William (Gene) Heidt was born in Winter Garden, FL on July 22, 1949. He has spent all his life in the town where he was born and is a fifth generation Floridian. Gene married his high school sweet heart Del and had three children, Nancy, Kenneth and Beth. Gene enjoyed working with the earth as a citrus grower and nursery owner in his career. He has always been known as an outdoors man with a love for hunting, fishing and golf. And more important than the sports themselves are the deep connections he has made with multiple generations of likeminded friends and family. He is also known as “Uncle Gene” and “Smokey (the Bear)” to many who love him - he loved teaching all generations about respecting mother nature and enjoying what she offers. The woods are his church.
He has always loved to laugh and tell a joke, danced with his daughters in the kitchen throughout their lives, loved his wife since they met in kindergarten (they just celebrated their 50th anniversary January 6th), played cards with his son while they listened to their favorite songs, enjoyed long talks by the camp fire with his nephews and has loved playing with his grand and great grand babies more than anything else. He is stubborn and strong, tough and tender and not of this era. A real cowboy.
Gene suffered a massive stroke on Jan. 13th, 2018. He has been in ICU and Brain Trauma at Orlando Regional Medical Center and due to the extent of the damage to his brain he is looking at a very long and expensive rehabilitation and care plan. He and his wife Del only have Medicare and are on a limited income. Del, 68, continues to work full-time but they face serious financial hurdles along with emotional stress and confusion over this horrible turn of events.
Please help us support this man and his family through this journey to help give Gene the best possible chance at recovery and care.
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