Gary Wayne Heilman
Gary Wayne Heilman died unexpectedly in the early morning hours Friday, January 29, 2021 at the age of 82. Gary was born in Pekin, Illinois on November 17, 1938 to Roy and Mabel Heilman. He attended Pekin High School where he graduated in 1956. As a teenager, Gary started his career in the grocery business moving up to a manager in a local grocery and then at the impressive age of 21 moved on to build his own grocery store, Gary's Bi-Rite in Princeville, Illinois. He was active in the NARGUS, National Association of Retail Grocers in the US, serving a term as President. After selling that business, his career expanded into owning and operating the beloved Winston's Restaurant in Oklahoma City which was loved by many. During retirement, his desire to serve others never faltered. Due to his love of animals and the welfare of others, he developed Best Buddies Pet Sitting as well as support services for Heartland hospice patients. In 1993, he married the ultimate love of his life, Laura Heilman. From that day forward, they shared the love that we all dream of having just once in a lifetime. One did not exist without the other.
Gary was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and friend. He lived in various places, but ultimately settled in Shawnee, Oklahoma. He enjoyed spending time with his family and loved his travels to Michigan, Colorado, St. Louis and Montana where he not only spent time with family, but also to enjoyed all the beauty of the outdoors, especially in the Rocky Mountains. Gary was a dedicated friend to so many and truly enjoyed spending time with Laura and the "lunch club" and reminiscing about times of the past and present. He was a passionate, if not obsessive, Cardinal fan and truly loved his Oklahoma Sooners (BOOMER). Gary was a devoted member of the Wesley Methodist Church and the First Christian Church where he was a treasurer and dedicated volunteer for the youth programs in both organizations.
He will be missed by all who knew him. Gary was preceded in death by his parents Roy and Mabel Heilman, his sister Jackie Montgomery, and his beloved grandson Shay Heilman. Gary leaves behind to cherish his loving, devoted wife, Laura; children, Todd Heilman, Tracy Heilman, Terry Heilman, Kelli Schock, and Kristi Medley; and Grandchildren, Sophia Heilman, Kory Conaway, Kristen Conaway, Karsen Conaway, Ryan Medley and Ella Medley.
A service to celebrate the life of this amazing man is scheduled for 1:00 pm on February 4, 2021 in the chapel at the Walker Funeral Home, 201 East 45th Street, Shawnee, OK 74804. If unable to attend in person, the services can be viewed live virtually on Walker Funeral Home Facebook page which will be available right at 1:00 pm on February 4th.
Posted online on February 02, 2021