B. John Heetderks, Jr. was born in Bozeman, Montana on April 30, 1926. He died peacefully at home on Monday, April 30, 2018 – his 92nd birthday – surrounded by his wife, Lois, and other family members.
John lived a full life, not just in years but in relationships and experience. He was a faithful husband, father, grandfather, friend, physician, community leader, athlete, and artist. He had a great sense of humor and loved to tell stories. He was a lifelong advocate of health and wellness, and he deeply understood the connection between body and spirit. You could not be around John long before he began to speak about Jesus’ love and mercy, inviting all to a saving personal relationship with Him.
The Gallatin Valley was John’s home for most of his life. He left to serve his country in the United States Navy from 1944-46, the final years of World War II. He left again for medical school and training in Minneapolis, returning to Bozeman in 1955 to begin his practice as a family physician. He retired in 1995 after 40 years in a career he truly loved. In retirement, John had more time to devote to painting. He appreciated good art and strove to hone his skills as an accomplished artist in watercolors and acrylics, giving particular attention to Montana landscapes. Just months ago, an exhibition of his work was presented at the Bank of Bozeman.
John was generous with his time and resources; he and Lois’ home was always a hub of warm welcome for people of all ages and stations in life. He was as comfortable with inmates in the county jail as he was with congregants in his local church. Many counted him as a trusted mentor and friend.
John was preceded in death by both of his siblings, Margaret and De, and his son, James. He is survived by his wife, Lois, and his four remaining children, Mary Council (Lem), Karen Strong (Greg), Thomas Heetderks (Julie), and Nancy Linn (Ed). He also has 13 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren (with another on the way).
A Memorial Service will be held at Grace Bible Church on Friday, May 4, at 11:00 A.M. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Gallatin Valley Young Life and sent to Young Life, P.O. Box 547, Bozeman, MT 59715, earmarked MT21-Gallatin Valley.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. www.dokkennelson.com