, Janice M. Heitsche.
He was preceded in death by parents, Theodore Clark and Helen Viola (Sheaffer) Heitsche and his maternal and paternal grandparents.
Calling hours will be from 4-8 p.m. Wednesday, with a Masonic service at 7:30 p.m., at Walker Funeral Home, 98 W. Main St., Norwalk, where an additional hour of viewing from 4-5 p.m. Thursday followed by a memorial service. The Rev. Don Lautzenheiser will officiate. Following the service will be a time for remembering at the East Townsend Lodge 322, Hartland Center Road, Collins.
Memorial Contributions may be made in honor of Ted to the following organizations: East Townsend Lodge 322, 4500 Hartland Center Road, Collins, OH 44826; Huron County Humane Society, 246 Woodlawn Ave., Norwalk, OH 44857 or Stein Hospice Center Family Foundation, 1200 Sycamore Line, Sandusky, OH 44870.
Condolences may be made by going to edwalkerfuneralhome.com.