Doris Heitz

Memorial service

4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Madeira-Silverwood Presbyterian Church
8000 Miami Ave
Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Obituary of Doris Heitz

Doris Lee Heitz


Doris Lee (nee Harney) Heitz passed away at the age of 85 on May 11, 2018; nine days after the passing of Richard, her beloved husband of 63 years. She is survived by her children Diane Nichols, Donna Casey (Gene), and David (Teresa). Doris was a loving Grandma to Chad (Bethany) Nichols, Andy Nichols, David Nichols, Brian Casey, Chris Casey, and Rachel Heitz, and great-grandmother to Oliver Nichols and Emery Nichols. She is also survived by Doug Nichols, her son in law of 31 years and her caring nieces and nephews.


Doris was born at home in Cincinnati to Richard and Grace Harney on July 29, 1932, where she joined sister Shirley. As a young girl she was involved in Girl Scouts and was later a majorette, but her favorite childhood memories were of trips to her grandparent’s farm in Sunman, Indiana. After graduating from Deer Park High School in 1950 Doris took a fortuitous job as a Secretary at Interchemical Corporation (later BASF/Inmont.) At the office Christmas party in 1953, she met a management trainee named Richard “Dick” Heitz who had just returned from the Army. They were married the following November at Silverton Presbyterian Church.


She lived her life to serve - her husband and family, her community, and her church. As a young mother, Doris was involved with Madeira City Schools in the PTA, Planning Commission, and bond issues and levies. She was a faithful servant of God and was very involved in Christian Education at Madeira Presbyterian Church teaching Sunday school. Summers she helped with the church’s Vacation Bible School and volunteered at a bible camp for special needs children. In the 1960’s and 70’s, she hosted craft workshops in their home to create ornaments and decorations to be sold at the church’s annual Christmas Bazaar, which she also chaired. Doris served as a Deacon and an Elder at the church, which eventually merged with the church she and Dick were married in to become Madeira-Silverwood Presbyterian Church.


In 1968, Doris piled their three children in a wagon and walked a mile up Miami Avenue to put money down for a swim club to be built, making the Heitzes charter members of Madeira Swim and Tennis Club. Forty years later Doris was still an active member as a Polar Bear, swimming laps in the early morning before the club opened. Doris was filled with endless energy and aside from school and church activities enjoyed gardening, painting, tennis, bible study and book club throughout her life. At one point she took belly dancing lessons, and with a group of friends took annual weekend canoe trips. 


After working for several years as a travel consultant, she planned wonderful trips both nationally and internationally with Dick and their friends. Doris also organized regular NICAHE (NIchols, CAsey, and HEitz) trips that she and Dick treated their children and grandchildren to, which created countless family memories.


She volunteered at Hospice of Cincinnati and Madeira-Silverwood Presbyterian Church, and for her 80th birthday in 2012 asked her entire family to volunteer at Matthew 25 Ministries in lieu of a party. She knitted hats for babies and prayer cloths for those in need. She was there for many with a phone call or a meal, and always with a prayer.


She was a loyal friend to many, a dedicated volunteer, a warmhearted and generous daughter, mother, aunt, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Above all, Doris was devoted to her husband, spending the last decade of her life as his main caregiver when his health began to decline. Her family takes comfort at the thought of the couple together again, in a place where Doris can share her never-ending compassion for others eternally.


A memorial service will be held Wednesday, May 16 at 4:00 pm at Madeira-Silverwood Presbyterian Church, 8000 Miami Avenue in Madeira with a reception in the church’s Fellowship Hall following. Memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Cincinnati, 644 Linn Street, Suite 1026, Cincinnati, OH 45203 or , Matthew 25 Ministries, 11060 Kenwood Road, Cincinnati, OH (45242), or Madeira-Silverwood Presbyterian Church, 8000 Miami Avenue, Cincinnati, OH (45243).

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