The first thing I noticed about Mister Heisler, or as I always knew him, Kurt’s dad, was his booming voice. When he laughed, he truly filled the room. He had a strong presence and reminded me of Bill Kurtis, who was a host of many TV programs on A&E.
Kurt was one of Mister Heisler’s sons. More importantly, Kurt became one of my very closest friends during my senior year in high school (1992). The two of us were part of a group that we dubbed The Hearts Club, which also included high school pals Tony and Patrick. Sometimes Jenne, Becca and Kim would join in the fun, but more often than not, it was simply the four of us.
One night in the summer of 1993, The Hearts Club gathered for a very special evening, even if none of us knew it at the time. Whereas most nights when we arrived at the Heisler house, we would exchange hellos and small talk with Kurt’s parents, on this night, The Hearts Club would have a new honorary member.
I’m not sure who had the idea of asking Kurt’s dad William to sit in on our card game. It may have been his wife, Dotty, it may have even been Kurt. I do remember that it didn’t take much convincing for us to deal in a fifth player. Before the game however, we were treated to a host of card tricks and sleight of hand, with Mr. Heisler holding court, having fun showing tricks to Kurt’s friends, even though I guessed that Kurt had seen these over and over again for years.
Most memorably though, Mr. Heisler laughed loudly and heartily.
The game was fun and I remember all of us having a good time. I don’t recall who actually won at hearts that nite, only that it wasn’t me (I hardly ever won). That’s unimportant though. As we left Kurt’s house that night, everyone said “we must do this again sometime”.
But we never did.
I only knew William Heisler in the snippets of daily life that Kurt would share when we hung out all the time, and from that one might around a card table. Not surprisingly though, he made a lasting impression on me that I never forgot.
So long Mr.Heisler. You will be missed and remembered by many.
If you wish, make a donation to the American Cancer Society in memory of William Heisler.
Thanks for reading,