Cancer accomplished what flipping the 420 and falling off the lift did not. Born in Atlantic, Iowa, on March 15, 1954 to Byard and Anna Mae (Brown) Heiken, Patrick J. Heiken, 64, of Iowa City, died peacefully November 2, 2018 in the comfort of his home after a courageous battle with extensive small cell lung cancer.
Graduating from Atlantic High School in 1972, Pat worked briefly on the family farm, followed by various jobs throughout Iowa and Cheyenne, Wyoming, sales being his forte. He moved back to Iowa in the early 80's, beginning his 35 year career with Crystal Clear Water and his 30 year marriage to Debbie Weber from Anita, Iowa. Serving as route delivery driver and sales person for Crystal Clear Water in Des Moines, Pat was fondly referred to by many, himself included, as "Waterman". Pat spent his last decades as co-owner/operator of Crystal Clear Water in Iowa City/North Liberty until his retirement in 2016. He considered his co-workers family, and no one ever worked "for" him, but rather, "with" him.
A private family ceremony will be held at the Heiken Family Farm, followed by a public Visitation Sunday, November 18 from 3 - 6 pm at the Cass County Community Center; Cass County Fair Grounds, 805 W. 10th Street, Atlantic, Iowa. In addition, there will be a Visitation Thursday, November 29 from 4 - 7 pm at Gay & Ciha Funeral Home, 2720 Muscatine Ave, Iowa City. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the University of Iowa Dance Marathon (a group that does far more than dance, and was very near and dear to Pat's heart) or Iowa City Hospice.
Pat's family includes his wife, Debbie; son, Chad Reed (Dana), daughter, Shanna Moore (Nathan); grandchildren, Cole Davis, Megan Davis, Aidan Davis, Jaxon Davis, and Carter Moore; brothers, Charles Heiken (Sharyl), Richard Heiken (Twila), Doug Heiken (Mary), and Thom Heiken (Vicki); sisters, Mary Boyd (Jim) and Amy Johnson (Russ); his mother-in-law, Lyla Weber; brother-in-law, Danny Weber; 13 nieces and nephews; 2 aunts, Virginia Britton and Ruth Brown; 1 uncle, Charles Mortensen; and more cousins than he could count. Pat was preceded in death by his parents and several aunts, uncles and cousins.
Pat loved his wife, family, extended family, friends and anyone else he came into contact with, but his grandkids held a special place in his heart. Learning life lessons or horsing around, everything was always more fun with Papa Pat. From the 70's on, his standard mode of dress was a pair of Levi 501s and a vest of some sort, always a half-eaten Hot Tamale, a couple pieces of licorice and a paper towel in his pocket. Teaching himself the ins and outs of the Stock Market, Pat loved time spent with CNBC and his laptop, Sybil on his knee. He had a knack for remembering everyone's name, birthday and tidbits about their lives. There wasn't a waitress, referee, teacher, polling place worker or janitor he didn't acknowledge, always thanking them for their time, contribution or service. He loved hearing everyone's story, the first thing out of his mouth usually being, "Where are you from?". Pat saw value not only in people, but in every single thing he ran across. If there was a MacGyver Olympics, he would walk away with the Gold, as he could take a pile of nothing and make it work. Always on the look-out, he found treasures of all kinds, heart rocks being his specialty. He held out hope of someday running across one of his dad's "Help Stamp Out Republicans" stickers he helped distribute on family outings as a kid. Pat loved music, hot springs, Native American artifacts, birds (especially hawks and bald eagles), turquoise, petrified wood, the History Channel, tractors, chicken gizzards, the Stock Market, baking pizza in his self-made clay oven, tossing a steak on hot coals in his woodstove, traveling in our little RV and the value of insulation, just to name a few things.
In usual Pat fashion, he did not want his services to be all about him. Therefore, in the hope of saving others the devastation of lung cancer, we're promoting early detection via the relatively new Lung Cancer Screening program (Low Dose CT), available in most areas. Contact your physician or medical facility for details. It just might save your life.
Everyone asks "Is there anything I can do?" Yes, there is. Pause on November 18 at 1pm and flash Pat's signature peace sign to the heavens. He would like that. But more importantly, continue Pat's legacy of genuine kindness. Build people up instead of tearing them down. See the good instead of the bad. Reach out, be inclusive, be kind. In other words, Be a Pat!