MSg Luke L. Heitkamp, USAF ret, 66

MSg Luke L. Heitkamp, USAF ret, 66, of Panama City, Fla., passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, at Bay Medical Center following a brief illness.

He was  the second of 11 children, born on Feb. 22, 1946,  to Leonard and Edna (Elking) Heitkamp of Maria Stein.  On Aug. 2, 1985, he married Frances Calhoun , who survives in Panama City, Fla.

He is survived by his wife; stepdaughters Kimberly and Julie Vinson; grandsons Michael J. Vittore III, Austin L. Strassner and L. Anthony Marshall Jr; and a mother-in law, Alice Calhoun, all of Fla; brothers, Stan (Marilyn) Heitkamp of Van Buren, Howard (Susan) Heitkamp and Ted (Janet) Heitkamp, both of Maria Stein;  sisters,  Lillian  (Bob) Guggenbiller of Sharpsburg,  Paulette (Jim) Hemmelgarn of Worthington, Viv (Ron) Hartings of Maria Stein, Bert (Tom) Giere of Powell, Brenda (Dave)  Moran of Celina, and Annette (Russ) Wortman of Westerville; and a brother-in-law, Jeff (Anne) Heckman from New Bremen;  numerous nephews and nieces,  cousins and friends.

Deceased are his parents and a sister, Gladie Heckman.

 Luke was a 1964 graduate of Marion Local High School and enlisted with the Air Force in 1964, serving until 1990.   He received many decorations, medals and citations while  stationed in Florida, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, California, Colorado, Germany, Iceland, Iran, and Vietnam. Following his military life, he  worked with Bay Co. Parks and Recreation from 1992 until he retired  in 2006.

A Memorial Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 19 at St. John the Baptist Church in Maria Stein, the Rev. Tom Brenberger officiant.  

Interment with full  military honors will be held at Arlington National Cemetery at a future date.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.