Merle J. Heinz, age 85, passed away on Thursday, July 20, 2023. She was born in Alabama in 1938 to Thomas Jefferson (T.J.) and Wilma Jones and grew up in Laurel Hill, Florida. While working at Eglin AFB, Florida, Merle fell in love with Donald A. Heinz, marrying him on September 16, 1960, and created a home with Don, and her two children David and Eddie Zimmerman. A few short years later, Merle and Don added Donna and Denis to their family while stationed in Germany. Merle loved being a military spouse and proudly supported Don’s 30+ years in the United States Air Force. Merle shared many fun years of adventure and travel with Don, living in Germany, the Panama Canal, touring South and Central America, and they even stood hand-in-hand on the equator! Merle’s children would follow in Don’s footsteps, all becoming Air Force officers. She enjoyed meeting new people, loved her friends dearly (many recently calling her a “hoot!” to be with), and developed many lifelong friendships along the way, including a spirited German family, Alfred and Erna Kahrau and Dahlia from Puerto Rico. Merle deeply loved the nomadic military lifestyle and throughout her life, she always had her bags packed, ready at a moment’s notice for a new adventure!
Merle loved literature and NASCAR racing, and while living at the Panama Canal she learned the fine art of making beautiful decorative cakes that tasted so yummy! She earned an Associate’s Degree and served just under ten years as an Air Force civil servant, having last worked for the Office of Special Investigations.
She loved spending time with family and friends, doting on her grandchildren, who named her “Titi”, and she had the great fortune of welcoming her great-grandbaby in 2022. She was so proud of everyone's accomplishments! Merle was a very loving mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother who will be forever missed by all who were blessed to know her.
Merle was preceded in death by her husband Don, of over fifty-three years, her son David, her parents, and one brother Toddy.
Survivors include her children Eddie, Donna, and Denis; her five grandchildren Alex, Robyn, Ashton, Drake, and Dylan; her great-grandchild Leed born of Ashton and Jake Nawas, her brother Harold Jones. Merle will find peace as she is once again joined with Don at a graveside service and burial at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D.C. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to a Veterans organization of your choice. You may share memories with the family by visiting our online guestbook for Merle at www.boonefh.com.