Charles Peterson Heath

February 8, 1946July 10, 2019

Dr. Charles “Charlie” Peterson Heath passed away on July 10th from pancreatic cancer. Charlie was born to McClellan and Ann (Peterson) Heath on February 8, 1946 in Lexington, Kentucky. He was the third of five children. At the age of 12, Charlie’s family moved to Phoenix, Arizona where he graduated from St. Mary’s Catholic High School in 1964. In 1968, Charlie received a bachelor’s degree in history from Northern Arizona University. While attending college in Flagstaff, Arizona, Charlie met Cecilia “Cecil” Avelar, a local girl who introduced him to mariachi music and eating Mexican food using a tortilla as a fork. They fell in love. After dating for six years, Charlie and Cecil were married on February 17, 1973. Three years later, their first daughter, Christina was born, followed by Monica in 1979. In August of that same year, the family moved to Greeley, Colorado, so Charlie could pursue a doctorate in child psychology from the University of Northern Colorado. In 1982, the family moved back to Phoenix, Arizona, and Charlie started his career as a child psychologist in the Deer Valley School District. Charlie received his Ph.D. in 1984 and worked in the schools until his retirement in 2004. After retiring, Charlie devoted his time to gardening, collecting sports cards, and spending time with family. Throughout his time on earth there were three constant loves in his life: family, University of Kentucky basketball, and the Phoenix Suns, in that order. Charlie was a kind and generous man who enjoyed and excelled at helping troubled children. He used his wit and sense of humor to disarm and comfort. To his daughters, Tina and Monica, Charlie was their biggest fan. His grand-daughter Jessie Ruth was the twinkle in his eye, and his wife Cecil was his best friend and laugh partner for 53 years. Charlie will be remembered for his devotion to family and friends, his joking, and his OCD tendencies (as he called them). Charlie is survived by his wife Cecilia, two daughters Tina and Monica, son-in-law David, granddaughter Jessie Ruth, sister Mary Ann, brothers Edward and James Robert “Bob” and several nieces and nephews. Charlie was preceded in death by his parents McClellan and Ann and his brother Johnston “Johnny” Heath. A prayer service will be held at A.L. Moore-Grimsahw Mortuaries Bethany Chapel (710 W. Bethany Home Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85013) on Monday, July 15th, from 5-7pm. A church service will be held the following day, July 16th, at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church (3220 W. Greenway Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85053) from 11am until noon, with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Phoenix Children’s Hospital – Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders ( A special thank you to the staff at Banner Thunderbird for taking such wonderful care of Charlie while he was in your care. The support you provided to Charlie and his family while they were at the hospital provided much-needed comfort during a very difficult time.


  • McClellan Heath, Father
  • Ann Heath, Mother
  • Cecilia Heath, Wife
  • Tina Heath, Daughter
  • Monica Heath, Daughter
  • Jessie Ruth, Granddaughter
  • Mary Ann, Sister
  • Edward Heath, Brother
  • James Robert Heath, Brother
  • Johnston Heath, Brother


  • Prayer service Monday, July 15, 2019
  • Memorial Mass Tuesday, July 16, 2019


Charles Peterson Heath

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Mary Ann Heath

July 18, 2019

I will miss Charlie so much ! Charlie was always there for me and I for him ! He was such a caring person ! He always saw the best in everyone ! His sense of humor was beyond words ! At times you never knew whether to take him serious or not ! You will forever be "My Favorite" Brother ! 😉 Love you Bro ! Always

Maridell David

July 14, 2019

Chuck, I will miss your smile, jokes and happiness. You could always make us feel better no matter the circumstance. Thank you for being a friend I could always get a pep talk from when needed. You were such a wonderful person and the staff of
Desert Sage was richer because of you in every way. Keep heaven laughing. Hope to see you there some day. To your family, I pray God will ease your pain and comfort you in this painful hour of need. God bless you all.

Bill Avelar

July 14, 2019

To all that never had the privilege of meeting my Uncle Charley. This is a Man that spoke softly but could be firm if necessary. I loved just sitting around with my uncle and talking. I just visited with him and My Father a few months ago. We sat around watching a movie and than just talking. You knew that this Man was very intellectual just by his answers. The great part of that is he never made you feel beneath him . I have a fond memory of when I was young. My Uncle was needing a student to do some testing while he was at NAU. He would come pick me up in his Beautiful 1970 Silver Corvette. I would walk over to the car and get in with such a grin as all my fellow students would just watch in envy. He would look at me and ask, should we give them a show ? I would say punch it ! He would take off, not that fast but fast enough for me! That’s the kind of Man he was ! He could make you feel so special ! Then be responsible enough that he wouldn’t speed !
My Uncle has a few passions in his life ! The first and greatest was his wife, daughters and granddaughter. The others were gardening and collecting cards and Suns memorabilia . We use to sit and talk about what we had recently collected and what we had !
I am going to greatly miss this man ! We are all at a loss ! I will never forget and be greatly appreciative for all his love and guidance.
Love you Uncle Charley .