Shirley A. Heitzman, 82, of Dubuque, died Sunday, December 2, 2018 at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
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Memorial services will be 10:30 a.m., Thursday, December 6 at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church, where a visitation will be held from 9:30 a.m. until the time of services. Burial will be in Mt. Olivet Cemetery. The Egelhof, Siegert & Casper Westview Funeral Home and Crematory, 2659 JFK Road is in charge of the arrangements.
Shirley was born on September 8, 1936 in Hampton, Iowa the daughter of Robert and Ethel (Keapproth) O’Connor. She spent most of her childhood in Fort Dodge, Iowa and graduated from Corpus Christi High School. Shirley graduated from Iowa State University in 1958 where she received her Bachelor of Science in Dietetics. She completed her dietetic internship at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota.
Shirley moved to Dubuque and was a Dietician at St. Joseph’s Mercy Hospital. She was introduced to Al Heitzman by mutual friends and they were married on November 4, 1961 at Corpus Christi Church in Ft. Dodge, Iowa. Shirley and Al were parents of five children. She became a stay at home mom and was dedicated to raising her children. Naturally, because of her dietician background she was a great cook. She also took a great interest in flower gardening, especially her roses.
In her later years, Shirley and Al loved golfing together weekday mornings at Fillmore Golf Course. They were also avid walkers at Heritage Trail, Bergfeld Pond or the Mall. Shirley also liked playing Bridge with her group at Mt. Carmel and Lifetime Center. Shirley and Al enjoyed taking bus trips throughout the United States and an annual Caribbean Cruise. Until recent years they also enjoyed spending the winter months in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
After living on Westridge Drive for 52 years, Shirley and Al moved to the Woodlands Senior Apartments in September 2016. Each morning, she looked forward to having a cup of coffee with the ladies. She loved coffee, drinking it from the minute she woke until early evening. She also took great care in watching over Al, making sure he got enough protein each day. Always the Dietician! In the last few years she also took great interest in college basketball and couldn’t wait to watch Iowa State and Big East basketball.
Shirley took great joy in the accomplishments of her grown children. But even more, treasured time with her grandchildren and took great pride in seeing them grow up and develop their unique personalities. We are blessed that mom was able to spend this past Thanksgiving Holiday with all her children and grandchildren.
She is survived by her husband, Al; children, David Heitzman, of Dubuque, James Heitzman, of Dubuque, Mary (Paul) Prososki (Shellenberger), of Parkville, MO, Ann (Tim) Gillispie, of Urbandale, IA, and Joseph (Shelly) Heitzman, of Urbandale, IA; grandchildren, William Shellenberger and Jake and Josh Prososki, Kendall and Jordan Gillispie, Anna and Emily Heitzman; and her sister, Debra (Jeff) Gustafson of Dubuque.
She was preceded in death by her parents; sister and brother-in-law, Barb (Jerry) Sweiger; grandson, Charlie Shellenberger; son-in-law, Timothy Shellenberger;
Shirley was a longtime member of St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church. A Shirley A. Heitzman Memorial Fund has been established.
The family would like to thank mom’s sister Debra and her husband Jeff for their love and support over the years. We also appreciate the efforts of the doctors and nurses at Mercy Medical Center, Dubuque and the doctors and nurses at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Especially the nurses in the UIHC Neuroscience ICU and Palliative Care units who provided compassionate care to both Shirley and her family during her final days.