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Lillian Heintz



Lillian Helen Heintz, a much-loved and spirited woman and friend to many, has died at the age of 84 of congestive heart failure.

She was born on December 31, 1932 in the small town of Gainford, Alberta, which had been founded by her grandfather, Theodore Skare. His enterprise, the Gainford Hotel, still stands today. The youngest of Karl and Helen Skare’s three children, Lillian was a precocious, imaginative little girl growing up in a pioneer homestead in difficult times. Rheumatic fever forced a lengthy hospitalization for her at the age of six. During the two years that she was bedridden, she completed grades one through four. With her older sister, Shirley and brother Alfred, she worked from an early age to help with family finances but also had adventures completely out of reach to modern children. Skating for miles on Lake Isle, the North shore of which was owned by her Grampa Charlie Doering and the south shore of which was owned by her Grampa Captain Ted, riding lightly-domesticated horses, walking miles to school, she witnessed the end of the Wild West in Alberta. She and Shirley were talented amateur singers who performed at local rodeos.

As a young woman, Lil was always up for adventure of all kinds. Cooking for an oil crew in Alaska, visiting jazz clubs with her musician uncle, exploring the outdoors—she embraced challenge and excitement.

A beauty and a smart dresser, she loved nights out with friends as a young nurse’s aide working in Edmonton. There she met and married Melvin Heintz, a thoroughbred farm manager. While living at Alaskan Stables southeast of Edmonton, the couple’s first two children, Carolyn and Ken, were born. Their youngest, Jody, was born during their first year on their own ranch in 1965. Lillian and Mel were divorced in 1979 but remained an amicable team in their children and grandchildren’s lives.

Always enterprising, she helped her husband run their ranch, taking over when he spent months on the road as a public relations manager for Al Oeming’s wildlife film tours. She was perennially interested in a business opportunity, selling cosmetics and growing raspberries for sale. Lil had always wanted a more demanding career, though, and when her children were in high school, she became a secretary at AGT (Alberta Government Telephones). Her poise and quick mind earned her a place in the management training program.

Lillian Heintz was known for her sense of humor, her deep love of animals, her intelligent, relentlessly acute observations of the world, and her loyalty to her large circle of friends, including the local IODE (Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire).

Missing and loving her forever are her children, Carolyn Higgins (Fred), Ken Heintz, and Jody Heintz; her ten grandchildren, Torie Smoole (Reid), Katie Heintz (Justin Ekdahl), Kenny Heintz, Jr., Eric, Jesse, and Klayton Heintz, Brendan and Tristan Higgins, Madison Heintz (Mark Keller), Emily Heintz; and three great grandchildren. Her family circle included former husband, Melvin and former daughters in law, Darci Heintz and Nadine Heintz. A loving aunt to her fourteen nieces and nephews, she was predeceased by her brother, Alfred Skare; sister, Shirley Willetts; and granddaughter, Alexia Higgins.

A Celebration of Lil’s Life will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, August 4th, 2017 at Connelly McKinley, Edmonton South, 4820 Meridian Street, Edmonton, Alberta. To get direction, please go to the Chapel Locations tab above and choose Edmonton South.

In Loving Memory of
Lillian Heintz
(Maiden: Skare)
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Funeral Service:
Celebration of Life
Friday, August 4, 2017
2:00 PM
Edmonton South Chapel
4820 Meridian Street
Edmonton, AB
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