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Richard “Dick” Douglas Heater
October 6, 1934 – February 18, 2016

Stayton – Dick, 81, died Thursday, February 18, 2016 at his home in Stayton.

He leaves his wife of 60 years, Mary Heater; his sisters, Margi Heater and Mary Rhodaback; his eight children, Jeff Heater, Julie Arnzen, Sue Nichols, Rob Heater, Mike Heater, Dave Heater, Amy Ruddy, and Scott Heater along with their spouses; eighteen grandchildren and their spouses; two great grandchildren and many close friends.

Born October 6, 1934, at the Salem Hospital, the first child of Doug and Gloria (Weddle) Heater, he was a lifelong resident of Stayton.  As a young child, he lived with his parents at the original Heater homestead near Union Hill, outside Silverton. They also lived a few summers at a Heater logging camp at Detroit, and then settled onto the farm on Siegmund Road in 1938.  In his early years, Dick helped his Dad run the 850-acre family farm, growing strawberries, grain, and grass seed, and caring for the horses and livestock.

Dick attended the one-room schoolhouse at Siegmund Road for his early grade school years.  He continued at Stayton Public Schools and graduated in June 1952.  He attended two years at Oregon State University, where he joined Delta Tau Delta fraternity and studied agriculture.

His wife Mary Louise (Hottinger) wrote him a letter during his freshman year, and that led to their marriage on September 15, 1956, at St. Boniface Church in Sublimity.  Their road trip honeymoon began at Timberline Lodge and continued down through southern California. This began what was to be a lifetime of domestic travel. They lived in the “Little House” on the farm and started their family with their first son, Jeff, born in 1957.  They moved to the “Big House” in the summer of 1969 where they celebrated the birth of their last son, Scott, in 1970.  They lived on the farm with their eight children until the mid-1990’s. These years are filled with stories of the Big Pond, winter skating and sledding, berry bus vacations and many, many treasured memories.

Dick farmed with his family through the 1970’s, and managed the farm up until his death. While farming, he used a berry bus to drive Regis students to countless sporting events and skiing at HooDoo Ski Bowl, where he taught his own kids to ski. In 1977 he helped build and then purchased one of the original Paymaster aerodynamic trucks.  This truck began Dick’s 30-year hauling career, traversing the continent with his wife, children, and grandchildren. Many times his routes were chosen to pick up or visit his family and friends all over the country.

A rosary and vigil will be held at Immaculate Conception Church, 1077 N. 6th Ave., Stayton, on Friday, February 26, at 5:00 pm.  The funeral service will be held at Immaculate Conception Church on Saturday, February 27, at 1:30 pm.

As a tribute to his life-long love of horses, a horse-drawn wagon will lead a procession to the graveside service at Lone Oak Cemetery.  A celebration of Dick’s life will follow the funeral service.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Regis Foundation, 550 W. Regis St., Stayton, OR 97383. Serving the family, North Santiam Funeral Service, Stayton.

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