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Obituary: Former Wheaton Mayor Dies at Age 90

Karl Frederick Heimke moved to Wheaton in 1957. He was elected as mayor twice during his time in Wheaton.

Beloved father and husband Karl Frederick Heimke, 90, passed away July 6 in his home at Tall Grass Creek, Overland Park, Kan., surrounded by his loving family.

He is survived by his wife E. Elizabeth Herold Heimke (Betsy); by four children, Susan and her husband Cory Thompson, William Karl II, Robert Herold and his wife Julie, and Sally and her husband Tom Karst; by five grandchildren, Karl and his wife Niki, Kristen and her husband Collin Pedersen, Ben, Brian, and Betsy and her husband David Wagner; and by five great grandchildren, Londynn, Brody, Mason, Roman and Cole.

Karl Heimke was born in Sheboygan, Wisc. the  youngest of three sons of William Karl Heimke and Amanda Steen. His parents and brothers William and Steen preceded him in death.

He attended Ripon College in Ripon, Wisc. for one year before enlisting in the military in 1942 and serving his country in the Army Air Corps during World War II.

Receiving his wings and commission on Oct. 7, 1943,  Second Lieutenant Heimke and his B-26  crew received two air medals by completing eight bombing missions before Victory in Europe was attained.

After the war ended, Karl resumed his education at Ripon College, earning a bachelor’s degree in history and economics.   He went on to the University of Wisconsin to attend law school, earning a J.D. degree in 1952.

He married E. Elizabeth (Betsy) Herold Heimke, on October 4, 1952, a union that would last more than 61 years.  As a teenage girl, Betsy was interned with her family in a Japanese prisoner of war camp in the Philippines for three and a half years during World War II. She had returned to the U.S. to receive a college education, earning her R.N. at Northwestern University in 1952.

First working as a lawyer in Sheboygan and then at a law practice in Milwaukie, Wisc. Karl moved to Wheaton, Ill.,  in 1957 for an executive position with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

While living in Wheaton, Ill., for more than 10 years, Karl was twice elected mayor of the Chicago suburb and also was president of the Illinois Municipal League and a candidate for the Illinois State Senate.

Rather than pursuing a political career in Illinois, Karl moved his family to Overland Park in 1969 to become president and general manager of the Livestock Marketing Insurance Agency, Inc.  He would make the Kansas City suburb his family's home for the rest of his life.

He and his family were members of Atonement Lutheran Church.  Karl also was a member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and a lifetime member of the Wisconsin Bar Association. He also was a member in good standing of the Free and Accepted Masons, Warren Lodge No. 4, Potosi, Wisc., and  Life Member of the Tripoli Shriners, Milwaukee, Wisc.  Through his wife, Betsy and Karl were members  of the Heart of America Ex-POW Chapter.

With the purchase of a lake home near Laurie, Mo., in 1975, the Heimke’s made possible more than 30 years of year-round fun and water sports at the Lake of the Ozarks for family and friends.

 In May 2014, Karl participated in an Honor Flight to Washington D.C., which recognizes veterans for their service to the country.

He will be remembered for his generous spirit, his patriotism, love of family, faith and wisdom.

The visitation will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday July 14th at the Amos Family Funeral Home & Crematory in Shawnee, Kan.  The funeral service will follow at 6 pm also at the funeral home.  Karl’s final resting place will be British Hollow Cemetery in Potosi, Wisc. Donations in Karl’s memory can be made to the Heartland Honor Flight Foundation. 

The Heimke family is grateful for the compassionate care provided by Kansas City Hospice.  Online condolences may be expressed at www.amosfamily.com

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