Steven Douglas Heitzig, 59, passed away Tuesday at his home.
Steve was born July 28, 1962 in Jerseyville, the first of three children of John David and Mary Helen (Carstens) Heitzig. Steve worked on the family farm with his Dad while growing up and attended St. Francis Xavier elementary school in Jerseyville.
He attended St. Henry Seminary in Belleville (yes, really) and went on to graduate with Jersey Community High School’s Class of 1980. He studied electronics at the Missouri Institute of Technology in Kansas City, and moved to Fort Worth, Texas to work for General Dynamics. His years in Kansas City and Fort Worth fostered a life-long passion for the blues, live music, and riding Harley Davidson motorcycles.
Steve came home to Illinois looking for something completely different. He attended Lewis and Clark Community College and later Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, where he obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Education. It took a while, but Steve had found his calling.
He accepted a position with North Greene High School and moved to White Hall in 1999. For 20 years he impacted thousands of students in his English classes, including courses such as Creative Writing, Strategic Reading, and Economics. He sponsored a Chess club and worked with a Scholar Bowl team, and was known for being available to help students with papers due in other courses, or whatever help he could give. He sought out and encouraged the talent and potential in his students. Steve talked about someday seeing the world, and his legacy lies in his impact on the students he sent out into it.
Heartfelt tributes and stories shared online by Steve’s students and friends have been a blessing to his family.
Surviving are his mother, Mary Helen Heitzig of Godfrey; two sisters, Sue Heitzig and partner Kevin Miller of Jerseyville, and Sheila Heitzig and husband Todd Kurtz of Milwaukee, Wis.; two nieces, Haley Lyons and her companion, Frank Presley, of Jerseyville and Amber Presley and her husband, Joe of Suffolk, Va.; a nephew, Nicholas Rowling of Jerseyville; two great-nephews, Andrew Lyons and Connor Presley; an aunt, Mary Ann “Sug” Heitzig of Cutchogue, N.Y.; and a large extended family. He is also survived by his companion, Pam Blakey of White Hall. He leaves behind the Harley Davidson Ultra Classic he loved and the Sportster he never gave up on.
He was preceded in death by his father, John David Heitzig, Sept. 29, 2000; his paternal grandparents, Cletus and Mary Witt (Fleming) Heitzig; maternal grandparents, Elmer and Velta (Jaynes) Carstens; and beloved aunt and uncle, Luella (Carstens) and Herman Blackorby.
Due to current COVID-19 mandates, a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated privately on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020 at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Jerseyville with Father Martin Smith officiating. Burial will follow at St. Francis Cemetery in Jerseyville.
For those wishing to share in the funeral services remotely, you may do so by visiting the parish Facebook page “St. Francis Xavier Church” beginning at 11:30 a.m., Tuesday.
In lieu of flowers or plants, memorials may be given to the Steve Heitzig Memorial Scholarship, in care of Crawford Funeral Home, 1308 State Highway 109, Jerseyville, IL 62052, who has been entrusted with arrangements.
Memories and condolences may be shared with Steve’s family by visitingwww.crawfordfunerals.com