Obituary of Alan Wilson Heath
Alan Wilson Heath passed away peacefully in his sleep at Venice Hospice House the morning of October 6, 2023, holding hands with his wife Marilyn of 70 years. He was 95.
After graduating from Belleville High School (NJ) in 1945, Alan enrolled in Cornell University where he graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1950. Next he spent two years in the army, assigned to teach new recruits, some of whom had never learned basic math skills. The experience of driving tractors on his uncle’s farm during summer harvests proved valuable as he was given the task of instructing soldiers to drive armored tanks in and out of muddy ravines and rivers.
Along the way, Alan met the younger sister of his college roommate, Marilyn Jeanne Ogden, in 1948. That was the beginning of a beautiful, lifelong relationship, as they married on August 29, 1953.
Alan was interested in all people, and had a great sense of humor. As a salesman in the engineering world, building relationships with those he encountered was his forte and favorite part of his job..
A man of quiet, steady faith, Alan was known for doing what he could to make a difference in the lives of those around him. He served as Sunday School teacher, church greeter, and sang bass in the church choir. When winter storms shut down roads, he drove his jeep through snowdrifts to help shuttle stranded doctors and nurses to the hospital for their shifts. He collected bread from grocery stores to deliver to food banks.
For years, Alan cycled a total of over 50,000 miles, seeing much of the Delaware and Pennsylvania countryside from the seat of his bike.
A love of adventure was kindled in his children when he took his young family camping, and later sailing when they were in their teens. Once their kids were grown, Alan and Marilyn spent many hours aboard “Kittiwake”, a 36’ blue water sailboat. They cruised out of the Chesapeake Bay as far north as Maine and south through the Bahamas. During this time he became known as “Skipper”, a moniker his grandchildren used for years.
Later years found Alan still exploring as he and Marilyn criss-crossed the country in a motorhome, visiting many National Parks along the way.
Everyone who knew Alan enjoyed his sense of humor and recognized his devotion to his wife and family.
Alan is survived by his wife Marilyn O. Heath; his daughters Laurel Bower (Perry) and Carolyn Leininger (Jim), and son Donald Heath (Sharon); six grandchildren: Jason (Aubri), Chris, Joshua, Paul, Alan (Reona) and Nicole (Luke); and five great-grandchildren: Camryn, Millie, Duke, Cora, and Isaac.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you please consider a contribution to: Glut1 Deficiency Foundation PO Box 737Owingsville, KY 40360website: www.g1dfoundation.orgto donate: www.g1dfoundation.org/donate Alan’s great-granddaughter Millie Duncklee is affected by this rare disease. A Celebration of the Life and Faith of Alan Wilson Heath will be held on Friday, October 13 at 1:00 in the 3rd floor auditorium of Jacaranda Trace, 3600 William Penn Way, Venice, FL, 34293
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