Mary Heller

Obituary of Mary Claire Heller

Mary Claire (Heider) Heller, age 92, passed away peacefully at Beaumont Hospital Royal Oak, MI on August 9, 2023. 

 She was preceded in death by her parents Frances Louise (Schweikert) Heider and Edward J. Heider, and her brother Edward A. Heider.  She was the beloved wife of the late Gerald R. "Jerry" Heller, and the loving mother of daughters Kathryn Fishbain (Dr. Joel Fishbain) Linda Heller, and Jeanne Bourget (Jack Bourget). She dearly loved her grandsons Steven Fishbain of Ronan, MT, Michael Fishbain of Glenwood, MD, and Theodore Bourget (Aviya Skowron) of Chicago, IL, as well as her grandchildren by marriage, Mark Bourget (Katie Bourget) of Edina, MN, and Michel Porter (Todd Porter) of Milford, MI and their children.  She was the loving sister-in-law of Margaret Heider of Milwaukee, WI and is survived by many beloved nieces and nephews, their children and grandchildren.

Mary Claire was born on April 4, 1931 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and loved to play the piano. She became a concert pianist at the studio of Irma Schenuit Hall and played many concerts in the local area. She graduated from Milwaukee State Teachers College with the intention of teaching piano lessons. When she met the love of her life, Jerry Heller, at church, she was captivated by his charm and they were married on November 4, 1950.

Three daughters later including a move to Michigan, she was the stay-at-home mom who cooked hamburger casseroles that had a different name when they were served the next night as leftovers. She kissed boo-boos, taught piano lessons, played piano concerts, sang in the church choir, and gave everyone Toni Tonette poodle perms for Easter Sunday at church and made sure their bangs were too short for school picture day.

 She volunteered at the lunchroom at Lutheran High School East in Harper Woods when her two daughters went to school there, and never ceased to embarrass them by waving to them from across the room.

Along with her beautiful piano playing, she took acrylic painting lessons and made many beautiful paintings which have been viewed by friends and family and now hang in the homes of family members lucky enough to have them.

She was kindhearted and gentle, she loved cats and kittens, she was always a lady and always looked her best. She believed the Gospel of Jesus Christ and lived out her final days at All Seasons of Birmingham.

 Private interment will be held at the Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly, MI. 

Memorial contributions can be made to New Beginnings Animal Rescue, 2502 Rochester Rd, Royal Oak, MI 48073 or Gleaners Community Food Bank, 2131 Beaufait, Detroit, MI 48207.

A memorial luncheon for friends and family will be held in September.

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