Virgil Heggen Obituary

Virgil D. Heggen
Virgil D. Heggen

May 3, 1927 - September 2, 2014
Born in Alleman, IA
Resided in Ankeny, IA


Virgil Duane Heggen, 87, formerly of Des Moines and Alleman, died peacefully on September 2 at Sunnyview Care Center in Ankeny. Virgil was born to Nora and Henry Heggen of Alleman, March 2, 1927.

Virgil will always be remembered as the gentle, kind person who not only worked to provide for his loved ones, but also kept a cheerful attitude and sense of humor that earned him many friends over the years.

Born in Alleman, he met Elizabeth Alliss at a basketball game in their teens. They were married between his military tours of duty, in December 1945.

He served on the SS Berry Victory and the SS Guatemala Victory as part of the Merchant Marines in WWII, and worked in many capacities afterward: at the John Deere plant in Ankeny, the Roosevelt Barbershop in Des Moines, and, interestingly, as a painter of novelty signs at a local manufacturer. His longest position was at the Flynn Dairy creamery (later known as Prairie Farms and Robertson), where he worked until his retirement.

Virgil was perhaps most in his element in two places—the foremost being Clear Lake, Iowa, where he brought his family to vacation for many summers. His favorite pastime was boating, and for many years he and his family enjoyed cruises, fishing, and trips to the beach in his various boats.

His other favored locale was Weaver's Needle, Arizona, just outside of Phoenix, near the Superstition Mountains. Liz and he enjoyed many warm winters there together at their double-wide, as did he and Teri Taylor after Liz's passing.

He would likely have described his own temperament as "easy-going", preferring the company of those who enjoyed an easy joke or a humorous aside. The "Peanuts" strip and cartoons always made him laugh. He relaxed to football, Ellen DeGeneres, and movies on cable. He loved thick novels, favoring John Grisham, Stephen King, and Dan Brown. Grandkids will surely remember him for the things he did together with them—fishing, reading stories, or just cuddling on his lap. A lesser-known talent of Virgil's was candy making—at Christmas, he could be found boiling up a batch of made-from-scratch caramels and rolling them individually in wax paper, or setting a pan of homemade fudge on the windowsill to cool, for the kids to enjoy while watching "The Wizard of Oz" on TV. (As for himself, he liked to take a square of fudge and squeeze it between two saltines because "the salt cuts the sweet"--a miniature philosophy in itself.)

Virgil Heggen—husband, dad, grampa, friend—will always be missed. He himself said he'd had a long and good life, and that, "as things seem to go, it all works out all right in the end."

He is survived by son Rick Heggen of Des Moines, daughter Linda (Brian) Law of Alleman, and son Mark Heggen (Sarah Oltrogge) of Des Moines; grandchildren Jeff Heggen, Matt Heggen, Jamie Sylvester, Kate Foddrill, Madison Heggen, Erica Heggen, various locations; great-grandchildren Thomas Heggen of Ames, Hayley, Macie, and Todd Sylvester, of Norwalk. He was preceded in death by his wife Elizabeth A. Heggen, and grandson Timothy Yates Heggen.




Funeral Home
Grandview Park Funeral Home
3211 Hubbell Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50317