Michael Francis Heidkamp - age: 70
(December 03, 1948 to September 15, 2019
Visitation Friday, September 20th from 4-9 pm at
Benson Family Funeral Home
3224 W. Montrose Avenue
Chicago, IL 60618
Funeral Mass, Saturday September 21st, 10 am (gather at funeral home 9 am) at
Queen of Angels Catholic Church
2330 W. Sunnyside Avenue
Michael Francis Heidkamp, Educator and Social Worker, dead at 70
Michael Heidkamp was the 7th child of the 7th child. His grandfather was the president of the now defunct Bank of Bowmanville, his father was an accountant with a degree from Notre Dame. The Heidkamps were well known in the Queen of Angels and Our Lady of Lourdes parishes. Michael enjoyed growing up in a large family with an even larger network of cousins nearby.
He had a keen interest in animals, nature and fossils, earning him the nickname “professor” at an early age. He received his BA in Native American-White Relations from Roosevelt University, and his MSW from Loyola School of Social Work. He was popular and well-liked by the other students, both for his willingness to share homework assignments and home cooked food, and his skill with the pinball machines in the basement of Loyola’s Water Tower campus.
After graduating from Loyola’s School of Social Work, Michael became a social worker/guidance counselor at Guerin College Preparatory High School; later he lived up to his early nickname by becoming a professor of Social Work at Roosevelt University. As a professor at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, a number of his students nominated him for the “teacher of the year” award.
In the 1990’s he was attracted to the growing hospice movement. He felt that he could make a significant difference to dying patients and grieving families by helping them at the most difficult time of their lives. He worked at both Hospice of the North Shore and Vitas.
In the mid-2000’s, Michael retired from active practice due to poor health, but he never gave up his love of people or his desire to help them. One of his caregivers described him as, “the most loving, caring, generous man [I] have ever met” He had three comfort dogs who visited regularly, and could always make him laugh: Betty, a bull-terrier; Jolene, a deaf bull-terrier; and Toot, a 3-legged deaf bull-terrier. Michael often said that Toot’s patience and good nature with his handicaps helped him to accept his own.
Michael died on Sunday, September 15. Rather than feeling that we lost him too soon, we feel lucky to have known him for his too short life. He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Pat Heidkamp (nee Luecke); his sister Sally McCarthy (nee Heidkamp); his brother, Gene Heidkamp; his brother-in-law, Howard Luecke; his 20+ nieces and nephews and many great nieces and nephews.
His wake will be held at 4 pm-9 pm on Friday, September 20, at Benson Family Funeral Home, 3224 W Montrose; funeral mass will be held on Saturday, September 21, 10 am at Queen of Angels Church, 2330 W Sunnyside, Chicago
In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to St. Joseph's Indian School: https://www.stjo.org/ or Illinois Doberman Rescue Plus: https://www.ildoberescue.com/