William M. “Bill” Heister, 84, passed from this life on Wednesday, October 23, 2019. Funeral services will be held 2:00pm on Monday, October 28, 2019 at Zion Lutheran Church, Stillwater, OK. Interment will follow at Elm Grove Cemetery. Strode Funeral Home and Cremation is in charge of the arrangements.
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Bill was born on September 15, 1935, in Perkins, Oklahoma, the last of seven children born to Meredith Merit “Mert” Heister and Ora Ellen Emerson Heister. He grew up and attended school in Perkins through his junior year and then graduated from Stillwater High School in 1953. Bill served two years in the U.S. Army, before returning to Stillwater where he ran a service station, and earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Oklahoma State University in 1970. Bill married Jean Lewis on November 30, 1963, at Zion Lutheran Church in Stillwater, Oklahoma, where they remained faithful members. Bill and Jean were happily married for almost 56 years and had three children, Kris, Jan and Mike. He retired in 1997 after more than 25 years with the Oklahoma State Department of Vocational and Technical Education.
William Meredith “Bill” Heister was a much-loved son, brother, uncle, son-in-law, dad, father-in-law, and grandfather, and a cherished friend to many. He loved children, especially his kids and grandkids, and they gravitated toward him. He was personable and kind; he had boundless generosity and would give you the food off of his plate (literally) or the shirt off his back. Once he knew you liked a specific treat (doughnuts, spicy pretzels or coke floats), he made sure you got it frequently. He enjoyed riding his motorcycle, meeting his friends and former co-workers for coffee, and having frequent family dinners.
Bill was witty and always had lots of funny sayings, jingles and one-liners that his kids fondly repeat. He never met a stranger and had a nickname for everyone, which may or may not have any relationship to that person’s actual name. An avid shadetree mechanic, he enjoyed buying and fix-up cars. He had an affinity for watching all sports, especially the Oklahoma State Cowboys for which he was a vocal armchair coach.
Bill is survived by his wife, Jean; two daughters, Kris and her husband Kevin Fowler, Jan and her husband Chip Eames; one son, Mike and his wife Layla Heister; grandchildren, Anna Fowler, Will Fowler, Tyler Eames, Taryn Eames, Malak Almotairi, Adam Heister and Zayn Heister. Bill is also survived by one brother, Ed Heister, and many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Bill’s name to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at or the Stillwater Humane Society at hspets.org.