Daniel Louis "Bubber" Heely, 87, of Springfield, Ill., formerly of Belleville, Ill., born Dec. 5, 1924, in St. Libory, Ill., died Friday, Sept. 7, 2012, at home.
Mr. Heely retired as the owner of Heely and Co., a mechanical engineering firm in St. Louis, Mo. He was a graduate of Belleville Township High School, where he played in the inaugural football game at Belleville Township Stadium, a 0-0 tie with Cathedral High School (later Althoff). He went on to graduate from Millikin University, Decatur, Ill. Dan was a member of First United Presbyterian Church, Belleville, Ill., where he had been an usher, a deacon, a trustee, and an elder.
Bubber celebrated his 17th birthday two days before Pearl Harbor Day. He attempted to enlist the following Tuesday, Dec. 9, 1941. As he was a high school senior, his parents disallowed him to drop out of Township until he graduated. Bubber then served as a SeaBee in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific theatre, including the battle on Okinawa in 1945.
Bubber was most proud of the family he and his wife, Barb, shared. They were constant attendees at both their children's and their grandchildren's many events during their years in Belleville.
Daniel is survived by his loving wife of 61 years, Barbara J., nee Hall, Heely, whom he married June 30, 1951; two sons, Retired U.S. Navy Admiral Timothy Louis (Cherie) Heely of Leonardtown, Md., and Jeffrey Hall (Christen) Heely of Tiburon, Calif.; one daughter, Catherine (Dr. John Edward) Nester of Springfield, Ill.; nine grandchildren, Katherine Grace (Jim) Derenge, Conor Louis (Erin), Daniel Gardner, Laura Annin, Sarah Grace Heely, Catherine Elizabeth (fiance, Dr. Evan Armington), William Andrew (Elizabeth), Alexander Daniel and Caroline Louise Nester; and one great-grandchild, Finn Louis Heely.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Dr. Louis A. Heely M.D., and Grace, nee Farthing, Heely; his sisters, Louise, nee Heely, Green, Ruth, nee Heely, Kirchhofer, Sally, nee Heely, Dunck and Rebecca Heely; a brother, Charles Heely; and one brother in infancy.