June 9, 1963 ~ July 31, 2023
William ‘Bill’ Joseph Heeter was born on June 9, 1963 to William Joseph Heeter and Ruby Arlene (Springston) Heeter in Monett, Missouri. Bill fought cancer for over three years and passed away with Christopher and Ann holding his hands on July 31, 2023. The world lost an amazing man, husband, dad, uncle, brother, musician, and friend
Bill was loved by anyone who met him, not just his family. He was a musician and could play nearly any instrument you put in his hands, even if he always said he wasn’t ‘that good’. Playing bass was his first love, followed closely by his wife of almost 30 years, Ann. He always said that Ann made him a better person, but anyone who knew Ann when they first met in her 20s, knows that he definitely made her a better person. They were best friends.
His pride and joy was his son Christopher. He would tell anyone he knew about Chris and his accomplishments, from school and sports to being a full fledged grown up. Bill frequently commented that at least one of them decided to grow up. Chris was his partner in all things Royals, music, and anything nerdy. They also enjoyed Harry Potter books, with Bill having read all the books out loud to Chris with the best Hagrid voice ever. The day Chris married Elizabeth was one of the happiest days of his life. Adding Elizabeth to the Heeter crew gave us someone to laugh at Bill’s constant dad jokes and general weirdness.
Bill leaves a musical legacy that very few can leave behind. He loved playing music, having just released two jazz albums in the last year (look them up on streaming services under William Heeter). Ann joked that they were weird, but Bill just laughed and told her she didn’t understand real music. He understood, and that’s all that mattered to him. He also wrote and produced many other albums that just aren’t on streaming services. He taught hundreds of students to play guitar and bass, calling those students his ‘kids’. He played with more musicians than could be counted and in numerous bands around the KC area. His favorite band was his blues band Hardball. Music was truly what Bill’s feelings sounded like.
Bill loved all things Royals baseball and loved watching games in person and on TV. The last game he attended was in June for his birthday with Christopher in the Crown seats, right behind home plate. He was thrilled. He could regale you in Kansas City baseball Trivia, including back
to the Monarch’s negro leagues team, having just visited the museum in June.
Bill is survived by his wife Ann, his son Christopher and his wife Elizabeth, his sister Jennifer, and many friends and family. He also leaves behind his dogs and best friends: Pokie, Wicket, Vader, and Athena. Bill never wanted a funeral, but a party.
His celebration is scheduled for Friday, August 4 between 5:30pm to 7:30pm at the Gamber Community Center in Lee’s Summit