John Heinz
1938 - 1991



He was a man of vision, integrity, compassion, dignity, and strength of character. His life was a light in an oft-darkened world. John Heinz was an embodiment of hope – joyful, tireless, unwavering, and unyielding – in the heart of mankind. “The great and glorious masterpiece of man is to know how to live to purpose,” Michel de Montaigne stated. And John “Jack” Heinz did just that. He was a philanthropist, an environmentalist, an art-lover, an outdoorsman and sportsman, a United States senator, a public servant, a husband, a father, and a friend. He was a modern-day Renaissance man with a compassion, intellect, and spirit that reached individuals at every age, on every level, and changed and inspired countless minds, and touched so many hearts. Senator Heinz once said: “In the testing process of life, there is a certain inevitability about the discoveries of your abilities and needs, what you want to take from this life and give to others.” What he gave to others was hope – and hope is a gift that lives forever. He also gave us an indelible spirit of compassion, outreach, and optimism. He had unlimited vision and believed in reaching for the greatest possible potential for our communities and our country. Norman MacFinan once said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” John Heinz gave his life serving the cause of freedom, equality, and humanity. He dedicated his time, effort, and spirit to helping others. He was a patriot, a public servant, and a leader whose contributions to our communities, our lives, and our nation will live forever. Perhaps the greatest words we can speak of one who has left this earthly home for a heavenly one, are but a simple phrase: “He was a good man.” There are many remembered by so many words and phrases that we deem so lofty and important in our society, among them: “great,” “famed,” “illustrious,” “legendary,” and “acclaimed”. But those words speak not of the character of the person, nor of the value of the life they led. No, those words are merely aesthetic and superficial. The truly great word that can be ascribed to only the noblest hearts is one of the simplest in our language: “good”. For true, honest, and eternal goodness is not something that springs from worldly acclaim or honors, fame, attention, or verbose attributes, but rather goodness is something internal that lives in a person’s soul and radiates in all that they are and all that they do. “Goodness” is a word, an ascription, and an honor that should be reserved for those who have truly lived out the essence of its embodiment. John Heinz was a good man.

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