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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. https://classics.olemiss.edu/contact/
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.