Shelby  County  Indiana

Heffner / Heifner

The  Topeka  Journal
Topeka, Kansas
July, 2005
          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 Baptist Church.
[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 daughter-in-law, Melody.
          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 tolerance.
          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
23 Jan 1996
          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.
          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

Obituary Index       Main Page

To contact researchers listed above, use the  Surname Index