Clair "Gene" Heitzenrater

Obituary of Clair "Gene" Heitzenrater

Clair Eugene Heitzenrater was born on February 7, 1952 in North Tonawanda, New York.   One of six children born from the union of Reverend Samuel Clair Heitzenrater and Carlene Louise (Reed) Heitzenrater.   He graduated from North Tonawanda Senior High School with the Class of 1970.   Gene attended State University of New York at Buffalo for two years.   In 2001, he would obtain his Bachelor of Sciences in Nuclear Engineering Technology from Regents College.

Gene enlisted in the United States Navy and served his country honorably for eight years.   A Machines Mate First Class, Gene was aboard the Alexander Hamilton Submarine and stationed near Holy Loch, Scotland.

Gene married his love, Donna Roberts at Bible Fellowship Church on April 12, 1996.

Gene was a wonderful provider and employed by Browns Ferry Nuclear and Port St. Lucie Power Plant, he worked in the Control Room as a Senior Reactor Operator with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.   He retired from FERMI after twenty-four years of service on August 1, 2006.  

Gene was an example of great faith in God to his family and friends.   A devout member of the North Monroe Street Church of God, he was an active volunteer participating with the food closet, as an usher, and video ministry.   He also enjoyed Bible Study and gathering for Primetimers.

Gene was a life member of the Matt Urban American Legion Post #40 and the National Rifle Association.   Gene loved the outdoors, and was an avid hunter and fisherman.   He loved traveling and camping, and especially riding his Harley.   Gene truly enjoyed spending time with his wife, children, and grandchildren.

Gene, age 65, of LaSalle passed away at home on Monday, September 11, 2017 surrounded by his loving family.   His passing was preceded by two brothers:  infant Terry Lee and Rodney Allen.

To cherish his memory, he leaves his beloved wife of twenty-one years:  Donna; his parents; three daughters:  Stacy Lewis, Ronda (Matthew) Michaud, and Kimberly VanDaele; two sons:  David Heitzenrater and Derek Skeens; three siblings:  William Lee (Mary), Debra Lynn (John) Simpson, and Sybil (Gary) Alden; nine grandchildren:  Desiree (Marvin) Almario, Alexis, Evan, Adam, Benjamin, Zachary, Kaden, Micah, Jonathan; five nieces; and nine nephews.

Friends may gather from 2:00pm-8:00pm on Thursday, September 14, 2017 at Merkle Funeral Service, 2442 North Monroe (734) 384-5185.   He will lie-in-state from 10:00am until a Celebration of His Life at 11:00am on Friday, September 15, 2017 at the North Monroe Street Church of God, 2393 North Monroe.   Procession will follow to Roselawn with graveside services under the auspices of Monroe VFW Post 1138.

Memorials are suggested to the church.   Online guests may visit