OBITUARY

Gene Allen Heller

January 24, 1942August 7, 2018
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Gene Allen Heller, 76 of Bartonville passed away Tuesday, August 7, 2018 at his home. Born January 24, 1942 in Cuba, Illinois to Lyle and Bertha (Nelson) Heller; he married Shirley Knight on March 18, 1978 in Peoria. She survives. Also surviving are his children, Chris (John) Magner, Jeff Heller, Kelly (Rob) McBride, Todd Cowen, Greg (Jennifer) Cowen and Craig (Lisa Lambert) Heller; grandchildren, Shawna (Josh), Mickie (Scott), Joey, Jacob, Tyler, Tanner, Wes and Sami; great grandchildren, Katlynn, Jaelyn, Julie, Garrison and Giavanna; sisters, Donna (Carroll) Wetterauer and Carolyn Neal; and a host of treasured friends. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother-in-law, Billy Neal. Gene was a lifelong electrician, beginning with his service in the US Navy 1960-64. He was a member of the IBEW Local #34 and was the owner of Heller Electric until 1970 when he went to work for Meister Electric until his retirement in 2000. Gene was the very first electrician they hired. He then stayed active by opening Neon Creations in Bartonville and also served as the Electrical Inspector for the Village of Bartonville for several years. Gene was a lifelong outdoorsman and loved mushroom hunting, fishing and pursuing game of all varieties. He and Shirley enjoyed pleasure boating and were past members of the Detweiller Boat Club. Gene also loved going fast and he raced Drag Boats in the American Drag Boat Association where he held several World Records in the 1980’s. One world record still stands. Gene was a big St. Louis Cardinals fan. He was also a member of Bartonville American Legion Post #979, the NHRA and the Early Ford V-8 Club. Gene loved his family very much, especially his grandchildren. Cremation has been accorded. Graveside services will be held at 11:00 am Wednesday, August 15, 2018 at the St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery Columbarium on Smithville Rd in Bartonville followed by a celebration at the Bartonville American Legion. All car club friends are welcome to drive their classic cars, Gene would love it. Visitation will be 5:00-7:00 pm Tuesday, August 14, 2018 at the Davison-Fulton Bartonville Chapel in Bartonville. Memorials are suggested to IL Cancer Care in Peoria. Condolences and memories may be shared through www.Davison-Fulton-BartonvilleChapel.com

  • FAMILY

  • Lyle Heller, Father
  • Bertha (Nelson) Heller, Mother
  • Shirley (Knight) Heller, Wife
  • Chris and John Magner, Daughter
  • Jeff Heller, Son
  • Kelly and Rob McBride, Daughter
  • Todd Cowen, Son
  • Greg and Jennifer Cowen, Son
  • Craig Heller and Lisa Lambert, Son
  • ~ Shawna (Josh), Mickie (Scott), Joey, Jacob, Tyler, Tanner, Wes and Sami ~, Grandchildren
  • ~ Katlynn, Jaelyn, Julie, Garrison and Giavanna ~, Great Grandchildren
  • Donna and Carroll Wetterauer, Sister
  • Carolyn Neal, Sister
  • ~ A Host of Treasured Friends ~
  • Gene was preceded in death by his parents and brother-in-law, Billy Neal.
  • DONATIONS

  • Illinois Cancer Care

Services

  • Visitation Tuesday, August 14, 2018
  • Graveside Service Wednesday, August 15, 2018
REMEMBERING

Gene Allen Heller

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Greg Pelz

August 13, 2018

Shirley,
So sorry to hear about Gene. I always enjoyed his pranks and humor.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family in this time of sorrow.

Greg and Janet Pelz
(Washington, Illinois)

Karen Lambert

August 12, 2018

I didn't know Gene well, but I have always enjoyed Craig telling me stories about his Dad and how proud he was of his many accomplishments! Hope the many wonderful memories will comfort you all.

Jon Sears

August 11, 2018

Shirley and family sorry to hear of Gene s passing may god bless you in your time of need

Lisa Smalley

August 10, 2018

Gene you will truly be missed. Family gatherings won’t be the same. You always teasing mom (Toni Smalley) and the funny jokes you always told. My thoughts and prayers go out to Shirley, Kelly and her family, Todd and my brother-in-law Greg and his family. Love you all. RIP Gene...🙏🙏❤️❤️

Larry Cole

August 10, 2018

For Shirley, Mickie, Scott and family; our prayers and thoughts are with you.
We'll cherish the memories of dipping our toes in the surf and occasionally catching a
fish throughout these many winters in Alabama. Gene was always a willing participant with a quick wit while sharing fish bait or sharing his catch.

Ruth and Larry Cole

Wendell and Valery Hoops

August 10, 2018

You will be remembered by us for your wonderful humor🙏🏻

Charles Zook

August 9, 2018

Very sorry to hear of your families loss. We send our condolences, and prayers to the family.
Dave & Mert Zook

Jill Grace & Jack Crotty

August 9, 2018

So sorry to hear about Gene. What a great man he was. He will be dearly missed. Our LCHS reunion committee won't be the same without him. Another long time friend gone... R-I-P Gene.

Bob and Vivian Bear

August 9, 2018

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of you at this sad time......he will be greatly missed ......RIP my friend......

Kay Gangloff

August 9, 2018

As a neighbor and friend of Gene and Shirley Heller your family has all my sympathy. Gene helped me out on many occasions when I needed it. I will miss seeing him every morning walking out with his cup of coffee going off for the day. Gene was the best!

Biography

Gene Allen Heller, 76 of Bartonville passed away Tuesday, August 7, 2018 at his home.
Born January 24, 1942 in Cuba, Illinois to Lyle and Bertha (Nelson) Heller; he married Shirley Knight on March 18, 1978 in Peoria. She survives.
Also surviving are his children, Chris (John) Magner, Jeff Heller, Kelly (Rob) McBride, Todd Cowen, Greg (Jennifer) Cowen and Craig (Lisa Lambert) Heller; grandchildren, Shawna (Josh), Mickie (Scott), Joey, Jacob, Tyler, Tanner, Wes and Sami; great grandchildren, Katlynn, Jaelyn, Julie, Garrison and Giavanna; sisters, Donna (Carroll) Wetterauer and Carolyn Neal; and a host of treasured friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brother-in-law, Billy Neal.
Gene was a lifelong electrician, beginning with his service in the US Navy 1960-64.
He was a member of the IBEW Local #34 and was the owner of Heller Electric until 1970 when he went to work for Meister Electric until his retirement in 2000. Gene was the very first electrician they hired. He then stayed active by opening Neon Creations in Bartonville and also served as the Electrical Inspector for the Village of Bartonville for several years.
Gene was a lifelong outdoorsman and loved mushroom hunting, fishing and pursuing game of all varieties.
He and Shirley enjoyed pleasure boating and were past members of the Detweiller Boat Club. Gene also loved going fast and he raced Drag Boats in the American Drag Boat Association where he held several World Records in the 1980’s. One world record still stands.
He was also a member of Bartonville American Legion Post #979, the NHRA and the Early Ford V-8 Club.
Gene loved his family very much, especially his grandchildren.
Cremation has been accorded.
Graveside services will be held at 11:00 am Wednesday, August 15, 2018 at the St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery Columbarium on Smithville Rd in Bartonville followed by a celebration at the Bartonville American Legion. All car club friends are welcome to drive their classic cars, Gene would love it.
Visitation will be 5:00-7:00 pm Tuesday, August 14, 2018 at the Davison-Fulton Bartonville Chapel in Bartonville.
Memorials are suggested to IL Cancer Care in Peoria.
Condolences and memories may be shared through www.Davison-Fulton-BartonvilleChapel.com