Theodore H. Heemstra
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Theodore H. Heemstra
  • February 22, 1928 - May 19, 2016
  • Fort Wayne, Indiana

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Theodore H. Heemstra, 88, passed away Thursday, May 19, 2016, surrounded by his family, at Woodview following his stroke in October 2015. Born February 22, 1928 in Holland, Michigan. He graduated from Purdue University with a chemical engineering degree in 1948 and immediately was called to active duty for the US Army in Watertown Arsenal, CT and Korea. He married a fellow Purdue graduate, Patricia Crouse in 1950. After working for several industrial firms, Ted formed his own engineering company, Chemical Recovery Systems, to design and supply pollution and wastewater treatment systems. He worked at manufacturing sites throughout the Midwest and did not fully retire until 2015. He was an Elder in the Presbyterian Church, USA. Ted supported many causes, but he was most devoted to birding and to the Acres Land Trust. He began birding in the 1960's and traveled worldwide to follow his birding interests, including Antarctica, Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico, Newfoundland, South America, South Pacific, as well as throughout mainland US. He was in the field weekly, leading trips, educating, and participating in annual bird counts. He was President of the Stockbridge Audubon Society, Fort Wayne's chapter of the National Audubon Society. He also served as president of Acres Land Trust and led the acquisition and maintenance of many of their over 80 nature reserves in northeast Indiana and the greater Midwest. Ted is survived by his wife, Pat Heemstra, sister, Nancy Yeager, two sons, Tom of Fayetteville, WV and Bill (Sarah) of Chapel Hill, NC, six grandchildren and many great-grandchildren. The Celebration of Life Ceremony will be 11am Friday, May 27, 2016 at the Chapel in the First Presbyterian Church calling 1 hour prior. Memorials may be made to ACRESLandTrust.org and First Presbyterian Church, Fort Wayne.