Billy R. Heaney (age 85), now at peace, lost his courageous battle with cancer on Nov. 13 at the VA Hospital in Reno. He previously was staying at the Homestead Assisted Living, in Fallon.
He was born in Stillwater, Okla. and at the age of 15 with his family moved to Hawthorne where his Dad was employed at the Naval Base and continued to make Hawthorne his home the rest of his life.
His parents, Charles L. and Orpha E. Heaney, preceded him in death. They were his first priority and for many years Bill was a loving dedicated caregiver.
Bill was the oldest of four children. His surviving siblings are Joe M. Heaney of Lake Gaston, Va., Delma J. (Heaney) and husband, John Bodwell, of Oakhurst, Calif. and Richard L. Heaney of Port Ordford, Ore. He is also survived by the families of his nieces and nephews and many extended relatives and great friends. His three siblings were present during his final days in the hospital recollecting many memorable moments and expressing gratitude to Bill for his generosity and the multitude of unique, personally crafted gifts made with silver, gemstones, artistic scrimshaw antler horns, etc.
The magnitude of Bill’s talent and creativity had no limits. His innovative mind coupled with uncanny dry humor produced a wide variety of pranks and prankster craft items. Bill was a self-taught creator of gemstone jewelry, beautiful wall clocks crafted from trees with embedded gemstones and burl coffee tables. He spent countless days working on or restoring anything with a motor and wheels, (dune buggies, motorcycles, hot rods, custom cars and classic car restorations). He was skilled in auto glass and upholstery. He enjoyed photography, being in the hills hunting and fishing and going to Joe’s Tavern for spaghetti dinner and the El Cap for sports night. On summer evenings he could be found sitting with friends on the corner of E and Fifth Streets.
He graduated from Mineral County High School in l950. With an ordnance job at NAD when the Korean War broke out, the Army took advantage of his experience and Bill was an ordnance instructor during the Korean war. He was a career employee at the Naval Ammunition Depot as Quality Assurance Ammunition inspector; he retired from the U.S. Naval Ammunition Depot in 1979.
Funeral services will be held at Gunter’s Funeral Home in Hawthorne on Dec. 5, 11 a.m. and interred at the Hawthorne Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Bill›s memory to the American Cancer Society or Alzheimer’s.