Father Louis S. Heitz, 81, of Cridersville, died at 9:32 a.m. Friday, Feb. 15, 2013, at St. Ritaâ€™s Medical Center in Lima, surrounded by loving family.
Born Nov. 5, 1931, in Fort Jennings, he was the son of Rose (Stauterman) and Otto Heitz, who preceded him in death.
He is survived by three sisters, Mary (Virgil) German, Joan (George) Ross, and Betty Grace; a sister in-law, Dorothy Heitz; 21 nieces and nephews; 47 great-nieces and nephews; and 28 great-great-nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by a sister, Catherine Heitz; three brothers, Robert Heitz, Frank Heitz and Ralph Heitz; and a brother in-law, Oris Grace.
Father Heitz attended Minor Seminary at St. Meinrads in Meinrad, Ind. and Major Seminary at Immaculate Conception in Conception, Missouri. Father was ordained on April 6, 1957 in the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Conception, Mo.
Father Heitz had been a resident of Otterbein Independent Living in Cridersville for the past 10 years where he continued his priestly ministry saying Mass for residents who were fondly known as his parishioners. Father also continued to administer the Sacraments of the Catholic Church. During this time, niece Jean (Steve) Hull and nephew David (Debbie) Heitz became an integral part of his daily life allowing Father to continue his service to the Church.
The following were Father Heitzâ€™s Church appointments: April 24, 1957, Assistant Pastor at St. Thomas Aquinas in Lafayette, Ind. - June 12, 1957, Assistant Pastor at Saint Ann, in Lafayette, Ind. - May 28, 1963, Director of Catholic Charities - July 15, 1966, Administrator at St. Joseph in Delphi, Ind. - September 4, 1974, Pastor at St Joseph in Elwood, Ind. - August 1, 1981, Pastor at St. Lawrence in Muncie, Ind. - July 1, 1996, Pastor at St. Joseph in Winchester, Ind..
On Wednesday, his body will lie in state at his home parish, St. Johnâ€™s Evangelist Church, 331 E. 2nd St., Delphos, beginning at 9 a.m. Immediately following is a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m., with the Rev. Bishop William Higi, of Lafayette, Ind., officiating and the Rev. Michael McKinley of St. Joseph, Winchester, Ind. as homilist. Burial will follow at The Ressurection Cemetery in Delphos.
Friends may call from 2 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Harter & Schier Funeral Home, 209 W. 3rd St., Delphos. Rosary will be at 7:30 p.m.
Memorial contributions will be used to say mass for Father Louis.