Robert Eugene Heath will be laid to rest during a graveside service at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3, at Cedar Memorial. Robert died
Friday, Oct. 30, 2020.
Robert is survived by his wife, Maxine Heath; and sons, Robby Heath and Dan Heath. As mandated by proclamation, social distancing must be practiced, which requires a limited number of people to be allowed at a graveside at one time. The use of face masks or shields is required.
Robert was born July 13, 1944, to Albert Hiram Heath and Fern Arlene Tague in Fort Dodge Hospital in Gowrie County, Iowa. Robert's mother, Fern, gave birth while she was struggling with leukemia. She died June 30, 1945. A few years later, Albert remarried Manera Opal Robinette-Austin, who was previously widowed after her first husband was struck by lightning. Together with Manera's son and daughter, they made a family of six and moved to Cartridge, Mo., where they farmed for several years.
About 12 years later, the family moved back to a farm in Winterset, where Robert Heath attended Creston High School. In his junior year, Robert started to get serious about his passion for beekeeping. He asked his father if he could use the money that would have gone toward his class ring to instead buy a queen bee and realize his passion to produce honey.
After high school, Robert helped his uncle at the Manchester Rock Quarry until he was old enough to enlist in the military. He was accepted into the Navy and was stationed in Pensacola during the end of the Vietnam War. He leveraged his training in the military to launch a start-up business focused on developing a car phone. He started a 38-year career at Rockwell Collins, where he continued to build skills through technical training. Later in his career, he traveled around the world delivering training to hundreds of international students.
Robert met Maxine Rae Marolf in Cedar Rapids while she was substitute teaching at the Linn-Mar Community School District. They were married Nov. 8, 1975, and welcomed two sons, Robby in 1979, and Dan in 1980. Robert was still traveling for work while Maxine homeschooled their two young sons. While on some extended teaching assignments, Robert found opportunities to bring the entire family along and combine work travel with vacation time to create unique family experiences.
Through the years, Robert remained active with his family, rental properties and his church community, where he volunteered as treasurer for close to half a century. His passion for beekeeping allowed him to package and sell Heath Honey to family and friends for decades. His faith in Jesus Christ was the foundation that shaped his character and values in his everyday life.