Barbara Heidenreich, 73, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease, was finally called home to God April 2011. This ends the earthly adventure for Mrs. Heidenreich that began on Oct. 22, 1937 in Greenport, N.Y. where she was born to parents Grant and Marian Hansell. She grew up in Riverhead, N.Y., and in 1947 at the age of 10, she met the love of her life and sweetheart, Paul. In 1956, she graduated from Riverhead High School as valedictorian of her class and went on to St. Luke’s Nursing School in New York City.
On Dec. 25, 1957, Barbara and Paul sealed the deal and were married at the Riverhead Congregational Church. In 1959, Barbara graduated from St. Luke’s and became a registered nurse. With her nursing degree in hand, she and Paul moved to Tucson.
Mrs. Heidenreich quickly obtained a position as a surgical nurse at St. Mary’s Hospital in Tucson while Paul was attending the University of Arizona. Her career as a nurse was short-lived as Barbara and Paul together had two children. Paul graduated and they moved to Mesa and shortly thereafter to Scottsdale.
With family in tow, they began many wonderful camping adventures primarily in Arizona, Utah, Colorado and Mexico. They fell in love with boating and enjoyed many of the lakes in Arizona including Saguaro, Roosevelt and Lake Powell.
Rocky Point, Mexico was a favorite destination and they took their first trip to Baja in 1984; it was love at first visit and began their annual migration, eventually buying a little casita in Cabo San Lucas.
In 1998 Mrs. Heidenreich was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, however, she was committed to living life fully despite her disease. The Heidenreichs sold their home in Scottsdale and became full-time RVers and began traveling all around the United States, Canada and Mexico.
In 2002, they found a lovely summer home in Pine, and split their time between Mexico and Pine with RV trips in between.
As Mrs. Heidenreich’s symptoms gradually worsened, they returned to their beloved Pine home where she died with Paul beside her to the end.
Mrs. Heidenreich is survived by her husband, Paul Heidenreich of Pine; children, Mark (Robyn) Heidenreich of Scottsdale and Sharon (Dan) Larkin of Chandler; grandchildren, Ashley Heidenreich and Jacob and Kinsey Larkin; sister, Susan (David) Roush of Sylacauga, Ala.
Memorial donations may be made in Mrs. Heidenreich’s name to Banner Sun Health Research Institute for Parkinson’s Disease, P.O. Box 2015, Sun City, AZ 85372.