Les Heather - 163 ASOC/DASC & 196 Intel
Les Heather died 16 April 2005 apparently of a heart attack. I was with him at the time. He had spent the night in Rescue and needed to drive to Reno to pick up his boat from the boat shop where a new engine had been installed. The mechanic, Les and I launched the boat at Stampede Reservoir, near Truckee with snow as a shore line. The boat ran well and Les enjoyed driving it for about 20 minutes. It was when we were putting the boat back on the trailer that he, standing on the tongue of the trailer, looked up at us and just fell into the water. Nearby folks heard me yelling and pulled him out of the water and began CPR. Air Care arrived along with the Truckee Fire Dept. They tried everything. I believe he was dead when he hit the water.
Les spent his last day doing the things he loved. We talked for the two plus hour trip about all of you, his teaching career, and his mom and dad.
5749 Clearwater Dr.
Gary and I visited with Florence Heather today. Les' autopsy showed that all of the arteries to his heart were totally blocked and, indeed, he did have a fatal heart attack. His body will be cremated and there will be a memorial service.
Les' brother, Bob, and his mom are doing as well as can be expected. I printed out the responses I've received and they enjoyed reading them. Thanks to you all.
Les and Russ Hopf in the field near Barstow.
Some thoughts on Les Heather from the boys:
You knew Les way better than I ever could.
Les never missed a drill. Les was always there when you needed him, or just before. You could bet your life on Les. There were never any excuses why he did not do something, he just did it.
Les was the fellow who could make anything electro-mechanical happen that needed to happen. He was the Intel Puke who could make the field phones talk to anyone I ever needed to talk to. Les was one of the primary components of the ASOC/DASC. Without Les, it would not operate. As long as Les was along, we would have enough to get by, maybe more, never less. As Les was fond of saying, "Les is more, more or less." I know I have seen him happy, I know I have seen him mad, but most of all, I am certain I never saw him sad. There is no one on the face of this earth who could cook better mushrooms; in a canteen cup, if need be. Les was a joy to be around. He was also the only one I have ever seen who could make starched fatigues wrinkle within 30 minutes of putting them on.
Les was a great friend. God rest his soul.
Hap Arnold, 163 OG/CV also 163 ASOC/DASC/DO
I am, once again, saddened by news such as this (another friend died suddenly a few months ago – never easy to comprehend) and have had many, many thoughts of Les during the past 24 hours. I recall all the weird times we had in the DASC/ASOC with Les as the chief “fixer” of any of the comm/mechanical gear. God, he could work some wonders with the strangest of equipment!
From the sounds of Joy’s message, he really did die doing something he loved. He did not suffer a long illness or painful disease ridden last months – he went out quickly and possibly without much pain or suffering. For most of us who knew Les for so many years in the Guard, we really never got too much of a picture into his total life. Way back in the mid 1980’s, Les and I got together for some lunchtime talks in Orange County – he was working near the company I was with at the time – and we would motor off in his old van (Corvair, I think – or maybe an old Ford) and get sandwiches at a local deli. We would sit outside at one of the tables and just talk about some tech stuff he was into then (most of it was going way over my head) -- he had a way of explaining most things that were complicated in fairly simple terms. Of course, he also had a knack for making the simple very complex sometimes.
I always knew the two of us were living in dramatically different worlds, but knowing Les for the time I did made some of my world a little better. I hope he felt the same way about all the rest of us who knew him.
Just wanted to share some thoughts about Les with you…Godspeed to you and your family…take care of yourself and I’ll see you soon.
Dick Dallas 163 Intel/CC
Sorry to hear about Les. I had to laugh at your comment about his ability to rumple a uniform in 30 seconds - that is the way I remember Les, alonG with all the "Mister Fix-it" stories.
rb - Randy Ball 163 OG/CC
Greg Ervice 196 Intel
What a sad, sad shock this is.
If you plan on flying up for whatever services there might be, please let me know if there is an empty seat.
Greg - Greg Ervice 196 Intel//CC
I'm really sorry to hear about Les. He was really a nice guy - as you said, always upbeat and smiling. The world is a sadder place. Maybe they needed him to keep the Pope up on the latest intell.
Best regards, Blake BG Blake Lamar, 163 TFW/CC
What sad news. He often spent the night at our house on drill weekends, and we tried to go into business together once. If you get an address to send flowers,please let me know. I won't be able to make the funeral I'm afraid. I'll light a candle for him.
Mike - Mike Muratet, 163 ASOC/DASC the other miracle comm guy
Thanks for the notice. Les was one of the good guys. The events of his passing really hit me close to home. I hope that when my time comes that I have the privilege of it happening while doing something that I love.
T. M. Connell - TC – 196 TFS/TRS WSO
I always loved Les and thought he was a great guy. I can't think of a time when he didn't greet me with a smile.
All the best,
ScottBob - Scotty Combest 196 TFS/TRS Pilot and Unknown Rider
I know he was grinning after testing his boat. That's why I want same on golf course....after the birdie putt rolls in.
Rob Blissard, 196 TFS Pilot