Stephen "Steve" L. Heffner, Jr.September 1, 1925 ~ July 30, 2019 (age 93)
Stephen (Steve) L. Heffner, Jr., 93, of Keedysville, Maryland, passed from this life on Tuesday, July 30, 2019 at his home in Keedysville, Maryland, surrounded by loving family members. He was the beloved husband of Edna (Huntzberry) Heffner for 73 years.
Born on September 1, 1925, in Washington, D. C. and spent his early years on the family farm in Seat Pleasant, MD. He graduated from Maryland Park High School in 1942 and went to work for the U.S. Government at the Naval Ordnance Bureau in Washington, D.C. He later transferred to t he Naval Research Laboratory and entered a 4 year apprenticeship program for Instrument Maker. His apprenticeship was interrupted in 1944 by two years in the U.S. Army. Steve served with the 87th Infantry Division in the Battle of the Bulge, Battle of the Rhineland, and Battle of Central Europe. Steve received the Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Star, Good Conduct Medal, American Theater Medal, Europe/Africa/Mid-East Medal (with three battle stars), Victory Medal German Occupation Medal, Army Meritorious Unit Citation, and the Expert Marksman Badge. In 2016 Steve was honored by the Republic of France by being named Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor, France's highest distinction to those who contributed to the liberation of France in WWII.
When the war in Europe was over, Steve returned to the states and was stationed at Fort Meade, MD, where he met his wife, Edna. Steve was discharged and they were married in 1946. Steve returned to the Naval Research Laboratory to complete his apprenticeship. He graduated in 1948 as Journeyman Instrument Maker. During the following 10 years Steve moved up to Mechanical Engineering Technician and transferred to the Space Science Division of the Naval Research Laboratory. At this time he was appointed Project Engineer for advanced instrument development for the Upper Air Physics Branch. This branch launched many Aerobee Rockets from the White Sands, NM missile range. Many of the instruments flown aboard theses research rockets were designed by Steve. He also designed instruments for satellites, his proudest achievement being a Bragg type Spectrometer that flew aboard the orbiting solar observatory, launched from Kennedy Space Flight Center in 1967. Steve continued to work on many projects, some highly classified, until his retirement from NRL in 1974.
Steve was a member of Bethel United Methodist Church of Rohrersville, MD, Antietam Lodge No. 197 A. F. & A. M., Keedysville, MD. Scottish Rite of Freemasonry S.J. 32* Valley of Frederick Orient of Baltimore. Hagerstown Chapter No. 89, ORder of the Eastern Star. American Legion Post 10, Boonsboro, MD.
Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his son, Gary L. Heffner and sister, Dorothy L. Wood.
In addition to his loving wife Edna, Steve is survived by their daughter, Janet Kaetzel and husband Jerry of Sharpsburg, MD; granddaughter, Catherine Morgan and husband Travis, their children Ciana and DeLyn; grandson, Garrett Culler and wife Jessica and their children Marissa and Mariah; grandson, Lee Heffner; granddaughter Charity Heffner, and her children Hayden and Logan; niece, Marcia Sayre and husband Jon of VA; nephew Harvey Wood and wife Cheryl, of Nebraska and numerous nieces, nephews and relatives.
The family will receive friends from 6-8PM on Saturday, August 10, 2019 at Bast-Stauffer Funeral Home, 7606 Old National Pike Boonsboro.
A celebration of Stephen's life journey will take place at 11AM on Monday, August 12 at Bast-Stauffer Funeral Home.
Pastors John Schildt and Loyal Vanderneer will officiate.
Interment will be at Greenlawn Memorial Park in Williamsport, Maryland.
Memorial donations may be made to U.S.O. PO Box 96860 , Washington, DC, 20077 or Hospice of Washington Co., 747 Northern Ave, Hagerstown, MD 21742.