Arvel "Mickey" Heath, 98, of Pensacola, Florida, was surrounded by family and friends when he lost his valiant battle with pneumonia on January 18, 2013. Born in Broseley, MO to Roy and Sarah, he is preceded in death by his parents, his step-mother Audria, his half-brother Ralph, and his son Donald Heath. Mickey lived a life of service to his country, his community, and most importantly, to his family.
Mickey had a distinguished 24 ½ year career as a Navy photographer and also served United States Coast Guard Auxiliary. He received a National Defense Medal and a World War II Victory Medal. He loved to "tinker" with things and after his military career, became a jack of all trades, working for a while with a friend in insurance and real estate.
Mickey's various interests included fishing, hunting, and travel, but he especially enjoyed gardening and took great pride in his yard. He was an active member of the Camellia Club in the 70's. He was elected as a Free Mason in February of 1952, and was a member of the Scottish Rite. Mickey and his wife Irene were American Red Cross volunteers together for more than 20 years, and he was always willing to extend a helping hand to a friend. Mickey was baptized in 1976 and was ordained as a deacon at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in 1979. He served the church faithfully for more than 20 years before becoming primary caregiver to Irene, the love of his life.
Mickey leaves to cherish his memory his wife of 76 years, Irene, his daughters Sylvia O'Camb, Loretta (Charlie) Rhodes, and Christy Heath, seven grandchildren, great grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, many nieces, nephews, extended family, friends, and his faithful 4-legged companion Tinkerbell. Mickey, a loving husband, father, and grandfather has been a super hero and steadfast rock. His absence will leave an empty place our lives.
Visitation will be at 11:00 am with the funeral service immediately following at noon, Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, Friday, January 25, 2013. Military and Masonic Honors will be presented at Barrancas National Cemetery Pavilion, NAS Pensacola at 1:15 pm.
Donations can be made in lieu of flowers to the Alzheimer's Family Services, 1901 North Palafox Street, Pensacola, FL 32501, or to the
We would like to extend a special thank you to the Pensacola Naval Hospital health care teams for their loving care and support during Mickey's illness, and to the staff at Eastern Gate Memorial Gardens for their help with funeral arrangements. Thank you, friend, for celebrating Mickey's life with us.
To Those I Love
When I am gone, just release me, let me go – so I can move into my afterglow.
You mustn't tie me down with your tears; let's be happy that we had so many years.
I gave you my love, you can only guess how much you gave me in happiness.
I thank you for the love you each have shown, but now it's time I traveled on alone.
So grieve for me awhile, if grieve you must, then let your grief be comforted with trust. It's only for a while that we must part, so bless the memories within your heart. And then, when you must come this way alone, I'll greet you with a smile and a "Welcome Home."