Obituary for Jean Heilmann
July 11, 1921 – July 11, 2021
Jean (Williston) Heilmann passed away peacefully on her 100th birthday. She was born July 11, 1921. She grew up near Live Oak, California, and she attended Nuestro Elementary, Live Oak High School and Yuba College. Jean worked briefly in the Sutter County Recorder’s office and later as an elementary school librarian.
She married her high school sweetheart, Robert Heilmann, on October 29th, 1942. They were married for almost 70 years. They purchased a ranch near Live Oak where they started their family, consisting of three boys and three girls. Their oldest son, Michael, died at the age of three.
Jean spent her entire life in California, except for a brief period during WWII, when Bob was stationed in Texas and Georgia. Back at Live Oak, she joined a bridge club of wives of soldiers. She continued to enjoy those same ladies’ friendships into her 90s.
In 1964 Bob and Jean and family moved to a large ranch in Grass Valley. They built a complete horse facility including an indoor arena and a race track. They raised Appaloosa horses and enjoyed holding races and barbecues at the ranch.
Gardening was a passion for Jean. Although roses were her favorites, she loved trees, perennials, bulbs and shrubs. She knew the scientific and common names of many hundreds of plants. She liked garden design and traveled to England and Scotland to see classic gardens.
Jean was a reserved and proper lady, but always welcoming and friendly with a great sense of humor. But make no mistake, she was a force to be reckoned with! She spent her last years at Brunswick Village Assisted Living in Grass Valley. The family wishes to express their greatest appreciation for the love and care she received there.
Jean was preceded in death by her husband Robert, son Michael, parents Carl and Lorene Williston, sister Doris Jenny and brother William Williston.
Jean is survived by daughters Robin Pinney (Frank) of Grass Valley, Cathleen Conners (Carl Andersen) of Chico, Christy Keil (Jeff) of Chico, and sons Stephen Heilmann (Cheri) of Sagle, Idaho, and Matt Heilmann of Penn Valley. Jean has seven grandchildren: Micah, Morgan, Bryn, Natalie, Olivia, Tiffany and Justin. She has 13 great grandchildren: Brenden, Sydney, Connor, Kayson, Silas, Henry, Jack, Dylan, Cody, MaKenna, Julia, Georgia and Ava. Her great grandchildren are sixth generation Californians.
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