Shelby County Indiana
Heffner / Heifner
The Topeka Journal
Robert Eugene "Bob" Heifner, 77, owner and operator of Heifner Nursery of Topeka, quietly passed from this life on Wednesday evening, July 6, 2005, at Sturmont-Vail Regional Health Center with family and friends by his side.
He was born July 5, 1928,
in Thomas Hill, Mo., the third child of Isaac Aud Elmont Heifner
and Willie Mae Farris Heifner. Raised in and around Moberly,
Mo., Mr. Heifer was the valedictorian of his high school class but gave up the
honor to a fellow classmate. He moved to Topeka in 1946 to work at Sarber
Nursery on S.W. 10th Street.
Fulfilling a dream, in
1952 he bought 3-1/2 acres of ground on Rural Route No. 8 (now S.W. 6th and
Fairlawn) and married his sweetheart, Justine Inez Haubold; a wedding
which was delayed until Aug.8, 1952, due to The Flood of '51. A small green house was
built to propagate evergreens for planting and by 1959 the property was planted
with the evergreens ready for sale which were later dug, balled and wrapped in
burlap at night, and sold wholesale.
On July 1, 1964, Heifner
Nursery and Garden center was opened at its present location, 4704 S.W. 6th St.
Mr. Heifner served as
past president of the Western Association of Nurserymen, governor from Kansas to
the American Association of Nurserymen, served on the board of directors of
Meade Park Garden Center of Topeka, The Topeka Chamber of Commerce, the Better
Business Bureau of NE Kansas and three times as chairman of deacons at First
Southern Baptist Church, where he served the Lord for 57 years.
He originated the Kansas
Garden Show and was chairman and organizer since 1976.
Mr. Heifner was preceded
in death by his parents; a brother, Howard Heifner; a sister, Helen
Johnson; and a son-in-law, Robert "RJ" Long.
He is survived by his
wife, Justine; daughter, Brenda Long-Rogers and her
husband Charles Rogers; granddaughter, Kelly Long, and
grandson, Charley Long, both of Lee's Summit, Mo.; son Darrell
Eugene Heifner, Topeka, and son and daughter-in-law, Leland and Melody
Doole Heifner, Topeka.
Mr. Heifner also is
survived by friends and family around the world, at Heifner Nursery and First
Southern Baptist Church.
Mr. Heifner was
cremated. A memorial service celebrating his life will be at 4 p.m.
Sunday, July 10, at First Southern Baptist Church in Topeka. A reception
will follow in Fellowship Hall.
A memorial fund has been
established for the "Eternal Impact" Building Fund at First Southern
[Bob Heifner was the great great grandson of Conrad Heifner, buried
in Shelby County, Indiana.]
Topeka garden mogul dies
Longtime Topeka nursery
and garden center owner Bob Heifner died Wednesday evening at
a Topeka hospital follow a frief illness. He had turned 77 on Tuesday. Several family members
were at his side when he died. Among them were Heifner's wife of nearly 53
years, Justine, son Leland Heifner and his
Family members said
Heifner took ill on his birthday and died the next day from complications
related to a twisted bowel. He had his colon removed several years ago,
they said. "He never
complained," Leland Heifner said. "He had a very high pain
Family members recalled
how he took no anaesthesia when having dental work performed and once popped his
own shoulder back into place after he dislocated it.
In 1952, Heifner bought
3-1/2 acres of land near S.W. 6th and Fairlawn and by 1959 had planted
evergreens on the property, which were sold wholesale.
On July 1, 1964, he
opened Heifner Nursery and Garden Center at 4707 S.W. 6th. He later became
a leader in state, national and international nursery organizations and started
the Kansas Garden Show in 1976, which is each February at the Kansas Expocentre.
Heifner also served on
the Topeka Chamber of Commerce board of directors.
Although he had some
medical problems in recent years, Heifner continued to work at his nursery and
garden center and was on the job last Saturday.
"He's up there in
heaven," said his wife, Justine, 74. "Melody said he's already
putting bushes at the gate and driving the loader down the golden road."
Contributed by Jane Wisdom
The Shelbyville News
Barbara I. Heffner, 60, Shelbyville, died Monday morning at the Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis. She was born March 14, 1934, in Shelbyville, the daughter of Maurice and Frances (Fills) [sic Sills] Pope.
23 Jan 1996
She married Robert Heffner on March 11, 1953, and he survives. Mrs. Heffner worked for Wellman Thermal Systems Corp. for 33 years and retired in 1994. Other survivors include three sons, Hal Pope and David Heffner, both of Shelbyville, and Robert J. Heffner, Bloomington; a brother, Ted Pope, Shelbyville; eight grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Friends may call from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday and from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday at Murphy Funeral Services. Services will be at 2 p.m. Thursday in the funeral home. The Rev. Dennis Hirschauer will officiate. Burial will be in Lewis Creek Baptist Cemetery.
Contributed by Phyllis Fleming and Betty Kitchen
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