David Joseph Heese
November 19, 1942 – November 28, 2022
Preceded in death by: Parents, Leo and Gertrude Heese; brothers and sisters: Mike Heese, Janie Sutton, Jim Heese, and Ann Coffman; nephew. John Coffman.
Survived by wife, Susie; daughters, Michelle (Dan) McElroy, Deb Heese, Diane (Mike) Chizek, and DeeDee (Jim) Jeter; grandchildren: Nicole, Carissa, Alex, Tony and Stacee; great-granddaughter, Riley.
David was born in Omaha on November 19, 1942, to Leo and Gerry Heese. David was the second of five children. He graduated from Cathedral High School. David’s High School yearbook Quote says: “Big Davy” is hoping to become a first-class mechanic or electrical engineer, otherwise a professional bum. Davy enjoys hunting and fishing when he has time. His favorite subject is girls. Davy was honored for his performance in the Safe-Teens car, Road-e-o. After High School, he worked in the Shoe Department at Brandeis.
In 1966 he became an Omaha Police Officer. He wore that uniform proudly. After several years in a cruiser, he became a plain clothes detective and served in that role for 6 years. He returned to a cruiser on street patrol, which was his true passion. He had a special touch in defusing a situation and a keen eye to detail. While on duty, he was hit by a truck while directing traffic at an accident scene, and that left him with a broken leg that took almost 6 months to heal. His leg was never the same following that accident. He never complained about how much his leg hurt and it never stopped him from doing the job he loved. He received many accommodations from the Mayor and Chief of Police. He retired after 27 years.
David met Susie after both their mothers set them up when Susie visited Omaha to attend the horse races at Ak-Sar-Ben with her parents. Both their fathers worked for the same company but in different states. Both sets of parents had been good friends for years and each knew their kids. They dated long distance for a year with David traveling to Kansas City every six weeks or so for a long weekend. They wrote letters daily and spoke on the phone as much as they could. It turns out David is a romantic. He kept a shoebox full of all the letters Susie wrote him. In 1971 David and Susie married. With that marriage, Susie and Michelle completed our family. David always got comments on “you have 4 girls, oh wow, that’s lot of girls, any boys”? We grew up in a house in the Westside area that had only one bathroom. The girls knew, if you did not get into the bathroom before dad got in there, you were out of luck.
Growing up we spent summers at our cabin (which David built) in Cedar Creek. David loved to drive his boat and teach the girls how to water ski and enjoy the water. The family took yearly summer vacations. Six people jammed into a Pontiac Bonneville, with no cell phones or tablets. We played the license plate game. David would always drive the backroads so we could see the landscape and not miss a thing and we only stopped when dad had to stop. One trip to Wyoming found us in a snowstorm in the middle of July. After the girls all married and moved away, David and Susie were fortunate enough to travel. They are lucky enough to say they have visited all fifty states, forty-nine of which was done by car and a paper map. He hated to fly, always said, “you’re missing the scenery”! They would get in the car and just drive, never with an agenda. Where they ended up at the end of the day is where they spent the night.
David was the go-to fix it man. He remodeled the house several times, never completing one project before starting the next. An addition to the house was added, but prior to the construction, David fell off the roof preparing to demolish the deck. Two daughters stepped up to demo the deck, happily swinging sledgehammers. The remodel included two new bathrooms, which the girls laughed about since it was done after they had moved out. David was known to help neighbors with what ever needed to be done, from yard work to car repair and small construction projects. One project found him on a ladder trimming a tree with a chainsaw. He lost his balance and fell while still holding the chain saw. Luckily, he threw it right before hitting the ground.
David loved his dog, Molly. When he took her for walks, with a cigar in his mouth, they would be gone for hours. David stopped and talked to anyone and everyone who was outside. I don’t think there is anyone in the Sunset Hills neighborhood that did not know him or Molly.
David suffered a stroke on April 16, 2021. He never fully recovered, and he and Susie moved into Hillcrest Grand Lodge Assisted Living in September 2021. He received great care; the staff and other residents were drawn to his great personality and presence. He made them laugh daily.
David and Susie were married for 51 years and loved their four daughters, sons in law, five grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.
David passed away peacefully, surrounded by his wife and daughters. His love and spirit will live on, and we will deeply miss him.
VISITATION: Wednesday, December 7th, 10AM, followed by a MEMORIAL SERVICE at 12 noon at the West Center Chapel.
To view a live stream of the service, go to www.heafeyheafey.com and click the “View Live Cast” button at the top of the home page.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Nebraska Humane Society.