Marguerite Heilman Obituary

Marguerite C. Heilman
Marguerite C. Heilman
Marguerite C. Heilman

December 20, 1920 - June 18, 2007
Born in Defiance, Ohio
Resided in West Des Moines, IA
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Marguerite C. Heilman died peacefully in her husband’s arms Monday, June 18, 2007 at the Fountain West Nursing Home. A Celebration of Life Service will be held Friday, June 22 at 3 p.m. at Grace United Methodist Church.

Margo was born December 20, 1920 in Defiance, Ohio. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Capital University, where she also met her husband-to-be, Charles. They married July 23, 1944 and had more than 60 adventure-filled years together.

After moving to Des Moines, Margo earned a Master’s Degree in Church Music from Drake University and served as organist at several churches in Des Moines, including 30 years at the Unitarian Church. She also joined the Des Moines School District as an elementary school librarian and served in several schools in the District before retiring in 1988.

Margo accompanied her husband as his work took him on extended overseas assignments, and always found plenty to keep her occupied. She served as a court recorder for the Japanese War Crimes Trials, joined her three sons as they learned to scuba dive in Eritrea and the Red Sea, rode camels and petted leopards in Egypt, fed wild hyenas with the famed Hyena Man in Ethiopia, and attended tribal dances in a small village in Nigeria. She visited more than 70 countries, once insisting on flying to the remote reaches of Timbuktu by herself “just to say I’ve been there!” Each experience and every person was met with her characteristic openness and appreciation for the many wonders of our world.

Foremost among her interests were word-play and bridge. A daunting Scrabble opponent, she was also a formidable punster. Her literate and insightful humor could bring a laugh out of most situations. She was able to win at bridge long after Alzheimer’s disease had stolen much of the rest of her mind.

A member of the Unitarian Church, Grace United Methodist Church, Treble Clef Music Club, and PEO, Margo loved her life and friends in Des Moines. She is survived by her husband, Charles; sons, Steve (Chris) and Bruce (Kay); daughter, Laurie; and grandchildren Erik, Lesley, Bryan, Sara, Tim, and Leah. She was preceded in death by her parents, her sister, Doris, and her youngest son, Greg.

Open Visitation will be held Thursday, June 21 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Dunn’s Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to the Grace United Church Missions Fund.


Click here to view memorial folder




Dunn's Funeral Home
2121 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50312
Thursday, June 21, 2007
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Memorial Service
Grace United Methodist Church
3700 Cottage Grove
Des Moines, IA US 50311
Friday, June 22, 2007
3:00 PM