Jack R. Heller, 76, of Belleville, IL, born November 8, 1940, in Belleville, IL, died Thursday, December 15, 2016, at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, MO, after a short, but valiant battle with Leukemia. His faith in God and devotion to his family supported him in his struggle and ultimately gave him peace.
Jack was born to the late Erwin F. and Vera H. Heller in Belleville, IL and raised in Millstadt, IL. He was immersed in the Lutheran Church, but was active within the Catholic faith and was a devoted parishioner at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Belleville for more than 50 years. Jack was educated at Millstadt Grade School, Belleville West High School, and received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Accounting from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. After completing his studies and becoming a CPA, he was employed with a number of Big Eight firms. Jack was also a partner of a respected accounting firm in Belleville and eventually established Heller and Associates in 1988. After successfully managing his own firm for more than 15 years, a merger with another firm allowed Jack to continue as a principal and collaboratively grow the business. Jack also served as CFO of W.A. Schickedanz for eleven years prior to a planned 2017 retirement and up to the time in which he was admitted to Barnes-Jewish Hospital.
Jack served as an officer in the United States Army, and later served in the Army Reserves for six years. He was a member of the Millstadt American Legion Post #502. Jack had many interests and was active in a number of organizations, including Millstadt Little Dutchmen (youth football) and Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps. He was an avid golfer, youthful in spirit, and always ready for an adventure. Jack served on the board of Memorial Hospital (Belleville) and was a supporter of various philanthropic organizations. He was a role model of support to his entire family, and treasured time spent together creating memories.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Erwin F. and Vera H. (nee Buecher) Heller; a niece, Suzanne Miller; and a brother-in-law, Monty Miller.
Surviving are his beloved wife of 52 years, Elizabeth “Jill” (nee Blankinship) Heller, whom he married on August 22, 1964; a son, Jack (Malea Payne) Heller of St. Louis, MO; a daughter, Beth (Craig) Ball of St. Louis, MO; five grandchildren, Jack, Lucy, Molly, and Libby Heller; and Alivia Ball; a sister, Betty Miller of Missoula, MT; and nieces and nephews and their families.
Memorials may be made to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or to St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.rennerfh.com.
Visitation: Friends may visit with the family from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, December 20, 2016, at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Belleville, IL, and from 11 a.m. to 12 noon, Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at St. Peter’s Cathedral, Belleville, IL.
Funeral: A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 12 noon Wednesday, December 21, 2016, at St. Peter’s Cathedral, Belleville, IL.
Jill...I am so sorry for the loss of the love of your life...your husband, Jack. May God be with you and your family during this difficult time.
Ruth Leech, Fairview Heights, IL, 62208
We are so sorry and saddened by the loss of Jack. You are in our hearts and prayers. Love to all of you. Diane and Bryan
Diane and Bryan Troutman , Boca Grande, Fl, 33921
Jill, I am so sorry for your loss. Having known you over the years, I know the two of you had a beautiful relationship. You will always hold him in your heart and the many shared memories will comfort you.
Norma Irwin, Belleville, IL, 62221
Our sincere sympathy to Jill and all the family. Joyce and Bob Dintelmann
Bob Dintelmann, Belleville, Illinois, 62220
Dear Jill and family,
My prayers are with you all during this time of grief. Jack was always a pleasure to be around. I will miss him along with you. God bless you and heal you.
Eileen, Littleton, Colorado, 80123