Richard Eugene Heiney
Richard Eugene Heiney, 78, of Greenwood, an avid gardener, research chemist and civic leader, died Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013.
Dick is survived by his daughters, Sally Ann Heiney, and her husband, Kirk Ross, of Chapel Hill, N.C., and Emily Joan Young and her husband, Brad Young, of Indianapolis; his sisters-in-law, Charlene Heiney of Morgantown and Linda (Henry) Boeldt and her husband, Mike Boeldt, of Yuba City, Calif.; and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Sally Anne; and his brothers, Keith and James Heiney.
Dick was born in Huntington on March 3, 1934, the child of Lannerd and Zelma (Overholtz) Heiney. He grew up in Franklin, where his father was employed as a butcher. Dick spent many fond summers working and playing on the family farm outside Huntington.
He graduated from Franklin High School in 1951, where he lettered in football. Dick received his Bachelor of Arts in chemistry from Franklin College in 1955 and a master’s degree in physical biochemistry from Northwestern University in 1960. At Franklin College, he met Sally Anne Henry of Greenwood and fell in love. They were married in 1955.
After graduation from Northwestern, Dick was hired as a research chemist at Eli Lilly and Co. in Indianapolis, and the family moved to Greenwood.
At Eli Lilly, Dick worked on several key projects, including research to perfect the gelatin capsule manufacturing process and the development of better forms of insulin.
Dick was involved in civic life in Greenwood. He was a charter member of the Friends of the Greenwood Library and joined the Greenwood Kiwanis Club, where he served in state and local offices.
In Greenwood, Dick began his lifelong involvement in local elections. He was a proud Democrat and admirer of Thomas Jefferson; he compiled a collection of index cards of Jefferson quotes.
For more than four decades, Dick was a tireless advocate of the democratic process, registering voters, passing out fliers and campaigning for himself door-to-door.
He was appointed to Greenwood’s board of zoning appeals and the planning commission in 1976 and worked to make Greenwood a better place to live. He was elected to the city council in 1979 and led the effort to create a police commission to improve professionalism and reduce political influence and fought to balance tax policy with the city’s need to grow. He championed the renovation of the Polk Community Building and improvements to the public library.
After a close electoral defeat in 1983, he went on to serve 11 years on the board of public works and safety during the expansion of city services, parks and fire protection. He advocated for better sanitation systems, better sidewalks, curbside recycling and the establishment of the Greenwood Farmers Market, a project that as a longtime gardener was close to his heart.
He grew tomatoes and all sorts of organic vegetables and was an early vendor of the market, where he was respected for his garlic as well as his organizing skills and advocacy for the market.
He enjoyed cooking and preparing meals alongside Sally Anne in their home on Greenwood’s west side.
Dick ran for city council one last time in 2003 and managed to knock on almost every door in District 2 to advocate for his views on responsibility and openness in government.
He continued to weigh in on civic issues and write letters to the editor until his last days. He will be missed by all who knew him.
A celebration of life will be at 3 p.m. Saturday at Wilson St. Pierre Funeral Service and Crematory, Greenwood Chapel, 481 W. Main St. Friends may call from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday and from noon until the time of services Saturday at the funeral home.
Memorial contributions may be made to Friends of Greenwood Public Library, 310 S. Meridian St., Greenwood, IN 46143; and or the Greenwood Farmers Market, c/o Jeff Allen, 809 Cyprus North, Greenwood, IN 46143.