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U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Edward Lee “Ed” Heft, Lt. Colonel, USAF (Retired)December 5, 1934 – November 17, 2018
HEFT, Edward (Ed) Lee Retired Lieutenant Colonel, Edward (Ed) Lee Heft, 83, passed away after a long struggle with cancer on November 17, 2018, at the Dayton VA Hospice, Dayton, Ohio.
Ed was born on December 5, 1934, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to Melvin Lyle Heft and Edna Erhart Heft.
He received his bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan. Ed served in the United States Air Force from 1959-1979. His compelling call to duty, camaraderie with others in the Armed Forces, degree in Aeronautical Engineering and penchant for Research and Development allowed him to contribute much to our country and propelled him into an exemplary service record. He flew Search and Rescue during his tour in Vietnam and was awarded a Silver Star for his bravery in action and was a Test Pilot. He was actively involved in community activities, agriculture, and Holistic Health.
Ed is survived by his wife, Mary Jean DeRado Heft, children: Trina Heft Bornejko (Chris), Edward Heft II (Jana), Eric Heft (Sandi), Kristen Goecker (Brandon), Taylor Perkins, Yvette Farrell (Tim), Roger Merkel, Matt Merkel (Julie), Katherine Lowry (Zach) grandchildren: Richard Smith, Amber Dierking (Kelby), Rhiannon Bryan (Daniel), Alex Heft (Devon Howe), Brenden and Alysa Farrell, Caroline and Isabelle Merkel, Brianna and Mia Lowry, great-grandchildren: Blake Morfield Smith, Rowan and Bryce Dierking, Kara and Haven Heft. Ed was preceded in death by his parents, Melvin Lyle Heft and Edna Erhart Heft, brother, Walt Heft (Phyllis), mother of his children, Goldie Lavina Lane Heft, grandson, Ian J. Bornejko.
Graveside Military Service pending at the Dayton National Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio. Please see: www.tobiasfuneralhome.com for updates.
In Lieu of flowers, memorials may be made too: Vietnam Veterans of America VVA.org Disabled American Veterans (DAV) 1-855-619-4376. Special thanks to Dayton VA Hospice, Dayton, Ohio.
Published in Dayton Daily News on Nov. 25, 2018
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August 21, 2019We just heard of this sad news. Prayers for the family. RIP Ed. Tom and Susanne~Tom Susanne Dorris, Dunmor, KY
December 4, 2018~Thomas Boynton, Floresville, TX
December 4, 2018Kathy and I were so sorry to hear of Ed’s passing. Ed was a friend and fellow researcher in matters dealing with non-invasive healing options. During many of our conversations, in which we discussed these issues, I often took notes because of his wealth of knowledge. I will miss those conversations. May the Lord bring blessing and comfort to you, his family.~Tom & Kathy Boynton, Floresville, TX
December 1, 2018Family of Helo 1,I flew with Ed on some flight test projects in the 70’s and I had great respect for him as a pilot and as a person. He helped me with a plumbing problem and spent his own time doing something I was unable to do. Personally and professionally he was always willing to help, give guidance, and mentor. His dry sense of humor was a great stress relief. As bright and hard working as he was, he was also humble and never bragged about his accomplishments. I am proud to have known him.~AGAR 46 (Evan Rolek), Evan Rolek, Beavercreek, OH SHARE
December 1, 2018~Evan Rolek, Beavercreek, OH SHARE
November 25, 2018As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life’s routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends.~Jim and Sherry Rimstidt, Palm Coast, FL SHARE
November 25, 2018Sad news of Colonel Heft’s passing. He was a member of our USAF Helicopter family and served our country with distinction. I believe he was a HH-43 pilot in Vietnam, serving with Det. 1, 38th ARRS, at Phan Rang AB, RVN in the 1968 time frame. God rest his soul and God comfort and protect the Huft family.~Jim Burns, SMSgt, USAF (retired), Navarre, FL
November 25, 2018Ed and I, Col Don Eastman Flew together in helicopters. I was a graduate of the USAF Test Pilot School and I recommended Ed to be selected for the school. Ed and I represented the USAF on a joint program in Germany, flying the H-3C Helicopter with the Germany Army Pilots. Ed was a fine pilot. He made a emergency landing in the Red Sea off the coast of Saudi Arbia when we were flying two CH-3C to Ethiopia. His helicopter had experienced an oil leak in the main transmission. Later I worked in Wright-Patterson Flight Dynamics Division as a civil and Ed was a Lt Col. in the same organization. Ed, enjoy your last flight to the West~Don Eastman, Kettering, OH
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