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Obituaries & Words of Condolence

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Geoffrey “Geoff” Heath passed away at home in Gaylord on February 6, 2017.

He was born in Kalamazoo, on April 7, 1946 and was the son of Frank Allgeo and Jane Sidnam Heath.

He attended University High School in Kalamazoo, received a business management degree from Northwoods Institute and a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in education from Grand Valley State College.

He moved to Gaylord in 1971 to become an elementary school teacher in the Gaylord Community Schools, teaching 2nd, 3rd and 4th grades over a 27- year period.

He was a member of St. Mary Cathedral parish, the Gaylord Area Jaycees and a life-long member of Nautilus Fitness System. He loved his springer spaniels and was never without a dog.

His surviving family includes his brother and sister-in-law Alan and Jerry Heath of Lafayette, CO; niece Mollie Heath Niess of Charlotte, NC and her husband Tyler Niess; and niece Katherine Heath of Boulder, CO; as well as two grand nephews Duncan and Malcolm Niess of Charlotte, NC.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Frank A. Heath Scholarship Fund for Dental Hygiene at the Kalamazoo Community Foundation or St. Mary Cathedral Schools in Gaylord.

Condolence Messages

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From: Susan May Fitzgerald
Presque Isle, MI.

I went to HS with Geoff and last spoke with him at our 40th class reunion. At our 50th reunion I heard that he could have joined me, if I had known he needed a ride. I'm in northern Michigan too. Wish that could have happened. My thoughts are with Alan, Jerry, Geoff's extended family, and his companion Nancy. He was one of the good guys, and will be missed.

From: John Gilman
Kalamazoo, MI

I well remember Geoff, our good friend and fellow U-High classmate. Like all of us, I'd looked forward to seeing him at our reunion and was disappointed when he couldn't make it. Any time talking or having fun with Geoff left an indelible imprint of his unique spirit. His father was our family dentist and my parents and his were good friends. We both moved away from Kalamazoo for our careers . . . Geoff northward and me south, and I had not been in touch since 1965. My sincere condolences to his family. Geoff was a very special man.

From: JoAnn Stevens
Kalamazoo, Michigan

So sorry to learn of Geoff's passing. I remember Geoff as a quiet, kind hearted soul. We were a small, close group of classmates at 'the school on the hill'. My condolences to his family, and to all those who were privileged to call him 'friend'.

From: Sue Southon
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

I was saddened to learn of Geoff's death. I missed seeing him at our last reunion and have many very fond memories of our joint escapades at U High. I will keep Geoff's family and friends in my prayers.

From: John Noble

I went to HS w Geoff. A kinder more gentle soul that I have ever known. My sympathies to his family and friends.

From: Mike Saldana
Gaylord, Michigan

Just heard the sad news of Geoff's passing. My heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. I met Geoff several years ago and have never met a kinder soul. He was a regular at the Sugar Bowl in Gaylord, The Breakfast Club! I know the Lord had reservations at a new table for Geoff with his family and friends waiting to welcome him home! Enjoy your new breakfast nook Geoff and God Bless!

From: Marjie and Mitch LeClaire

Last week Gaylord lost a loyal patriot of some 46 years. Geoff Heath leaves behind a true loss to many: long term companion Nancy, Gaylord schools past principals, fellow teachers and the many students he taught. Geoff was proud of his status as one of the original Nautilus members and he will be remembered with affection by so many. Rest in peace dear friend.

From: Amy (Westphal) Peters
Alpena, MI

Mr. Heath was my third grade teacher. My mother helped in the classroom and he gave us a light up Christmas tree as a thank you gift. I always thought of him when we would use it. Many prayers to his family and friends. He was a wonderful teacher and one who made me think of teaching as a career. God's blessings to all those who are mourning him. May he be walking dogs in heaven.

From: Bill Barr
Augusta, MI

My condolences to the family and Goeff's close friends. I had not kept in touch with him since he moved north but have fond memories of Geoff from high school - poker games and practical jokes. He was a gentle, sensitive guy with a dry sense of humor. Luckily I spoke to him in 2015 in the course of inviting him to the class reunion. He sounded just the same. He wanted to come but couldn't and now it's especially unfortunate.

From: Jim and Barb Lappan
Gaylord, MI

A gentle man, educator and good friend for over forty years. Our sincere condolences to family and friends with Jeff's passing.

From: David and Dixie Granlund
Grand Rapids, MI

Geoff was a wonderful man. He was a very good teacher who cared very much about his students. Geoff was a good friend as well who had a great enthusiasm for life. All of us who were privileged enough to know Geoff will surely miss him. Our condolences to the family.

From: Ed and Jane Sandri
Gaylord , Michigan

We have known Geoff since he moved to Gaylord in 1971. He was a friend and fellow educator. He worked very hard to be successful. His teacher friends worked and supported him for the 27 years he was employed by the Gaylord Schools. He will be missed by his many school friends and those friendships he made in retirement. We offer our sincere condolences to his brother Alan and his family.

From: Laurie Noa
Gaylord , Michigan

Alan and family, our deepest sympathy! Geoff has been a friend of ours for years, always caring, and considerate of others. He will be missed by many.. RIP my friend!

From: Barbara Walker
Johannesburg, 35

Geoff was a neighbor of my parents. He would often bring his dogs over to visit with our dogs in the summer. He was also my brother's fourth grade teacher many years ago. I will always remember him loaning me videos when I would come up north to visit my parents. I will always think of Geoff when I watch the movie "My Dog Skip" as he warned me it was a tear jerker! My thoughts and prayers are with your family.