Frank Otto Heydinger, 98, of Norwalk, went to greet his Lord and be reunited with his beloved Alice on Saturday, June 9, 2012.
He was born January 4, 1914, at the family home on Auburn Center Road, Tiro, Ohio, Crawford County, the fifth of August and Mary “Mayme” Wechter Heydinger’s nine children. He grew up on the family farm in North Auburn and attended the two room school house at Mother of Sorrows Church there. He left home in 1929 after the eighth grade for St. Joseph’s College Seminary in Rensselaer, Indiana. He ultimately graduated from high school at Assumption College in Windsor, Ontario in 1933 at the height of the Depression.
After a year on the family farm, and realizing there was not enough land on which to farm and raise a family, he entered Cleveland Barber College, graduated in six months, served his apprenticeship in Lakewood, then moved to Norwalk. There he took up residence in 1936 with his aunt, Josephine Fries. He began barbering in Norwalk in the front of the old Cook’s Cigar Store and Barber Shop, on the site of the present Berry’s Restaurant. In 1939 he acquired his own Modern Barber and Beauty Shop on East Main Street and for the next 35 years continued cutting hair for men in the front while Emma Schnurr did women’s hair in the back of the shop. When Kentucky Fried Chicken bought the building, he barbered at the Linwood Barber Shop until June of 1983.
He and his wife Alice Parsons were married in 1940 and raised six children east of Norwalk, where he continued to reside from 1947 until 2001 when he moved to assisted living at the Carriage House in Norwalk. After his retirement, he and Alice traveled wherever their children and grandchildren were living and eventually visited all 50 states and much of Canada. After Alice’s death, he continued traveling, even in Europe.
His greatest loves were his God, his family, and his church, followed by gardening, fishing, and playing cards, especially with his poker clubs and against his grandchildren. After he lost his wife in 1990, he turned to delivering meals on wheels to shut-ins, helping to cook spaghetti dinners at the K of C hall for years, and taking communion to the sick. To the end, he was always ready to discuss religion, politics, sports, or anything else that interested his grandchildren. His greatest disappointments of the past half century were the Cleveland Indians, Browns, and Cavaliers whose many shortcomings could always spark animated conversations.
He was a 48 year member of the Barbers Union, a 75 year third degree member of the Knights of Columbus 626 in Norwalk, where he was a Past Grand Knight, a former Eucharistic minister at St. Paul’s Church, a former member of the St. Paul Credit Union Board of Directors, former president of the Golden Agers, and member of the first St. Paul Education Foundation board.
He is survived by three sons, Michael (Dolores) of Sandusky, Richard (Sandra) of Leawood Kan., Andrew (Beverly) of Ottawa Lake Mich.; two daughters, Betty (Bill) Meese of Norwalk, and Mary Werner of Wahoo Neb.; seventeen grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren, 41 nieces and nephews, and hundreds of great-nieces and nephews. He also is survived by a sister, Rita (Paul) Studer of Mansfield, Ohio; and a brother Raymond (Joanne) Heydinger of Shelby, Ohio.
He was preceded in death by his parents, August and Mary (Mayme) Heydinger; his wife Alice (Parsons) Heydinger; a son, Lauren Joseph “Joe” Heydinger, killed in action in Vietnam; a grandson Joseph Marcus Heydinger; and great-grandchildren Michael, Gabriela, and Nicholas Werner; his sisters Geneva (Louis) Kehres, Lucille (Sr. Bernardine, OSU) Heydinger, and Helen (Albert) Young; brothers Sylvester (Eleanor) Heydinger, Herbert “Whitey” (Erma) Heydinger, and Clement “Nick” (Esther) Heydinger; and nephew, Frederick “Fritz” Kehres.
Visiting hours will be 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. when the rosary will be recited, Wednesday, June 13, at the Evans Funeral Home, 314 E. Main St., Norwalk. A mass of Christian burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, June 14, at St. Paul Catholic Church, Norwalk, his religious home for the past 75 years. Celebrant will be his godson, Rev. Franklin Kehres. Burial will follow at St. Paul Catholic Cemetery. A luncheon for family and friends will follow the service, with a euchre tournament to celebrate Frank’s life following lunch.
Contributions may be made in Frank’s memory to the St. Paul Endowment, FCEDO, St. Paul Catholic Church, 91 E. Main St., Norwalk OH 44857, or to Stein Hospice, 1200 Sycamore Line, Sandusky OH 44870.
Condolences may be shared at norwalkfuneral.com.