Paul W. Heilmann, 83, a former member of the Anthony Wayne school board who farmed the family Waterville Township land from childhood, died Friday in Heartland of Browning, Waterville, from complications of dementia.
He started farming when he was little, his wife, Mary, said. He s never lived more than a mile away from the farm. He never retired until he was 79.
He and his late brother, Walter, worked together for decades. They were among the top sugar beet producers for the Northern Ohio Sugar Co. They grew corn, soybeans, and wheat. They raised beef cattle and pigs.
He lived to farm, his wife said. That man got up at 5 o clock and worked until 11 at night.
Once out, he might not come back for food. His family called deliveries of sustenance, meals on wheels to the fields, his wife said. She said the operation is now run by Walter s son, Donald, and includes land in Lucas, Henry, and Fulton counties.
Mr. Heilmann served on the Anthony Wayne Local Board of Education from 1964 to 1972. He was adviser for years to the Anthony Wayne 4-H.
He was a Christian and handled himself as a gentleman always, said Les Disher, a Waterville Township trustee and a veteran of state and local FFA alumni groups. He enjoyed working with young people.
His first wife, Norma Jean, died in 1970.
Surviving are his wife, Mary, whom he married Aug. 17, 1974; son, Richard; daughters, Paula Jean Collins and Amy Rocco; stepsons, Charlie Hartson and Ted Szymanski; stepdaughters, Sherry Garrison, Dorothy DeLong, Ruth Brown, and Pamela Rupp; sisters, Leona Bucher and Charlotte Warncke; 18 grandchildren, and 22 great-grandchildren.
The body will be in the Peinert Funeral Home, Whitehouse, after 2 p.m. tomorrow. Services will be at 11 a.m. Monday in Zion Lutheran Church, Waterville, where he was a lifelong member.
The family suggests tributes to the church kitchen or Anthony Wayne FFA Alumni.