Donald Eugene “Heb” Heberling, of White Hall and Macomb, IL, entered into eternal rest on March 2, 2023.
Don was born on January 18, 1938, in White Hall, the firstborn of Myron Heberling and Marjorie Dawdy Heberling. He grew up in White Hall, and married the late Sarah Lou Phares Heberling on March 26, 1957. Don graduated from Western Illinois University with a teaching degree, and went on to pursue and obtain his Master’s degree (plus 32 credits towards a Doctorate degree) from Arizona State University.
Don and Sarah settled in Macomb, IL, where they raised their four children, Lou Ann, Jay, Hank, and Dana. Don went on to teach Art at Macomb High School for 34 years, where he was known as “Heb”, and always wore his signature jumpsuits. During his career, he introduced legions of teens to the wonders of creating art, whether through painting, drawing, sculpting, building sets for plays, or through his main passion, throwing clay on a potter’s wheel. “Heb” was a master potter, and was a walking encyclopedia of local Illinois pottery companies, and worldwide glazing and production methods.
Don was a Renaissance man, who loved opera, classical music, and choral music, in addition to his beloved art. He was a particular fan of Luciano Pavarotti and Leontyne Price, speaking often of seeing them perform with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He was blessed with a beautiful tenor voice, in addition to his other creative talents. Don and Sarah traveled to Arizona as “snow birds” after retirement, spending winter months in the desert, where Don ran the Ceramics room at their winter quarters, Greenfield Village, in Mesa, Arizona. Don and Sarah were a constant presence at the weekly pot lucks at Greenfield Village, and Don also was active in the chorus at the village.
One of Don and Sarah’s great passions was their venture, “The Duck Shop”, which Don started as a hobby, but turned into a retirement adventure. Don carved a variety of wooden models for ducks, geese, puffins, and other birds, which he then had machine duplicated. He and Sarah painted the wooden models, detailing the feathers and features with great accuracy and a beautiful finish. The Duck Shop was a fixture at the Illinois State Fair each year in Conservation World, where Don and Sarah befriended countless people, who returned each year to see them. They also participated in the Tempe Festival of the Arts in Arizona for many years, and traveled throughout Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, and Wisconsin, and Arizona, selling their ducks and making lifelong friends along the way.
Don was preceded in death by his wife Sarah Lou Heberling, grandson Devin Heberling, and son-in-law Gary Remeikis.
Left to celebrate his life and mourn his passing are his beloved younger sister, “Sis” (Joe) Goben, Jacksonville, IL; his children: Lou Ann Remeikis, Gilbert, AZ; Jay Heberling, White Hall, IL; Hank (Jill) Heberling, Macomb, IL; Dana (Karla) Heberling, Godfrey, IL; three grandchildren: Chesi DeWeese, Macomb, IL; Joshua (Mandy) Forner, Waxahachie, TX; Madeleine (Nick) Heberling-Droste, Godfrey, IL; and 11 great-grandchildren: Jakob, Zander, Eve, Emily, Chance, Ella, Brooks, Elizabeth, Macon, Sam, and George. A memorial service will be held on March 10, 2023, at Clugston-Tibbets Funeral Home, 303 E Washington St, Macomb, IL, with visitation beginning at 3:00PM, and service to follow at 5:00PM. Private burial will be at Pine Tree Cemetery, Patterson, IL, at a later date. Memorials may be made to the Theatre/Art Department at Macomb High School.
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