Robert W. Heinz, 89, of Hendersonville, died Wednesday, September 30, at the Elizabeth House. A gentle, quiet man and natural born leader, he had become a follower of Jesus at a young age and lived his faith throughout his life. He loved God and his country. Born in Elkhart, Indiana, he served in the U.S. Air Force from 1942 to 1946 as a meteorologist. He graduated from Perdue University in 1950 where he received his BS in Chemical Engineering. His dream as a young engineer was to work in an industry that would help feed the world through phosphate and the fertilizer it created. He traveled extensively, designing phosphate plants in India, Mexico, Canada and Norway. During his career he was greatly loved and respected in the Florida phosphate family. He was awarded Engineer of the Year in 1984 by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. He retired as Manager and Vice-President of Royster Co., Mulberry, Florida, in 1986. He admired and supported the mission of the Salvation Army and was an active member of the Rotary Clubs in Florida and Colorado, as he shared their world view of helping others. For eight years following retirement, he and his wife traveled the greater part of the U.S. in their RV. The longest and most difficult journey was driving from Florida to Alaska for the 50th anniversary of the building of the Alaskan Highway. He was a devout Christian and loved his church, Pinecrest Presbyterian and considered it an honor to serve as church elder. In May of 2007 he went with Honor Air to visit the WW II Memorial in Washington, D.C. He considered it to be one of the most moving experiences of his life.
Mr. Heinz was preceded in death by his daughter, Janeen, who died in October of 2002. He leaves behind his wife of 64 years, Virginia and his faithful old dog, Duke; two sisters, Willadean Larsen and Violet Swartz and two brothers, Marvin and Beryl Bowlly, all of Elkhart and South Bend, Indiana; and his two dear friends, Joanne Rogers and Danny Brennan, who brought him great joy after the passing of his daughter.