Vaughn Dale Heidenreich, 98, passed away Sept. 30, 2022, in his Woodstock home surrounded by his loving wife and family. Vaughn was predeceased by his parents, Lester and Amy, and his four brothers, Wilmer, Delmar, Jerry and Vern.
He leaves behind his loving wife, Mary (Grossel-Adams) Heidenreich; his four stepchildren, Mary Beth (Dan) Meloni, Joseph (Terese) Adams, Judith (Karl) Shuh, and Karen (Raymond) Shook; as well as three children with first wife Phyllis (Higgins), daughters Candace (Marc) Kresmery and Dawn Hines, and son Curt (Lisa) Heidenreich. Numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren also mourn his passing.
Vaughn was born Sept. 21,1924, in Stockton, Ill., and graduated from Crystal Lake High School in 1942.
In 1943 he joined the United States 8th Army Air Force 457th Bomb Group, where he became a lead bombardier in a B-17 Flying Fortress squadron stationed in England. For his service, 1st Lt. Heidenreich received the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, a symbol of valor.
Upon his return from the war, Vaughn worked at Jewel Tea Co. in Barrington, where he retired after 44 years as director of fleet operations. Once retired, Vaughn taught the AARP defensive driving class for 22 years.
Vaughn loved playing golf, bowling, ballroom dancing, and watching his beloved Cubbies and Bears. Vaughn and Mary wintered at the “Heidinest” in Tucson, Ariz., where Vaughn was the master of ceremonies for the Tucson Estates Talent Shows. He had a wonderful voice, and for many years he and Mary sang together in the choir at St. Thomas Catholic Church in Crystal Lake.
He lived a full, rich, blessed life and was dearly loved by his family and friends. Even in his final days, he repeatedly told everyone around him, “I love you.”
Fait accompli (mission accomplished), Vaughn.
Funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, Oct. 8. at 10 a.m. at Saint Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, 451 W. Terra Cotta Road, Crystal Lake. Luncheon immediately following at the church. A private interment will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the Alzheimer’s Association, the 457th Bomb Group Association. or the Saint Thomas Choir.