Obituary for Egon Heib
Egon Heib, 82, of Lawton, died at home on Saturday, February 18, 2017. surrounded by his family.
He was born November 10, 1934 in Beschka, Yugoslavia (now Serbia) to Josef and Eugenie (Woruda) Heib. With his parents, two siblings, and extended family, Egon left Yugoslavia for Germany in 1944 during WWII, when ethnic Germans were forced out of their homes by civil war and advancing Russian troops.
In Germany, he completed his education at Siemens to become a journeyman tool and die maker. He met and married his wife, Veronika (Geist), in Karlsruhe, Germany.
Egon came to the United States in 1956, settling in Kalamazoo, where he worked for the Wheeler Roll Company. He served in the U.S. Army from 1957-59, stationed in Aschaffenburg, Germany.
After leaving Wheeler Roll, Egon worked at National Waterlift, and then at the General Motors Fisher Body Stamping Plant, retiring after 28 years.
In 1974, Egon became a Mason, joining Fidelity Lodge #513 (PM), later transferring to Anchor Lodge #22 (PM), and then also joining Mattawan Lodge #268 (PM). Egon was a member of Scottish Rite, Valley of Grand Rapids (PMW); the Royal Arch Masons, Kalamazoo Chapter #13; Royal and Select Masters, Kalamazoo Council #63; the Knights Templar Peninsular Commandery #8, and the Shriners. He was awarded the 33rd Degree in 1991.
Egon was among the first members of the German-American Club of Kalamazoo, serving several years as an officer. He was also an active member of the Schoolcraft United Methodist Church (SUMC).
Egon is survived by his wife, as well as his daughter, Dagmar Heib (Ben Behrman), son, Andrew (Nannette), and grandchildren: Tony (Kaisa) Heib, Rachel (Jonny) Finch, Erika and Elena Behrman, and a great-grandson, Luca Heib. He is also survived by his brother, Hermann; sister- and brother-in-law, Erika and Nick DeVries; brother-in-law, Robert Starkey, as well as nieces, nephews, and several cousins in Germany. In addition to his parents, Egon was preceded in death by his sister, Josefine Starkey; granddaughter, Cheryl Marie Heib; and niece, Hannelore Kramer.
Visitation will be Friday, March 3, from 5 to 7 p.m., at SUMC. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, March 4, at the church, with the Rev. Julia Humenik officiating. A private burial will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the Shriners Hospitals for Children, or to SUMC.