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1010 S. White Street
P.O. Box 99
ATHENS, TN 37371-0099
Phone: 423-745-3013
Fax: 423-745-7733
Dean Heltz

Dean Heltz

Sunday, December 30th, 1934 - Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020
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Jerome Dean Heltz, 85, of Athens, passed away July 22, 2020. He was born December 30, 1934 in Reserve, Louisiana, but lived most of his life in Athens. He was preceded in death by his parents, Lawrence and Leona Cambre Heltz and his sister Dal Leonard. He is survived by his loving wife of 46 years, Billie Bea Kennedy Heltz. He was of the Catholic faith.

Dean honorably served as a U. S. Navy Petty Officer on the USS Segundo (Balao Class) Submarine from 1953-1957. He continued his service in the Naval Reserve until 1961 while attending The University of Mississippi where he was a manager for the Ole Miss football team. He received a B.A. in Classics with an emphasis on Greek and Latin languages and Anthropology. Dean moved to Athens in 1961 and taught Latin, History, English, and Math at McMinn County High School. He served in the Peace Corps, stationed in Iran from 1965-1969. Upon completion of his service, he enrolled at The University of Tennessee, and received a Masters degree in Education. While in graduate school, he taught at Eastview Elementary in Meigs County for 3 years before returning to McMinn County High School teaching Latin until retiring in 1992, along with Billie Bea who was the school’s Librarian.

He was a passionate fan of Ole Miss football. He and Billie Bea regularly attended games for many years in Oxford, Mississippi and throughout the Southeast. They were regular attendees at the annual William Faulkner Conference in Oxford. In addition to their numerous travels, they enjoyed their time close to home often playing with Zeb and Zak Idol as the twins were growing up.
Dean was a member of the Knights of Columbus as well as the Nocatula and Decatur Civitan clubs.

Along with his wife, Dean is survived by one niece, Donna Cagle, and two nephews, Joe and Buck Adams; 4 great- nieces, Heidi Lucas, Casey Idol, Jody Adams-Birch, and Holly Marion, 2 great- nephews, Bo Cagle and Travis Adams; 4 great-great-nieces, Rylea Birch, Madison and McKenzie Marion, and Ellen Adams; 12 great-great-nephews, Cy Ables, Will and Thomas Jarvis, Jordan Birch, Zeb and Zak Idol, Ace and Cruz Cagle, James Adams, Bradley, Bryson and Zachery Marion; and 1 great-great-great-nephew, Dash Ables.

The family requests in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the proposed McMinn County High School Athletic Performance Center
or the Classics Department at The University of Mississippi.

A memorial service will be announced at a later date. Condolences can be sent to his wife, Billie Bea Heltz, 1025 Crestway Drive, Athens, TN 37303.
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Ron Hosse

Posted at 04:19pm
I just learned that Mr Heltz has passed. He was my home room teacher one year when I was a student at MCHS and my father was a teacher there. I really liked him and have thought of him often. I pray for comfort for his family.

Linda Smith

Posted at 11:39am
I am so sorry for your loss. I have know Dean for a long time. Carolyn Pardue Hammond

Christine Corum

Posted at 02:55pm
Billie Bea, Coach Corum and I are so sorry. He was a good man. Remember him letting us Rob his garden! He could really grow things. Always smiling at school. Love you. Coach and Christine Corum

Susan Fleming

Posted at 04:20am
I was also in one of Mr. Heltz’s history classes and later in life have real regrets that I did not realize that a Latin class was the right place for me. I will remember him as a good man, a dedicated teacher and later as a neighbor to my parents. I’m so sorry for your loss Billie Bea and Rest In Peace Mr. Heltz.

Steve Byrum

Posted at 11:59am
I appreciated deeply the contribution of Dean Heltz to young high school boys like me who didn't know much about the world beyond Athens. He taught me Latin and ancient history in high school. He was always a source of encouragement about what could be done by going on to college. Of the people I have met across my life, he stands out as a unique man of substance. I also enjoyed the interactions he had with our football coaching staff, seemingly unlikely that there would be any reason for a connection to a Latin teacher of all things. Yet, his scouting reports of upcoming opponents were always the best that we ever had; no doubt, had he chosen to do so, he would have made an outstanding football coach.

Phyllis and I sent our warmest thoughts and condolences to Billie Bea, our friend in "the good old days," and our friend for life. Steve byrum

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