521 East Main Street | Niles, MI | 49120
Obituary of John Lee Heller Sr.
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John Lee Heller Sr., 86, of Buchanan, passed away at Memorial Hospital of South Bend on May 1, 2022. On January 19, 1936, John was born to the late William Heller and Catherine (Davis) Allen in Mishawaka, Indiana. Growing up with his step-father (Doyt Allen), mother, and three siblings John had family at the core of all of his values. Not long after graduating high school, he was lucky enough to marry the woman he would spend the rest of his life with, Dorothy Teeter, in South Bend on March 19, 1955. Their union brought them six children which eventually gave him nine grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren with number nine due any day, and a great-great-grandchild. John loved each member of his family dearly and always did his best to make sure they knew. John was a competitive man, meaning he didn’t like to lose and didn’t want any of his loved ones to lose either. He enjoyed watching his kids and grandkids play sports and would always make it a point to get to their games. John himself didn’t take losing lightly. He was an accomplished competition marksman, shooting a variety of weapons with pinpoint accuracy. He wanted to be the very best, and in most competitions, it was to no surprise that he would take first. On the rare occasion, he wasn’t at the top of the leaderboard, John would take the time and adjust what he needed to so that he would take first in the next competition. Some would call him a perfectionist, others might have called him a little stubborn, but at the end of the day, John had a passion for the things he did, big or small. By trade, he was a tool and die maker, and was extremely respected in his business. His passion was shooting and working with guns. He became a respected and sought-after master gunsmith. The man could take just about anything apart and put it back together. His lathe work helped many people over the years because he could make parts that were either extremely rare or didn’t exist anymore. His charismatic personality helped him connect with anybody he met; nobody was a stranger. He enjoyed fishing, classic cars, and he certainly enjoyed keeping his lawn in tip-top shape. John was one of a kind and will be greatly missed by his entire family, friends, and all who had the pleasure of knowing him. Preceding John in death are his parents, William Heller, Catherine (Davis) Allen and step-father Doyt Allen; and his brother, Bob Allen. He is survived by his loving wife, Dorothy (Teeter) Heller; all six children, John (Susan) Heller, Steven Heller, Susan Korzinek, Linda (Mike) Beard, Karen Lukkarila, and Lisa Stidham; two siblings, Cindy Boots, and Doyt Allen; as well as nine grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild. The Heller family will be holding a public visitation at Brown Funeral Home & Cremation Services on Friday, May 6, 2022, from 11:00 to 1:00 p.m. with burial to follow at the Oakridge Cemetery in Buchanan. A celebration of life will be held after the burial at the Bertrand Township Hall in Buchanan from 2-7 pm. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any memorial contributions be made to either the Edwardsburg Conservation Club or the Bend of the River Conservation Club, where John donated his time and services. Arrangements have been entrusted to Brown Funeral Home & Cremation Services.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John Heller Sr., please visit Tribute Store
Heller Public Visitation
11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Friday, May 6, 2022
Brown Funeral Home & Cremation Services
521 E. Main St.
Niles, Michigan, United States
Heller Public Interment
1:30 pm - 1:45 pm
Friday, May 6, 2022
Terra Coupe St
Buchanan, Michigan, United States
Proudly serving the community of Niles and surrounding areas.
521 E Main St
Niles, MI 49120
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