Harry Heislein, of Roseburg, Oregon, passed away after a valiant battle with pneumonia on Tuesday, October 13, 2015. He was born February 12, 1927, in Rochester, New York, the oldest of three sons, to Harry Philip and Muriel Catherine (Popp) Heislein. Harry grew up in Irondequoit, graduated from Webster High school and from The New York State College of Forestry at Syracuse in 1950. After a brief employment by the New York State Highway Department, he traveled to Oregon for his first assigned employment with the United Stated Forest Service on the Umatilla National Forest in Pendleton. It was there that Harry met his future wife, Leila Beard, and they were married September 7, 1957. They resided in Pendleton until 1959, when Harry was transferred to the Forest Service Region Six office in Portland, OR. In this position, he helped pioneer the computerized design of forest roads for the Pacific Northwest Region. In 1963, Harry was transferred to the Umpqua National Forest in Roseburg, OR, where he was employed as a civil engineer until his retirement in 1987. He also flew fire patrol for ten years, which led to obtaining a private pilot’s license. He was a member of the Civil Air Patrol, the Pendleton Jaycees, St. Joseph Catholic Church, and Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon, which honored him as a Life Member in 1987, after his service to the local Umpqua chapter. Harry enjoyed a life-long interest in trains– especially steam engines– rail travel and model railroading, becoming a charter member of the Umpqua Model Railroaders in 1964. He continued the social aspect of the organization after the loss of his vision and was awarded a Life Membership. Harry enjoyed many years of Tuesday Morning coffee breaks with employees of the Douglas County Title Company. His vision handicap ended his active participation in the Canal Zone Postal Study Group and family history research. He and Leila enjoyed traveling, whether in Oregon or around the world. He was proud to have visited all 50 states, all the provinces of Canada and many countries around the world. On the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary, a celebration was held with family and friends; with a family holiday cruise around the Hawaiian Islands.
Harry is survived by his wife of 58 years, Leila Heislein, of Roseburg; daughters Lynn Heislein of Reno, Nevada, and Anne (Scott) Nakagawa and their daughter Sydney, of Vancouver, Washington; his brother John (Virginia) Heislein of Salem, New Hampshire, together with two nieces and two nephews; and friend Elisabeth Straumann of Kaiseraugst, Switzerland, also survive him. Another brother, James Richard, preceded him in death at the age of six.
Services are scheduled for Friday, October 30, 2015, at 12:10 p.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 800 W., Stanton St. A memorial reception will follow at St. Joseph School, with the family greeting friends. In lieu of flowers, remembrances can be made in Harry’s name to Macular Degeneration Center Fund, Casey Eye Institute, 3375 Terwilliger Boulevard, Portland, OR, 97201; or to Oregon State Library, Talking book and Braille Services, 250 Winter St. NE, Salem, OR 97301.