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Jeffrey Lynn Heilman

January 6, 2022

Jeffrey Lynn Heilman, 65, went to be with Jesus on January 6, 2022. He was born August 8, 1956, in Wichita, the son of Charles E. and Delores Ann (Pickerill) Heilman.

Jeff graduated from Wichita North High School in 1974 and carried on his education and baseball career at Cloud County Community College. More importantly, the college in Concordia, Kansas is where Jeff met Marilyn Kay Bearnes, the woman he fell in love with and walked in life with for the next several decades. Jeff and Kay were married on Oct. 29, 1977, and settled in Wichita where Jeff worked for KG&E, later Westar Energy, a career that lasted 30-plus years. In September 1979, Jeff and Kay became parents with the birth of a daughter, Rachel. Two more children followed: Lacey in October 1983 and Matt in March 1986. Jeff loved his family fiercely and shined especially bright in his role as a grandfather. He delighted in time with his grandchildren and often bragged about all nine of them. He tried to be at every game, concert, recital, or play that he could, and in the rare instances he couldn’t be there, he made sure to remind the kid or grandkid participating how proud he was of them.

Jeff also valued his church family, growing in his faith and forming cherished friendships at Great Plains Church in Wichita. He developed a passion for ministering to others and valued time in worship. Everywhere he went, Jeff loved people unconditionally and never met a stranger. He was the life of the party and was a social chameleon, fitting in and uplifting others.

There are numerous stories about Jeff surrounding his humor, especially turning moments of adversity into stories fit for a TV sitcom. Jeff was happiest when he put a smile on someone’s face, whether that be a family member, friend, acquaintance, or stranger. Jeff shared his love of unique auction items, decorative glass, hunting, sports, music,  laughter, and life with a multitude of people whose lives were enriched by knowing him.

Jeff was preceded in death by his father, Charles E. Heilman and a granddaughter, Mia Heilman. He is survived by his wife, Kay; children Rachel (David) Koehn; Lacey (Brian) Stratton; and Matt (Amy) Heilman, all of Valley Center; mother, Delores “Dee” Heilman, and brother, Doug Heilman, of Wichita; sister, Linda Spears, of Haysville; nine grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

A service of remembrance will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 11 at Riverlawn Christian Church, 4243 N Meridian Ave, Wichita, KS 67204. Interment will follow at Crown Point Cemetery, near Culver, Kansas.

Those who wish to further honor Jeff’s memory can make donations to Great Plains Church, 2901 W. Taft, Wichita, KS, 67213.

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21 thoughts on “Jeffrey Lynn Heilman

  1. I loved him more than I can put into words,He was my friend and brother in Christ Jesus.He lived out the two Greatest Commandments Loving God and loving others .I will truly miss you buddy until we meet again.

  2. I feel so honored to have known Jeff. He even gave me a glass piece from his collection. His love of Kay was so strong. We would sit and visit about fibromyalgia. He always was wanting info on how to make her life less pain. After moving from Salina to Wichita, I got to work with Jeff. He was my friend and a beautiful man. How blessed we all are to have had Jeff in our lives.

  3. I am Steve Miller’s younger brother and always loved when they let me hang around with them. He always made me feel welcome and not the pain in the rear little brother I was.

  4. My brother was Steve Miller. Jeff was a part of our family for a good number of years. Those boys sure loved to tease me. I remember Jeff being so boisterous and fun-loving all the time. Perhaps he and Steve are up there re-telling all their antics-filled stories and making God’s angels laugh! Praying for your family and hoping your beautiful memories will comfort you. Alisa Miller Phillips

  5. I will miss my work buddy for 40 years. Especially the hug and greeting I always got when we hadn’t seen each other in awhile. I will especular miss his jokes and quick wit. I know he is already picking out the easy golf courses for us to play again someday. We are thinking of you and your family, Kay.

  6. Dear Dee & Linda, So sorry to hear of your loss, may the Lord comfort your heart with His peace. To die is gain! Phil 1:21
    Blessings, Verla Allen

  7. Kay and family,
    My heart breaks to hear of Jeff’s death. Praying Our Lord comforts as only He can.
    Love, Karen Smith

  8. We will miss Jeff greatly! Gavin and I loved him the moment we met him! His love for Jesus shined. We could always tell he loved his family especially his grandchildren with a deep love! He showed Christ’s love to everyone!

  9. I was one of many friends of Jeff’s during high school and college. We played baseball together for many years. He was always a loyal friend and fun to be with. That wry grin on his face always told me that he was scheming a prank or had just pulled one off. RIP friend

  10. I met Jeff at Cloud County in 1975 while we were both attending school there. He was a great friend and then we lost touch. I just decided to see what I could find about Jeff online and found his obituary. So sorry to see this. Rest in peace Jeff.

  11. We always enjoyed visiting with Jeff and Kay at church and around town. We were blessed to run into them at games and stores. We will miss Jeff but look forward to seeing him soon. Our thoughts and prayers are with Kay and family.

  12. Fond memories of Jeff and I back in the day watching Lacy and Karah playing ball together. Trying to out do the other one with the worst corny jokes. He usually won. I loved Jeff.

  13. Sorry to hear of Jeff passing. Our prayers are with all the Heilman family. Ron and Kathy Walker Lisa mother and father in law.

  14. Feel like I lost my big brother, never having any of my own Jeff was as close as it got. His laugh his big bear hugs will all be missed.
    Kay and family hugs and prayers.

  15. Jeff had the sweetest genuine living personality. He always had a smile for everyone and did his best to make sure you had a reason to smile back. He gave the best hugs, whether you needed it or he needed it. He was always sharing, stories, laughs, hugs, even sandwiches, made with the best bread (by Kay- I loved it, it was the best) He was a joy to work with and was a friendly face I always looked forward to seeing. You will be missed my friend, rest in heaven… Love you always ❤️

  16. So sorry to learn of Jeff’s death. I was his 5th grade teacher, long ago! Susan (Martin) Gilliland

  17. I’m so sorry to hear about Jeff‘s passing. Although I did not really know him, I knew Kay from our days at Cloud County community college.
    Kay, I hope for peace and strength for you. I know it’s hard because I lost my wife Nancy 2 1/2 years ago.

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