Leslie Eugene Heinz (1920-1974)

Leslie Eugene Heinz
Les Heinz
Born:8 Mar 1920 Matchwood, Michigan
Died:30 Sep 1974 Petoskey, Michigan
Father:Frank Gottlieb Heinz Jr.
Mother:Mary Louise Higgins
Siblings:Floyd Leonard Heinz
Inez Marie Heinz
Carol June Heinz
Leslie Eugene Heinz
Lyle Kenneth Heinz
George John Weyenberg, Jr.
Married:13 Jun 1941 Harbor Springs, Michigan
Spouse:Donna Joanne Price
Children:Joanne Marie Heinz
Donald Leslie Heinz
Katherine Eileen Heinz
Debra Elizabeth Heinz
Leslie Eugene Heinz was born 8 March 1920 in Matchwood, Ontonagon, Michigan.

His parents are Frank Heinz, Jr. and Mary Louise Higgins.

His siblings are Floyd Leonard, Inez Marie, Carol June and Lyle Lyle Heinz. He also had a half-brother George John Weyenberg, Jr.

When he was about 18 months old, his father died. His mother married George Weyenberg and they heard that "good farm land" was available near Harbor Springs, so they moved to Harbor Springs, Michigan.  They lived on Spring Street in a house across from Fred Main's house. The Heinz family next moved out to a fruit farm on a road towards Cross Village.

When he was eleven his mother passed away. When he was about fifteen, Les joined the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps.), he worked in the Upper Peninsula planting trees during the summer. He sent most his earnings back home to help get through the Depression years.

Les married Donna Joanne Price on her Graduation day from High School, Friday, June 13th, 1941. Being Friday the 13th they did all the things which are supposed to cause bad luck: they walked under a ladder, broke a mirror, walked in front of a black cat and opened an umbrella inside a house.

Their children are: Joanne Marie, Donald L., Katherine Eileen, and Debra Elizabeth Heinz.

Les joined the Army-Air Force in WWII, his job was to string telephone wires in India, and China for the servicemen. In letters to home, Les spoke of the poor Chinese people and of a nice family with twin daughters who adopted him.  His letters always mentioned his love and loyalty to Donna and he wanted to be kept up on his children's progress. He had malaria and became very sick in India.

After the war ended, Les arrived in Petoskey and packed his little family into a used car and headed to his new job as a lineman for Michigan Bell in Flint Michigan. He moved his family to Lindsey Street and later to Green Street in Flint.  Les was now the foreman of the line crew. He put in and got a transfer to Petoskey in June 1949. For a few months they rented a house on Michigan Street in Petoskey, then on December 5th, 1949 they moved into their home at 202 E. Lake in Harbor Springs. Les was promoted from the big line trucks to a field engineer. He worked at the desk but enjoyed driving to the locations and hiking to to spot to plan and measure for laying the wires and cables. Les served on the Zoning Commission, City Council and he was elected Mayor of Harbor Springs.

Les loved games of all sorts. He was an avid golfer, learning the game as a youth caddie. Les loved to take a walk in the woods and pick berries and mushrooms. His favorite vacation spot was the Upper Peninsula. When Les was 40 he had a heart attack. Because of his health problems, Les fulfilled his dream to build a cabin on Lake Gogebic near Bergland in the early 1960's. He enjoyed his last years with his family.

On the 30th of September, 1974, Les had another heart attack, and he passed away at Little Traverse Hospital in Petoskey, Emmet, Michigan. He was buried at the Lakeview Cemetery, Harbor Springs, Michigan.


Petoskey News-Review, Tuesday, 1 Oct 1974, front page:


Services for Leslie E. Heinz, 54, will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday from the Stone Funeral Home. Rev. David Crow, of the First United Presbyterian Church, in Harbor Springs, will officiate and interment will be in Lakeview Cemetery, also in Harbor Springs.

Mr. Heinz, who served as mayor of Harbor Springs for several years, died Monday morning at Little Traverse Hospital. He was born March 8, 1920 in Matchwood, MI, and attended schools there. At the age of 12 he moved, with his parents, to Harbor Springs and graduated from Harbor Springs High School in 1941. He also attended Grand Rapids Junior College. On June 13, 1941 he married the former Donna Price in Harbor Springs and the couple made their home there since.

Mr. Heinz was a veteran of World War II. He had worked for Bell Telephone Co. for 34 years and was serving as a plant engineer at the time of his death. He had served as councilman, mayor and most recently, as board chairman of the zoning board of appeals in Harbor Springs. He was active with Boy Scouts for a number of years and was a member of the First United Presbyterian Church and the Smith Hoover Post, American Legion, in Harbor Springs.

Besides his wife, he is survived by one son, Donald, of Harbor Springs; three daughters, Mrs. Arnold (Joanne) Howse, of Petoskey, Mrs. A. Jeffrey (Katherine) Brown, of Seattle, Washington and Mrs. Michael (Debra) Sydow, of Harbor Springs;  13 grandchildren; two sisters, Mrs. Inez Wenzel, of Detroit and Mrs. Lloyd Taylor, of Harbor Springs; one brother, Lyle Heinz, of Harbor Springs and a half-brother, George Weyenberg, of Ewen, Mich. The family suggests that memorials may be made to the Michigan Heart Foundation. The body is at the Stone Funeral Home, in Petoskey, where friends may begin to call at 7 p.m. this evening.


*Birth: Ontonagon County, Michigan, Birth Records, #7727:
     Heinz, Leslie Eugene
     Born: 8 March 1920
     At: Matchwood, Ontonagon, Michigan
     Father: Frank Heinz, b. Wisconsin, Farmer
     Residence of Parents: Matchwood
     Mother: Mae Louise Higgins, b. Wisconsin

*Marriage: Emmet County, Michigan, Vital Records Search, Marriages:
     Heinz, Leslie & Price, Donna
     Date of Marriage: 6/13/1941
     Liber: 5
     Folio: 60

*Death: Emmet County, Michigan, Vital Records Search, Deaths:
     Heinz, Leslie E
     Date of Death: 9/30/1974
     Liber: 1974
     Folio: P244
     Place of Death: Petoskey, MI

*Burial: Greenwood Cemetery Index, Petoskey, Michigan:
     Heinz, Leslie E.
     Age: 54
     Born: 3/6/1920
     Died: 9/30/1974
     Burial: 10/2/1974
     Cemetery: Lakeview, Harbor Springs
     Obituary: on file - PNR - 10/01/1974
     Military: WW2

*Death: Social Security Death Index:
     Heinz, Leslie
     Birth Date: 8 Mar 1920
     Death Date: Sep 1974
     Social Security Number: 375-14-1727
     State Where Number Was Issued: Michigan

*Burial: Lakeview Cemetery, Harbor Springs, Michigan :
     HEINZ DONNA J. 1922 -     LESLIE E. 1920-1974
     Sec I Lot-22

*History by Joanne Marie Heinz Howse to her daughter, Annette, ca 1985

*Petoskey News-Review, Thursday, 20 Apr 2006, Obituary: Howse, Joanne Marie Heinz

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