|Birth: ||Apr. 21, 1918|
Litchfield (Montgomery County)
|Death: ||May 17, 2008|
San Diego County
Harry, 90, El Cajon, died at 3:30 p.m., at Sharp Grossmont Hospital, of a heart attack.
He was born to Lawrence E. and Vera I. (Charles) Heyenga. On Apr 15, 1941, in Yuma, AZ, he married Bernice 'Bea' Nimmons, who survives.
Also surviving are two sons, Harry Jr. 'Dean' (Judy), Trinidad, CA, and Thomas Wayne (Elizabeth), San Jose; a brother, Lawrence 'Hank', Hawaii; a sister, Helen Tyler, San Diego; two grandsons, John and Ethan; two twin granddaughters, Beth and Laura; a great-grandson, Cedric; and many nephews and nieces.
Deceased are two brothers, William 'Billy' K. and Robert 'Bob' L.; and a sister, Almira L.
He worked as a machinist at Consolidated Vultee, which became Convair and then General Dynamics. He was a union man and was elected to union office in the International Assoc. of Machinists. He built aircraft at Convair for nearly four decades and also worked on Atlas Rockets.
After WWII, Harry and Bea lived in public housing in Linda Vista, later buying a small house on two and a half acres in El Cajon. There they kept chickens, cows, a horse and raised their two sons. Harry, nearly alone, enlarged their house, teaching his sons lessons in carpentry and construction. Harry and Bea created a great place for their active sons to grow up, with a tire swing, basketball court, horseshoe pits, pool and ping pong tables - their home was a magnet for neighborhood kids and family gatherings.
Harry had a quiet, adventurous streak. He played hookie from high school to ride in a barnstorming bi-plane, only to damage his father's car on take off. Because he was a star basketball player with a championship game coming up, his principal let him off easy. In the 1960s he treated himself to a nearly new Corvette convertible and enjoyed driving to Convair with the top down.
He and Bea loved their grandkids and during ther RV phase took the kids on several trips, including to the Padres spring training in Yuma, AZ. He coached El Cajon Little League teams for years, even after his sons were grown. His coaching style left such a positive impression on his young players that many years later former players would bring their sons to meet him.
Harry loved sports and for many years attended Padres, Chargers and SDSU games. He also volunteered at the Buick Invitational, Jr. World of Golf and the Holiday Bowl.
Services were held at Greenwood Memorial Park and Mortuary. Friends and family gathered at the home after the service.
Bea Nimmons Heyenga (1921 - 2012)
Greenwood Memorial Park
San Diego County
Created by: Mike Dearbaugh
Record added: Jun 04, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 27333786
Added: Aug. 5, 2008