David J Heflin Obituary

Ryan Nehring


David Joseph Heflin, age 68, died peacefully in his home surrounded by family on Thursday February 18th after a courageous fight against aggressive Early Onset Alzheimers Disease. David was the youngest sibling of 7, born to Frank and Margaret Heflin on January 21st, 1953.

David attended the esteemed Michigan State University hospitality program, and was an accomplished chef, restaurateur, and later co-owner of a catering company. , David also received a Bachelors Degree in Human Resource Management and a Masters Degree in Public Administration. His proudest professional accomplishments were working as a community organizer and advocating for marginalized groups in our community. He served for several years as Executive Director of the Edison Neighborhood Association, and later as the Director of the Federal Weed and Seed Program in Kalamazoo..

Even in his political and administrative roles, David led with food. Rarely did a community or political event pass without David’s food being enjoyed, culminating in the summer/fall of 2018 as he and wife Carol delivered dinner each night for hundreds of Kalamazoo’s homeless community in the Bronson Park Freedom Encampment, literally saving lives one plate at a time.

David is best remembered by his family as the steadying force that balanced many loud and frenetic personalities. As father to six kids, David rebuilt their home in Portage, piece by piece, as he helped rebuild the family. To his children he was a voice of wisdom, humor, and experience. To his wife, he was a reliable and calming counterpoint, silly co-conspirator, and fearless partner. David was truly a family man who’s love of his children was surpassed perhaps only by his love of his grandchildren, a role he relished and was seemingly born for.

David is survived by his wife Carol, brother Bob, sisters Terri and Mary Beth, sons Ross, Dylan and wife Gina, Shawn and wife Mary, Ryan and wife Shannon, Ben and wife Sara, Alex and wife Carla, and daughter Lynneea and husband Tyler, along with far too many grandchildren to fit here. A celebration of life is scheduled for May 8th with details to follow.

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