My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing and make music with all my soul.
- Psalms 108:1
On March 15, 2002, in celebration of the 200th
Anniversary of the United States Military Academy at West Point, the Cadet Glee
Club performed in concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City. There were many in
attendance…from Cadets up through the ranks of the distinguished. Yet, the
following comments were made by SGM Gerard of the USMA Band for just one person
in the audience:
"Among the West Point grads
in the audience tonight, there are many, I'm sure, who were members of the Cadet
Glee Club. Bill Heiberg, Class of '61, is one of those, and a former CIC of the
Glee Club. It's one of America's great patriotic songs from Irving Berlin - God
Bill, this one's for you."
I thank my God every time I remember you.
— Philippians 1:3
Bill, SGM Gerard obviously knows what so many of us have
known for many years…that you are, indeed, a Star Man and worthy of
acknowledgement and tribute.
These tributes to you meander over your life and suggest
the depth of your spirit and the range of your talent. Recollection after
recollection, image after image, tells us, and you, that you knew from the very
beginning how to embrace life, how to step deftly outside the shadow of family
even as you basked quietly and self-effacingly in the glory of that legacy, how
one might ride the crest of youth as if his very life depended on it, no holds
barred, and how finally to embody the essence of manhood. You will see in this
collection why we have come to love and respect you and to stand in awe of your
generosity and courage. You really are Second to None!
In the Shadow of a great legacy we found you. He will endure
as long as the sun, as long as the moon, through all generations.
— Psalms 72:5
The Heibergs, including you, Bill,
have been staunch supporters and a blessing to West Point, the nation, and to
those of us who knew and worked with you. I have known three in this esteemed
line: Colonel Heiberg, your father, the mechanics "P" who inspired me,
encouraged me, and wrote a letter of recommendation for me to get into graduate
school; you, our great classmate and leader whom I saw regularly when you were a
resident of the 8 1/2 Division in 1960-61; and your brother Val, the general and
former Chief of Engineers, whom I served with on a Washington committee a couple
of years ago. What a great American family!
— Neil Grigg
As you remember, we roomed
together the first semester of Plebe year. As I recall, being more familiar with
West Point than any of the rest of us, you were great at lifting our
spirits. You had an accepting and even at times humorous attitude about all the
hassle of being a plebe. We even enjoyed occasional visits to your parent's home
on Colonel's Row. Being the son of a Department Head brought an increased amount
of attention from the upper classes. While most of us were striving to be as
invisible as possible that year, you didn’t have a chance.
— Dick Jackson
You came late in a list of
roommates, third class year, and of all the classmates I remember most fondly,
it is you. I was a goat, you were a star man, brought together by our tactical
officer Roush because I was despondent and was not sure about West Point. One
cold winter's eve during gloom period coming back from the library I expressed
my views to you and you told me, Gordon, some day this institution will become
the most important thing in your life, so hang in there and trust in what I
say." Today I owe you an enormous amount of gratitude for those words. All
three of my children have lived by the motto of West Point and are a pride of
joy to Sue and me. Our youngest is in Israel serving our nation in the
— Gordon Downey
You and I were in the same
company, D-2, until you moved up to battalion staff firstie year. It always
amazed me that you never seemed to take advantage of your Dad being head of the
Mechanics Department. You always played that low-key.
— Brian Schultz
Once I accompanied you to see your dad, just prior to a Glee Club trip, in an effort to
delay or omit a scheduled writ in Mechanics. Glee Clubbers in your view merited special treatment. For me it was an
unusual visit, unaccustomed as I was to ask for a favor from anyone, let alone an officer, who happened to be Department
Chair. I think you took me to bolster our case. We were received with grace, and gracefully rejected.
— Bill Seltz
A Young Icarus–bold in spirit, reckless in design.
Carl Jung, the psychologist, tells us that if we do not drink our cup to the lees in
the first half of life, we’re bound to do so in the second. Bill seems to have had no trouble in the first half.
When I think of you, Bill, the
first image that floods my memory is of a fraternity house party at Magill
University, Montreal, during a Glee Club trip to their Winter Ice Festival in
'59 or '60. Pursuing our vow to "Drink Canada Dry," several of us (read Mucho,
Robertson, Hyde, Janoska, Hruby, Plodinec, et.al.) undertook to entertain all
present with an unlikely combination of acapella music and "The Flying
Walendas" which act ended with your arching swing on a huge wagon wheel
chandelier, back and forth between the towering rafters of the grand
hall. Unfortunately, your dismount resulted in a broken arm! Of course, the fall
would have killed a lesser giant!
— Bob Dunning
One of the things I remember about you during our cadet days was our outings on Choir and Glee
Club Trips. I still think of the time when you "accidentally broke your arm" while on one of the trips to Canada -
During the Winter Carnival. Your ability to laugh has always been engaging and your thoughtful approach to life never prevented
you from seeing the best in all those around you.
— Steve Denney
My favorite story about you is the time you went with the Glee Club to sing somewhere in Canada.
The next time I saw you, you had a cast on one arm. You seemed a little sheepish about it. As I found out shortly thereafter,
it seems you were swinging from a chandelier and fell and broke your arm. I never did find out what kind of kickapoo juice you
had been drinking. I am not even sure if you got any demerits for the incident.
— Brian Schultz
Bill, my favorite story about you is what a friend you were to everyone at WP. As you know,
Shaffer and I were in trouble most of the time and had a Christmas party in B-1 every year. You, and all your stripes,
walked through our area one year and saw the drinking and frivolity going on and didn't take umbrage to our party.
You even joined in! You were always one of the guys, but knew when nonsense ended and duty began. Your positive attitude in
face of this terrible disease has been an inspiration to all of us. May God Bless and keep you! Everything has been "well
— Travis Dyer
Someone once said, and perhaps it
was you, Bill, that the closest you can get to a fraternity at USMA,
notwithstanding the Cadet Company, is to be a member of the West Point Cadet
Glee Club. During our four years together as "Frat Brothers," in the Glee Club, I found a friendship, a sharing
and a love for music in you, which would stretch over time – even following Graduation. Yet, we began as charter members of
the Plebe Glee Club in the new fallen snow at a Ladycliff College concert during Plebe Christmas. The next four years were
delightfully adorned with memories - Major Schempf, The Montreal Trips, The New York Athletic Club, Steubens, and those
June Week Concerts on a warm spring evening at Trophy Point. Through it all, you were our leader, our ambassador of song.
It was you who always seemed to call us to our very best through your quiet leadership in concert after concert.
Our friendship continued over the years well past Graduation, but the musical connection resurfaced with such
grace that Friday evening in the Cadet Mess during our Black, Gold, and Gray Dinner at the recent 40th Reunion. When the
Glee Club director called for "Old Grads" of the Glee Club in the Class of 1961 to join the chorus in song, there
you were where you belonged, positioned on the risers right next to the Cadet In Charge of the Glee Club. A full circle had
been closed. You had come home, home to your music and the fraternal bond of the West Point Cadet Glee Club.
— Johnny Solomon
You are one of those rare people
that I liked from the very beginning, and about whom my opinion has never
changed. You are, and always have been, a class act. As a cadet, you were
always one of those people who set the curve, although I rarely was in class
with you. In fact, I think that English was the only subject where I came
close. My first real memory of you, however, was in Plebe boxing. Why boxing?
Because everyone in the 1st Battalion, 2nd Regiment wanted to draw you to box
against when we went for grade. No, you weren’t a bad boxer or an easy match.
The fact was, you bled easily. If one of us could just get a jab to make contact
with your nose, you bled profusely. Both Mr. Creighton and Joe Palone had a
tendency to give both contestants better grades if one of them bled, and most of
us could use all the help we could get. I haven’t thought about this for almost
40 years. Trivial, yes, but personal. I wonder if I am the only one who
— Jim Mathison
You were, of course, my Ranger
buddy. One night in the Florida swamps, we were trying to find a place in the
river to cross where we could wade in lieu of installing a rope guide for safety
to cross the river. As the patrol leader getting graded that particular time
period, I would stop every few hundred yards and send word back to the end of
our patrol where you were. I passed the word back for you to come up and then go
and check the depth, etc of the river to see if we could wade or not. This went
on for maybe three times. As a note, only the patrol leader was being graded and
the grader usually was just behind the one acting as patrol leader. On the
fourth time, I send word back for you to come on up to check out the river depth
again. After waiting for what seemed like a longer time than normal, the lane
grader behind me who is passing on the message, says something like, "He said he
not coming up." I wasn't sure I was hearing correctly as it didn't sound right,
so I asked the lane grader again to repeat what you had said. The lane grader
then kind of gave a little laugh and said, "He said, 'F*** you, I'm not going
any more. You go.'" Then the lane grader looked a little strange, and I could
feel my grade was on the line. So I said, "He is right. I'm going." The lane
grader could not stop laughing and the laughing went down the line.
— Paul Palmer
Vallely, Lynch, Shaffer and I drove across country to CA stopping to visit every classmate who would take us in.
Somehow, many non-Californian classmates, like us, gravitated to California that summer. Remember that you were one of us.
Now in those days, you were only slightly more accomplished at tolerating booze than Two-Can-Cook. Anyway, a bunch of us
were in a Southern California bar one night (Newport Beach, probably) and you were sitting between Jim Lynch and me.
After maybe one drink and with no apparent provocation, you calmly asked Jim which sounded better, "F*** it or Fart
it?" Jim replied he thought the former may have more resonance (or something like that). With that, you yelled
"F*** it," jumped off the barstool and dashed out the door with Jim, me, and others in hot pursuit (after
our initial shock). As we yelled for you to stop, you were looking back and then, apparently to dodge a couple who were
coming in our direction, you swerved to the left and somehow broke through a plate glass window with your arm.
When we got you out of the emergency room, you were grinning sheepishly (the Heiberg look) as if to say, "wasn't that
fun." When we looked at the stitch job on the very long gash on the inside of your arm, most agreed that either it was
done by an unpracticed intern or you weren’t the most cooperative patient that evening. To me it looked like the doctor had
pursed the skin with his fingers and sewed it up like he was mending a sail. Anyway, I have often wondered if you remember
what actually happened that night and just how you came by that scar on your arm.
— Gene Witherspoon
Your love of life and zest for great times were unequaled. Really got to know you when we were
housemates at Ft. Sill – you slept with Palmer. You had to prove to us that you were a star man. Prior to Christmas vacation,
you were the force and brainpower behind the mass production (cash shortage) of your homemade brew. You said, " It will
be ready upon our return!" It sure was!! MacLean and I returned prior to our other mates (Rosey, Palmer, Shafer, and you)
and were rewarded with the clean-up duty—it was a disaster, all the bottles had exploded! YOU are a special trooper, MY FRIEND.
WE LOVE YOU!
— Francis "Hoot" Gibson
One of the funniest things I remember doing with you was shortly after graduation when a
bunch of classmates got together with a bunch of stewardesses in California (one I got around to marrying, and Bob Dunning
married one 6 weeks after this incident). They lived in a little squared off apartment complex with two floors and a
swimming pool in the middle of the courtyard. The daily ritual was making sure that there was enough Coors beer and either
Thunderbird or Ripple wine available for that day's festivities. We would all lie around the pool and tell war stories,
future war stories, and fantasy stories. Needless to say, by the end of the sunshine and
water logging activities, a good
buzz was had by all. The evening either consisted of a party at the apartment complex, or a recon in force of some local
eating and drinking establishment. (Don’t forget this was within 5 weeks of graduation and we were still pretty frisky!
One night your adventure started like any other, plenty of Coors and Ripple. This was one of the nights we decided to raid
one of the local eateries followed by a foray into one of the local female hangouts. But we had to get a little more dressed
up on this occasion, even in California, so we all decided to meet back at the pool to take roll call. During the assembly
and dress inspection, one of the apartment lovelies who was going with us came down to the pool with a small white dog. To
this day, it is totally unknown how this lovely little dog wound up in the pool. Some say he was pushed. Some say he was
thrown. Others say he went in by himself, in spite of the fact he didn't appear to like water the way he was yelping.
(I will go to my grave before I reveal the real story.) Some of us thought this was pretty amusing, others didn't care at all.
But, like the hero you’ve always been, you leaped to the rescue, clothes and all, yelling, "I'll save him!" You
didn't even take off your sunglasses as you flew across the side of the pool, and into the water. By the time I looked down
at you, you were grinning from ear to ear, still with the sunglasses on, holding the little white dog and doing a
magnificent "dogpaddle." The dog was in the deep part of the pool and after a while we told you that you had better
get out before we would have to come in and get you. Still maintaining the brave heroic warrior state of mind, you said
"take the dog first." When you got out of the pool dripping wet everyone applauded – especially the stewardess
whose dog you saved. I will not describe her reward to you – you’ll have to do that if anyone asks! By this time we needed
to go to the local refueling and armament station, so without a comment or waste of time, you happily trooped out still
dripping wet with the rest of us as we proceeded onward and upward to slay the dragons. It wasn't until several hours later
that you eventually dried out enough to be presentable. Note that I did NOT say sobered up. Thank you, Bill, for providing me
with a friend, a kindred spirit, and for being, above all, a dear and outstanding classmate.
— Burke Mucho
The following is for you, Heiberg. You were just a classmate we always knew and liked, and you were also liked by those
who were most admired by others. The only times you and I were thrown together, it was not done academically; it was done
alphabetically. For this reason it gave me great joy when I was going to lunch with you during the Basic Course at Fort Bliss
in your new Buick Riviera, and when we got to the car, it was locked. Well! Heiberg, the star man, could not find his keys!
Now 1961 Rivieras run pretty quietly, but my great joy came when I said, "Bill, I think your keys must be in the ignition
because your motor is running." We went for gas and a coat hanger instead of lunch.
— Hamp Hodges
My memories of you date back to the Artillery Career course - the Ft Bliss phase (all this is colored by the lack of memory).
Terry had to stay at Sill because our son Craig had been very sick - so I was on my own at Bliss (with you and several other
occupants of the BOQ). You had just bought a Buick Riviera. I was car less at the time, so I hung with anyone who would give
me a ride. You were (and are) a great friend - I can remember going to the drive-in with you and a couple of other guys and
laughing our way thru the movies and the beer, and getting up the next morning and going to church. Usually anyone
sitting within one or two pews had to move to avoid getting high. After church we went to open houses in the best end of
El Paso to see how the better half lived. You were to be around - a laugh on every page and a very gracious person and friend.
— Bob Cairns
A modern day
Gershom: “…I have become a stranger in a strange land.”
— Exodus 2:22
William Lytle Heiberg joined the Schwaebisch Gmuend U.S. Army Military Family in the summer of
1962. Schwaebisch Gmuend is a lovely little city in the Schwaebian Alps about 30 miles east of Stuttgart. We, who were
stationed there, did develop into a large extended family. We spent a lot of time in the field, worked hard but played hard
also. I was fortunate enough to have been assigned as the XO of B Btry, 16th Arty, the General Support BN of the 4th Armored
Division. You were assigned as the Fire Direction Officer of the Battery. You, along with the other bachelors of the BN,
quickly assimilated into the families of those of us who were married and had children. We included you in all our special
days to include Christmas and Thanksgiving parties. You were always a most congenial guest and added spice to our gatherings.
I don't recall the specific party, but at one costume party in the Officer's Club, you came as a "Lady of the Evening,"
and were really a knock out! You and we were fortunate to stay in touch after leaving Gmuend. We were pleased to hear that
you married Louisa O'Meara, the sister of my classmate Andy O'Meara. We saw a little of you during the years 1968-71 while
stationed at West Point and then the following year at the Command & General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, KS. Once
we started to have our Schwaebish Gmuend Reunions, we were very happy that you were an active member who attended most of our
gatherings. I recall at our first reunion at Fort Belvoir on 17 & 18 August 1990, you arrived late at the dinner in
the Club that first night and we were really all so glad you attended. I don't recall if you had been diagnosed with
cancer by the time of our San Antonio, TX reunion 10-12 July 1992, but I do know you had initiated your battle and were
well into the fight by our Myrtle Beach reunion 9-11 September 1994. I also recall that the night of our dinner cruise at
Myrtle Beach, we were trying to get the Captain of the ship to delay our departure, because you had not arrived.
The Captain did delay sailing for about 10-15 minutes but then said we had to depart due to the tides. We left and you
missed the boat. As I recall you were visiting friends in the area and misjudged the timing for the return trip. You have
always maintained a most positive attitude during your 10-year battle with cancer. It was a real pleasure to have you and
Will at our 5th reunion in Blain, WA 7-9 July 1998. The Inn at Semi-Ah-Moo was really a nice place to have our base of
operations. I know that both you & Will greatly enjoyed the day of sailing with the Diehl's in Boundary Bay north of
Puget Sound in the Great Northwest. Phyllis and I have always had a special place in our heart for you and this feeling
has gotten larger and stronger as we have watched from a distance as you take on the challenge of this terrible disease.
We have since the beginning been impressed by your continued positive attitude and your ability to maintain and display
such a good sense of humor. Our prayers and best wishes are with you as you face the future, and we hope it will be a pain
free and a beautiful time – and that you will dance at Will’s, James’ and Harriet's weddings.
– Phyllis & Jim Walsh
>We were stationed with you in Germany with the 1/94th. Several recollections of playing
"elevator" in the BOQ at Bismarck Kaserne come to mind. Also, you gave us a mission to get some Florentine nesting
tables for your aunt when we visited Italy. We did, but they only had 2 of the 3, so we had them shipped to Germany when the
missing table came in (just like you do in States). Were you ever surprised when you went to pick them up at customs!
You could have gotten them cheaper at Bloomingdale’s in NYC! You then shipped them to Ft. Sill along with 50+ empty
wine bottles that you were saving to give to us so we could get deposit money equaling 2 free bottles of wine. I think it
was at least 2 years before your aunt got her tables. Last August we visited you on the Eastern Shore where you proceeded
to make us "Eastern Shore Hamburgers". Of course you'd never made them before, and when we arrived you were busy
reading the Joy of Cooking and making a shopping list for the rest of the ingredients, having already gotten the crab. We
could always expect to have a "memorable time" with you.
– Al Fuchs
I did not know you well, Bill, except for a short while when we served in the 16th Artillery at
Schwaebisch Gmuend, Germany. I remember when you reported to the unit as a brand new lieutenant just finished with the
Officer Basic Course and Airborne etc. I was a captain at the time and was so very impressed with your demeanor and
professionalism. Ideally, junior officers emulate seniors, but in this case I recall saying to myself, "I surely would
like to be like this young lieutenant." I never have said this to you and I believe this is the time to
finally do so. I’m sorry not to be able to visit with you in person, but Bev and I wish you the very best.
– Sam and Bev Szalwinski
Two, poignant memories of you have stayed with my wife Jan and me through the years. When we
arrived in Gmuend in November 1963, we had to spend a week or 10 days in the BOQ while we waited for government quarters to
open. That became a challenge because we also had six-week-old twins, and the BOQ room we were assigned had no kitchen facilities.
You and Bob Diehl had a famous bachelor apartment in the BOQ and you opened it to us. Neither of you seemed the least bit
disturbed that your kitchen became a formula-making and bottle-sterilizing center. You had invited us to use the
apartment and forgotten to tell your roommate. Bob Diehl didn't bat an eye when he caught me, un-introduced, in his kitchen.
He knew instinctively that you had reached out to help someone. In October, 1967, I was in Hawaii on R and R from Vietnam.
Jan and I were staying at the Outrigger, and late one afternoon we donned bathing suits and suntan lotion and headed for the
beach. When we stepped on the elevator there you were. We were astonished because we had not seen you since you rotated from
Europe. You smiled, asked us how we were, told us you were on the way to the church to get married and that we should come
along. There was not enough time to change and make the service, but we sure wish we had.
— Dennis Doherty
Bill Heiberg! You are a breath of
fresh air when all else around us seemed like it was doomed. You brought so much light into the McAdams family. You called
Sandra Mama and me Sir, and we always felt a close friendship with you. You always seemed to enjoy being apart of our
family just as much as we enjoyed having you. We considered you as one of ours along with Jon Vogel. You "boys"
came "up the hill" for dinner at least two or three times a week and it was always a joy to have you. Probably one
of the most poignant memories that we have of you is when you had to come and give us the sad news that our President had
been assassinated in Dallas while we were at a battery party at the EM Club in Swaebisch Gmuend. We will never forget the
look on your face, tears in your eyes, and the shock and sorrow that you and we eventually felt. We worked hard and played
hard in those days...and going up and down on the elevator, (A can opener in the kitchen served the purpose!) at your BOQ
apartment was probably some of the more fun times. You had to be there to appreciate that! (I understand the can opener is
still there too!) Oh for the more simple fun times of those days! Having the reunion in Myrtle Beach was just too tempting
for you not to go down and visit old friends in Pawley's Island – and all is forgiven that you didn't make it back to the
dock in time for the dinner cruise! (Hard to gauge the traffic!) We loved seeing you the little bit we did, and appreciated
you coming so much. You have a habit of that though!!! In San Antonio you was there one minute and gone the next! Sandra and
I wish we could be with you today for your great day of tributes, as I know it will be a lasting memory not only for you,
but for all in attendance. Our love to you and we have you first and foremost in our prayers.
— Sandra and Mike McAdams
Bill, I'm sorry we can't be there for this trip down memory lane. Here is a very brief attempt
to compress into a few words feelings and observations that could be given much more depth of expression, but we will leave
that larger task to our minds and hearts, recalling the greater details privately as we wish. When I arrived in Goeppingen and
Lt. Parker Field picked me off the train platform and transported me over the little road to Gmeund and Bismark, I thought,
"Ft. Sill was relevant? This place is something from JFK's Camelot." When I was introduced to CO Mike, FDO Bill,
and given my Surveying/FO kit, I felt right at home. (I hadn't yet been blessed with Mother Sandra's wonderful hospitality.
We were really spoiled, weren't we?) You, Bob and Steve didn't cure my jet lag/homesickness, but you sure made the ordeal
very short and less painful. (I must admit part of the cure included the brew from the local malt kettles and an occasional
punch bowl encounter.) The top-down rides through all the beauty and history of Schwaebia were wonderful breaks from the
training and readiness preparations. It seems Mike was quite the softie with those three-day passes we applied for. We
needed those to broaden our grasp of history and the sociological development of the natives. I sometimes felt Jim thought our
apparent light-hearted approach to the B Battery problems and their solutions gave him a little less support then he would
have liked. I think, though, the actual problem was that he was slightly envious of our carefree forays into the
countryside on the above-mentioned passes, and the requisite time for planning before and recounting upon return. But we
were always "Alert" and "Combat Ready," lined up in the motor pool, de-rusted and properly painted!
Garmish and Hotel Walker, I believe it was, saw us initiate those fine skis we found in the storage room and
so painstakingly refinished, waxed, and fine-tuned for the Alpine slopes. I didn't apply those skills again for twenty
years. Platteville, Iowa didn't lend itself to alpine sports, and I know your subsequent tours probably weren't too
supportive of the sport either. Julia, Sydney and I really enjoyed having you help us celebrate Julia's first birthday.
The event was captured on 8mm film and still flickers on the wall bringing back wonderful memories of a youthful time.
I can't recall how Grace's arrival fell on the time line, but she was also an important part of our early farm years.
She inspired us to have another Saint after her. Our neighbors were amazed at the "Army chow-Navy chow" routine.
Sometimes it seems like only yesterday that we experienced the Berlin Wall, the Border, JFK's assassination, Oktoberfest
in the Kaserne, progression to families, the 70's period, the growing-up years. But suddenly, here we are. Today is
different for each of us. The future none of us can unlock. God intends each day to be a blessing in and of itself, and
I guess many of those blessings are based on memories of our past and how they have shaped and supported us. Bill, a major
part of the present "me" was formed in those two-plus years we shared in that little part of history in that place
in time. Most importantly our friendship and experiences will always be part of my foundation. Thank God for "you"!
Your steadiness, good nature, and loyalty are a great legacy for us all. Sydney and I pray for you the very best.
— Jon and Sydney
Our memories of you go back to your arrival in Schwaebisch Gmuend in 1962. Bob was assigned as
your sponsor. As part of your reception we had you to dinner at our quarters. We had two boys, 3 1/2 and 1 1/2, at the time.
I had fixed a spaghetti dinner for us all, and we just ate at the kitchen table. Spaghetti and two little boys can become messy
and very interesting. After completing that meal, I thought that this new LT would surely give extra thought to making the
Army a career and possibly ever having children of his own. Luckily, it didn't affect you that way, or the Army
would have missed out on a fine officer. Our thoughts and prayers are with you now.
- Maureen and Bob Alhouse
My earliest recollections of you revolve around our time together in the 1st Bn 94th Arty at
the BOQ in Bismarck Kaserne, Schwabisch Gmund, Germany in the early 60's. Everyone still talks about the great parties
you and Bob Diehl threw ever so frequently. With Jack Daniels at $1.80 a fifth and Dixie Bell gin at $.90 a quart how
could you not have a great Battalion party? Not to mention the "flip top" cases of "Mutlanger Gold"
and "Hirsch Brau" from Heubach, plus the local wines. No one has ever forgotten the camaraderie and the laughter
at those parties, seemingly so important at that time in relieving the stresses of a frontline artillery unit
in cold war Germany. From drinking Artillery Punch from the punch bowls in the housing area, to riding and singing in the
Battalion Ambulance to and from the Grafenwohr O club, and the smoke grenades (do I smell CS gas???) in the tents
during winter exercises, to the M-80's and Artillery simulators ("On the way - over", "Splash - over")
at the Gmund O club on New Years Eve, you were always leading the way. These are the memories that are cherished and played
over and over in one's mind. You led the way in other areas too. Who can forget the many successful ATT's, TPI's, FTX's,
Battalion and Battery tests that we took together. I was always struck and impressed by your competence and professionalism
as an officer. You were a role model in many ways to junior officers because of your job knowledge, and the full time leadership
you provided to your unit and to your fellow officers and NCOs. One of my fondest memories of you actually happened when
I left the service and was working in upstate NY sometime in the late 60' - or was it early 70's (??). You invited us,
along with Pam & Al Fuchs - also ex-Army of the 94th, to visit you at West Point and celebrate New Year's Eve at the
Officers club. We visited at your parent's home on "Colonels Row" at the Point. We really enjoyed the New Years Eve
party, although it was somewhat more subdued than the unbridled celebrations at the O Club in Gmund. But the memory of that
weekend that I cherish the most was sitting in Colonel Heiberg's historic living room, sipping some imported Port wine and
snacking on cheddar cheese and talking with you, your family, and Pam & Al Fuchs. How lucky was I! It didn't get any
better than that!
— Ed Popkoski
And then came courage, inspiration, generosity, and a
special kind of heroism.
March on, my soul; be strong!
— Judges 5:21
Right off the top, what I always think of when your name comes up are your ready smile and quick
— Jerry White
"Sisu" is a Finnish word that means uncommon courage in the face of formidable odds.
It's closest English equivalent is "guts". In this regard, Bill Heiberg is a Finn. In brotherhood,
— Bill Mackie, The Flying Finn
I shall always remember you, Bill, as kind, helpful, thoughtful and most considerate
— Bob Hardiman
My earliest recollections of you are from my roommate George Seckinger who really was the
person who introduced us. Even before I got to know you, George had convinced me that you were one of our class's best.
So, at even the earliest time in your growth, there were others around you who, way back then, knew you were the top-notch
human being we've come to know, appreciate and love. Personally, I can think of few higher tributes than to describe another
person as one who characterizes "promise fulfilled."
— Marty Ganderson
I deeply regret that I cannot be in Arlington for your little surprise. When John first notified
us, I decided that this was a trip that I wanted to take. Unfortunately, I have to leave for Germany (Grafenwöhr, no less)
on the 19th. Why would I want to be there? Because you are so eminently likeable, Bill. You have been since I first
met you in Fifth New Cadet Company all those years ago. I can think of few people about whom I could say that. You have
always been a friend, and you are now certainly an inspiration. Bob Oliver and I both will be at Graf on the
24th, and at about 8:00 PM our time, we’ll lift our glasses high.
Hope to see you soon.
— Jim Mathison
Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful in a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.
— Matthew 25:21
It is noteworthy that The Long Gray Line continues to contribute to the betterment of the Nation.
The case in point is that four Pointers were working at the manager level at LTV. It is even more significant that three of the
four were from the class of '61: Bud Fritz, Howard DeWitt and you, Bill Heiberg… Second to None!
— Howard DeWitt
As a widow of 1 year with an 18-month old child, I was seated next to you at the Thayer Award Dinner in 1968.
We chatted throughout the evening – what a gentleman you were! Louisa and you decided that evening to befriend me AND
to introduce me to a single, fellow classmate. Two years later you were a groomsman when Larry and I were married in
the Cadet Chapel. Louisa was my matron of honor! You know, of course, that you two have always been and always will remain
very special in my heart.
— Connie Budge
Bill, you know that I didn't get to really know you as well as others did when you worked here. But your wonderful sense
of humor won me over immediately. We used to tease about our "affair" in the parking lot. Seems we would get to
work about the same time on quite a few mornings and walk from our cars into work. I believe I was carrying my rather large
golf umbrella at the time (still have it!). I would joke that my mama always told me to be sure and "cover my butt",
and this umbrella did just that! And of course I haven't found anyone else to carry on that "affair" with since you
left, so I have to walk in alone most mornings. Anyway, that's about the extent of what we shared. Other than that, when we
saw each other at work we'd talk or joke around. But you were always smiling with something good to say or a few
"teasing" words. You were a delight, and I miss having you here.
— Judy Adams
I really enjoyed working with you at LTV/Lockheed Martin. You were always such a gentlemen,
and I admire your positive attitude so much. You also have some very loyal friends which speaks very highly of the type of
friend you have been to others. It is so true that "God made friends so we'll carry a part of His perfect love in all
— Billie Miller
Ever since you've left the company I have been in continual trouble with the Liaison/Compliance
office. When you have a free moment, you might put in a good word and let them know that I am not ALL BAD. Seriously, Bill,
it was always a delight to deal with you on these issues, and I never used to get in trouble when you were here!!!! Thanks
for being so responsive to all my issues!
— Darcy Sety
You helped me through some very trying times here in Cash Management (Lockheed Martin), and I
want you to know how much I appreciate your support. You attempted at every turn to keep me out of trouble with my
management, which was no easy task. With a scowl, you disbursed an angry mob of paymasters when payroll checks were not
ready on time and challenged each one on how he intended to charge his time while he was idle. Wow, did they scatter in a
hurry! I enjoyed working with you and miss you terribly. We have established a chorus here called the Heritage Singers.
We sing at various nursing homes, assisted living homes, and company functions. I wish you were here and could sing with us.
It would be great fun. Take care, friend.
— Karen Sauls
Bill - You are truly an amazing person! And I feel so blessed to have known you during your
time here at Lockheed Martin. Take good care, friend.
— Jan Dixon
You have been such an inspiration to all of your friends at Lockheed Martin and elsewhere.
All I can offer you is for you to know that you have lots of friends who have sent many prayers on your behalf and will
continue to do so. Please know that you are in my prayers along with some other friends and members of my own family who
also have this terrible disease. I pray every day that a cure will be found. God Bless you.
— Cherie Griffith
Everyone at Lockheed Martin who knew you well (and even those who did not) were invariably
impressed with Bill's facility with words (not that you consciously tried to impress people with big or fancy words).
Your ability to speak eruditely on a variety of subjects - the arcane and archaic, as readily as the topical - made it a
pleasure to look forward to any conversation with you. I think this incident probably took place among you, Paula Roberts
(our colleague and mutual friend), and I. You was expostulating on some subject about ancient Greece (which was,
literally, Greek to me) when, valiantly trying to uphold my end of the conversation, I offered, "Bill, did you know
the Greek word for 'truth' was 'althea'?" "No, I didn't," you admitted. You asked, clearly impressed,
"Did you study Greek in college?" "Not that much," I replied modestly (and absolutely truthfully),
feeling pleased that, for a change, I had impressed YOU with a bon mot instead of the other
way around. I subsequently confessed to Paula that I had picked up the word "althea" from an episode of
Kung Fu the previous weekend. Because KungFu then only came on at 5:00 A.M. on Saturday mornings,
I was confident you were not likely to learn the actual source of my knowledge. I don't recall, however, if I ever
confessed this to you. More than remembering you as an accomplished conversationalist, I vividly remember “Bill the
Soldier.” Although I never actually saw you in his uniform, you always bore yourself as if you were wearing one. You
approached your surgery as you would have gone into combat, prepared to fight, but resigned to whatever the outcome.
Then, you displayed the same kind of courage during rehabilitation and, ultimately, the recurrence of the disease.
And, you are still fighting bravely - just as one would expect from the man who originally came to Lockheed Martin (then LTV)
at the behest of Dr. Felix Fenter to become the company's first Manager-Compliance and Ethics, and who established the
standard by which all succeeding company Ethics Officers would be judged.
— Dennis Lewis
Bill - I feel quite blessed with the opportunity to have had you touch my life. I know that
making people feel special and important is just a way of life for you. I admire you so. I am convinced that there are
numerous times that you touched lives and never knew just how or why. But I personally witnessed that
'heart's reach' that you possess. There were several times that you made my day, several times when you made me remember
that I was important and unique. God bless you! You are a beautiful person!
— G. Janell Fields
As I think back through our many wonderful experiences – except when you disagreed with me,
one funny event stands out in my mind. It had to do with the PC kiosk that was being installed for our new compliance
training via CD. Since the computer and headsets were to be shared by many individuals, there was some concern about
sanitation. Therefore, disposable covers were provided for the headset earpieces. Most people installed the covers on the
headsets. You found an innovated application. By placing the disposable covers on your ears instead of the headset, not only
were you protected from germs but you kept your ears warm. Of course, you did look
kind of funny when you left the kiosk
and walked around with the white disposable covers on your ears. I always knew y'all did things different at West Point.
We miss you here at Vought, as we old timers call ourselves. I know Compliance is totally out of control! Even Janeen
jumped ship and went to SAP. Take care and keep reaching for those high notes.
— Cathie Barrington
Just a note to tell you how much I truly admire you and how courageous you have been during all
of your illness – and courageous to be my friend since it leaves you wide open to rude birthday cards, for example.
I feel so fortunate to be your friend and able to share laughs and heartaches with you on many occasions. You are one of a
kind – now as to what kind, we would have to talk about that. "A Character" comes to mind as one of the ways I
would describe you. Another would be a little weird. But most of all I think courage is tops on my list describing Bill
Heiberg. For sure you love your family – and it has been great fun hearing many, many stories about all of them and
watching them "grow up." I am excited to think you are going to acquire two daughters-in-law and one son-in-law
in a few short months. Surely they know how to handle a sailboat 'cause that is probably a prerequisite for entry into the
family. I have fond memories of our time together here at the "old bomber plant." You know for sure we have
been through a lot – the Fenter days, the Musselman days and all the things in between. And, I am sad to report that
someone has replaced you as having the messiest office in the facility – but not to worry, you would be proud of them.
Very seriously Bill, you are a fantastic person and so many people love you and wish you well, including me. Now, it is up
to you to do your part and get better. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Love and Hugs,
— Dorella Bond
You and I worked very closely together for the first few years you came to Lockheed Martin.
One day you asked me for a recommendation of a dentist for your daughter. I called my dentist and made an appointment for
her. At the last minute she could not go so you went in her place. He is the one who found the lump in your mouth and told
you to go to a doctor immediately. That was when they discovered your cancer. I remember very clearly the day you came to
me and said the test was positive. You were very calm and matter-of-fact, and you assured me that everything would be all
right. On the last day you worked before surgery, I went to your office to try to give you some encouragement. I ended up
crying, and you ended up trying to comfort me. I really admire your strength. We thought you would be unconscious for days,
but you called me very shortly after surgery from the recovery room. You had provided me with a list of contacts all
over the United States that you wanted me to call and keep people informed of your condition. I continued to make calls
for many weeks. You have so many friends that have a deep love and admiration for you – this includes many friends here
at Lockheed Martin. It is a pleasure to know you, Bill, and call you my friend.
— Sherry Wolfe
I am pleased to be sending this note about how I remember you, and especially remember your
great leadership in raising funds for your cancer research project. It still amazes me how you took a mere but respectful
$5,000 contribution you raised from your fellow employees here at Lockheed Martin and challenged your fellow cancer
patients to reach out to their employers and friends to help you raise additional funds. Before you knew it, over
$80,000 had been raised to conduct one of the very first research projects on your particular type of cancer. WOW!!!
You made your fellow employees here very proud to have been a small part in a great story. I still look forward to that
promised sail around the Chesapeake! Wish I were there with you again sharing a sip or two out of that gallon jug of fine
white wine you keep under the kitchen sink!! Take care my friend,
— Brent Berryman
Bill, my memories of you go back to Plebe year, which we shared together in D-2. You were the
MVP (Most Valuable Plebe) of our class; your parents home was within two blocks of our barracks, and you provided a safe
sanctuary when we needed to "get away from it all" for an hour or two. It helped us all survive. You were
probably better prepared for Plebe year than most of us, but you also had something that few others had: a totally positive
attitude, an ever-present sense of humor, and a great outlook on life. We also served together at Ft Sill, but we both
traveled so much that we rarely saw each other. My most recent memory is our last 10 years together in Lockheed Martin.
I have never seen anyone face such a serious illness with the courage, strength, and great attitude that you daily
demonstrated. From the time of your operation in November of 1992, you were a source of inspiration to everyone here at
Lockheed. You were also memorable for your office organization – you were the only person who could find anything amidst
your stacks of letters, memos, files, souvenirs, candy wrappers, etc. In fact we still have all of your files…neatly
stacked next to the Dempsey Dumpster. Bill, it has been a pleasure to know you and serve with you; as a friend and a
classmate you are truly "Second to None"
— Bud Fritz
I wish I could be with you today at your celebration. I know, though, that you will have
many, many around who love and appreciate you as I do, so your cup and plate will be FULL!!! Of all the memories, Bill, my
favorite was that quiet little time Pat and I had with you at Semi-Ah-Moo in that little "living" room.
What a precious time that was for the three of us! Be blessed, dear one. Your reward will be great! He has a wonderful
banquet table waiting for you that is "way" loaded! Your life, Bill, is a testimony of His love, true caring, and
acceptance. You are, indeed, a friend who loves unconditionally and at all times. You make a giant imprint on the lives
of those who know you. I'm so glad our paths crossed! I know your day will be full. Please know that I'll be praying for
— Kay Hughes
One day in the 1980's when I headed the tactical missiles part of the Washington, DC operation,
a cohort said "Heiberg is going to retire and wants to work with us." Having met General Heiberg, I said "The
General?!?" He responded "No, Bill Heiberg, the smart one!" Having known you professionally
since then, I have come to know a very personable man of honor, high integrity and a lot of SMARTS!
— E. M. (Ed) Russell Lockheed Martin – Retired
Bunny and I think of the words “COURAGE and Friendship” every time we think of you. It was
only last week, February 14th or so, that we wondered out loud how you were doing. Your strength of character
coupled with your demonstrated tenacity have enabled you to defy the odds and be an inspiration to all who are aware of your
— Chuck Armstrong
I have thought a lot about this -- you and I worked together in FA battalion in Korea
(you were S3 and I was XO) and at Burdeshaw Assoc, and, of course, you and I had some escapades as cadets and LTs.
That's not where I want the focus of my words to be, so here goes. Relatively few people know the emotions that come
when diagnosed with cancer or any other life threatening disease, especially in the prime of one's life. Some people
quit and some people fight. Bill, you have chosen to fight, despite being told over and over for almost a decade that
you had only a few more months to live. Webster defines courage as "the...spirit enabling one to face danger or
hardship with confidence and resolution." I have a more succinct definition—I define courage as “Bill Heiberg.”
If there were a Medal of Honor for this kind of fight, you would have won it. Bill, you have shown me the path. God bless you,
— Bruce Holmberg
Marylou and I treasure the Christmas Plant you gave us several years ago. The plant is thriving
and growing each year. It is a wonderful reminder of what a true friendship we were able to develop during some very trying
times in our lives. You have made a difference not only in our lives, but, in the lives of many people to follow behind you.
The determination and unselfishness that you have displayed during this time in your life will allow many, many others to
go forward with a recovery and new hope for life. Mr. H, I also remember the time we took you into Finance and provided
you the keys to the Company Labor Reporting System. During your introduction into this sacred audit process you managed to
wipe out the records and existence of both the Division and Group Presidents. Fortunately, we were able to restore their
records before they had to use them. There was another time that we have documented by Photos — one Mr. H walking down
the hall with EAR COVERS from the Compliance Training Video Equipment. These were moments that were in good fun and humor
and will be remembered. Your commitment to Ethics and Integrity were proven to be second to none and will always be part
of your legacy with us. Bill, each day as I recite the Prayer for Peace, I keep a special person in mind and will continue
to do this the remainder of my life. Best wishes, your Friends,
— Mike and Marylou Habala
Bill, my memories of Cadet Heiberg are all very good. You were one of those good guys
over in D-2. Everyone knew you, even those of us in “The Lost Fifties,” perhaps because your dad headed up
the Mechanics Department (my favorite department and the one I returned to as an instructor). But I really believe it
was because you were a great friend to many of us, and because we all wondered how someone could have so much fun (as
Pete Dawkins said at the Bicentennial) and still wear those stars that eluded us (me especially). You seemed to enjoy
life immeasurably at West Point, and in addition to the stars, were rewarded militarily as a cadet captain and through
innumerable friends across the Corps. After graduation, our paths only crossed briefly for a year on the faculty at West
Point (you in Social Science and me in Mechanics) and a year or so here in Washington, DC in or near the Pentagon. What
has really come to me though is your extraordinary courage and positive attitude in the past few years. I heard about
your fight with cancer when you were in Texas, saw you at our 35th Reunion as the Hathaway man, saw you after you
returned to the DC area, and then saw you at both our 40th Reunion and the Bicentennial. Throughout your fight, you
continue to amaze me (and, I’m sure, many of our Classmates and your doctors). You still live life to the fullest of your
abilities, contribute to and push the Class Committee, and defy all odds. You have this great will to win. In the near term,
your plans on being the father of the bride and of two grooms, as all three of your children get married in rapid succession,
may be your biggest challenge, and are far too much for us mere mortals. Bill, you’re a great example for all of us you…
think positively, charge forward and do what you believe in, and enjoy life. It’s my privilege to be your friend.
— Bob Glass
Early on, your courage in the face of difficulty was always your hallmark, but you prosecuted
even the most daunting challenges with the élan and almost carefree ease the rest of us could only admire and try to
incorporate into our own emerging personal "style." On reflection, its not surprising that your zest for life—and
life lived to the fullest—has sustained you so magnificently through this devastating physical assault, which, though it
may have ravaged your body, it has been unable to destroy your enormous heart. You seemingly have soared through it all
with grace and ease leaving us ordinary souls to simply admire and emulate one whom we confess with pride to be our
friend—our buddy. Your gigantic memory, etched within our spirits, will continue to illuminate our lives and the legendary
stuff, which is only beginning to take the form of heritage to the Long Gray Line. You remain truly "Second to
— Bob Dunning
Bill Heiberg, you are one of my oldest friends. And you are certainly one of my best friends.
I like to think that we share a mutual affection, but my respect, appreciation and admiration for you cannot be matched.
You have honored me with your friendship for over 40 years. You also honored me by choosing me to be the Godfather for
your first-born son Will. I have struggled with trying to select some individual events in our past because there are so many
and because they all blur together in one panoramic scene. Times when we were cadets; visits to your parents' house on the
Plain; parties at my family's house; my first wedding in which you were an usher; weekends at your house in Washington;
and so on, and so on. They overlap and leave me not with one or even two or more distinct moments, but a warm feeling
of comradeship, joy and ever lasting friendship. One incident of tribute, however, cannot go unmentioned. A few short
nights ago on March 15, 2002, at the Carnegie Hall concert celebrating West Point's Bicentennial, one man's name was
singled out to be recognized with the dedication of a musical piece and that name was Bill Heiberg. With high political
figures, senior officers and many distinguished guests in the packed Hall, that was an unmatched honor. A partial
explanation, of course, was its recognition of you having been “Mr. Glee Club” as a cadet. But more, it was in appreciation
of a man and his dedication to West Point, the Army, his family and classmates. And the next day you and I spent
several hours together traveling to and from West Point for the other Bicentennial festivities as well as visiting many
memorable places from our past. Several times you recalled the tribute you had received the night before as being the
finest you had ever received. While that may be true for you, Bill, one of my finest tributes has been that Bill
Heiberg is my classmate and friend.
— Jay McCann
Although we had less contact in the years that followed graduation, you have always remained a
very sensitive and thoughtful individual—a true friend. In the best tradition of many before us in the "Long Gray
Line," you have demonstrated an extraordinary degree of courage in combating your disease. You have given us all an
example of how to maintain a great attitude in the face of severe adversity. God Bless you, Bill Heiberg.
— Dick Jackson
Bill, I have always respected you for what you are…a man of unquestionable integrity who has
spent a lot of his time doing for and helping others. Your battle against the dreaded disease cancer speaks for itself
about your courage and perseverance. Heaven is full of those people with the character traits and love of others that you
possess. Carol Jean wants you to know that you are included in her prayers as well as mine in the days ahead. God bless
and strengthen you as you go forward. Your friend,
— John R. MacLean
I am lucky to have known you, a little bit as a cadet and much more since the 35th reunion.
Ever since plebe year I kept hearing about this classmate named Heiberg. All the comments were good, and I always was
looking for a chance to meet you. And when I finally did meet you, you were a friend immediately. At the 40th class reunion
I had the honor of getting to talk with one of the most courageous people I could ever meet. You are and always have been
a leader…upbeat, positive, understanding, a "good guy." My message to you today, Bill, is that I am disappointed
that I couldn't have known you sooner. But that in my mind, you are an icon of what a cadet, officer, and man should be.
My thoughts and prayers are for and with you.
— Mike Brady
At our recent 40th Reunion, I was "privileged" to be riding with you in the
handicap van as we made our way from event to event. I could not help being struck by, nor shall I ever forget,
your concern for and assistance to those needing extra help. We shared a lot of stories that weekend and I got to know
better a real hero of the Long Grey Line and Class of 61 who I had only known casually before. My prayers and
best wishes to you, Bill!
— Tom Magness
Hi, Bill! I enjoyed our visit at the end of the 40th reunion, the breakfast Sunday morning. You came over to our
(Paul's and my) table and chatted awhile. I want you to know that you have been to me, always, even when I was a new
bride and didn't even know you, a big name in my life. It was obvious to me that Paul thought the world of you. He often
talked of the dinner he had at your parents' home. As a small town guy from Orlando (when it was just a small town) you
represented to him the very top. But the predominant impression, I think, you had in his mind was that of an intelligent,
focused, principled man, a friend that he could count on. Our three sons were entertained at many family dinners by the
stories of Bill Heiberg, "Ranger buddy." As for me, Bill, the most poignant memory I have of us
together was the night Paul and I had our first party as newlyweds—Country Club apartments in Killeen, remember? Paul
got entirely drunk, the only time I can remember (and we've been married 37 years) that he was drunk. You helped me
carry him to bed when the party was over. Thank you for that, Bill. You were his friend in need, indeed. Ha! We love you, Bill.
God bless you! Love,
— Mollie Palmer
We don’t know each other well, but I learned from others that we are brothers in Christ. Mary and I spoke to you briefly
in the hallway at our 40th reunion. I remembered you as a leader of our class and a star man. As I consider your
circumstances I am filled with emotion. . . . God bless you, Bill.
— Dick Thompson
Bill, you were a bachelor when you did your tour with us in Schwaebisch Gmuend, Germany. You spent a lot of time at our
house and were great to our children who called you Uncle Bill. The Christmas of ’63, before we rotated to the States in Jan.
‘64, you and Bob Deihl spent the whole day with us from early morning to evening. You hung a champagne cork on our tree and
to this day we hang it on our tree every year. What a wonderful memento! Also when you came back to the States to Ft. Sill,
you came for dinner on May 1st, 1965. I was pregnant with our fourth and right in the middle of dinner I went into labor.
Gordon asked you to time my pains while Gordon gave the kids a bath. The expression on Bill's face was priceless! You then
went to your apartment and came back with cokes, etc. so you could baby-sit while Gordon took me to the hospital. You also
babysat at your apartment with the kids while Gordon visited me in the hospital. Kelly, 2 years old at the time, said,
“Nice pool, Uncle Bill!” and jumped in the deep end. You related how the whole place was in a panic and got her out and
wrapped her in a blanket. When Louisa and you had your first child, Louisa said you kept saying while she was in labor,
"That's not how Mary Lou did it." Thanks heavens she had a sense of humor about it. Bill, you are a wonderful
person and friend to our family. How lucky we are to know you! Love ya, Bill
— Mary Lou and Gordon Alvadj and family
I was diagnosed with advanced tongue-base cancer of the nasty type in January 2001 and just before chemo began, Al
Wells notified the Class of my situation. The following outpouring of support from Classmates was overwhelming, and,
as I recall, the first one I heard from was you. And I heard again and again from you throughout my treatment. Your
encouragement and advice and especially your own personal example on how to handle this awful disease made the battle so
much more manageable for me. You may recall at the reunion during the Class meeting that I made an announcement telling
the Class how important it is to grip hands and support each other in difficult times. I also said how important and
meaningful was the support I got during my battle, and I was referring specifically to you, Bill, when I said that.
Fortunately I was able to talk with you several times during the reunion. I was glad for that opportunity to thank you for
helping me and others.
— Hank Van Gorder
Your long and painful struggle with this insidious disease has been an inspiration to all
who have come in contact with you. Your positive attitude, your prayerful manner, and your strong belief in Our Lord,
Jesus Christ have helped many a person recover from the despair that can accompany such a disease. Just the other night,
during our long telephone conversation, never once did I detect in your voice a weakening of your resolve to fight on.
Instead, I find in you that which I find in the words of Reverend Thomas Foy:
One little prayer ascending from a man bowed low in prayer
Can pierce the highest heavens and bring down blessings rare.
Where two or three are gathered, we have it on God's word
That He is in the midst of them, and their prayer is surely heard.
Then let us pray together the greatest prayer, God's own—
Father, who art in Heaven, we cry in suppliant tone.
Forgive us all of our trespasses, Thy holy will be done,
Thy name we'll spread in every clime till all the fold is one.
Give us this day our daily bread, temptations keep at bay –
And strength will come with unity, when all together we pray.
We know that you feel the POWER OF PRAYER and that you thank all of your friends and
classmates for their loving and prayerful support. We know too that you are especially thankful for Louisa
and her almost daily visits, and that you are so very proud of those three fantastic children who will all soon to be
wed. And, of course, you know that we are all with you. Warm regards from your friend and classmate in Cocoa
— Ron Hannon
I first met you, Bill, as a plebe on the squash team. And though you were in one of those flanker
companies…D-2…and I was in the M-1 runt company, we were both field artillery so our paths crossed many times over the years.
But a bond of friendship developed and congealed quickly in the last couple of years as we worked with our 1961 web site
administration. Your counsel and suggestions for the web site have been invaluable in making our web site not
only outstanding, but also in insuring that it lives up to our class motto—“Second to None!” I have been impressed with
your brain power and zest for life since cadet days…but in recent years I must certainly list “courage” among your many
outstanding attributes as you fiercely and unfailingly battle your cancer. You are certainly one for the books…and I’m sure
any doctor who has seen you in the last decade is still standing there scratching his head. The most thrilling thing to me,
however, has been watching you grow spiritually as you have come to know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. Of all the
things you’ve learned in books and manuals and classes and life itself—none can compare in importance to coming to
know the saving grace of the Lord who has written your name in the eternal book of life. So you are now not only my brother
in the Corps, but also my brother in the Lord. Outstanding! As I pondered those things I wanted to tell you…to let you know
just how much you mean to me…it occurred to me that there are many people who might like to do the same. As you can see from
the many “tributes” in this booklet, I was pretty much on the mark. I hope you have enjoyed reading all of these great
little pieces. It reminds me of that great old Christmas film It’s a Wonderful Life when that old angel
Clarence showed George Baxter just what life would have been like without him. So also would our lives have been dull by
comparison had William Lytle Heiberg not contributed his special touch to each of us! Barbara and I cherish your
friendship and are grateful for your touching our lives.
— John and Barbara Neiger
Bill…These Tributes have been
offered by some of your many friends from various stages of your life and are
just a small indication of how special you are to so many.
We want you to know that we are
all better for having known, and been touched in special ways by, “William Lytle
Special thanks to Pat Hoy who
contributed greatly to this tome by volunteering to be the Heiberg Tribute
Editor. We took a little literary liberty to adjust wording so it would “go with
the flow,” but we did not change the essence of the wonderful things these
people have said to you.
And more special thanks to Sam
Weiss who will be posting these Tributes on your Profile section of the
1961 Web site.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I
have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness,
which the Lord,
the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day….
Click below if you have not downloaded the PhotoParade Player to your PC
Download PhotoParade Player
Click below to get a PhotoParade of pictures taken at the Tribute presentation.