Charles "Vince" Vincent Heintzelman was born on May 1, 1944 in Brookfield, Missouri and after a courageous fight with Crohn's disease for forty five years passed away in his home in Newport, Wash., on April 27, 2013.
He is survived by his devoted and loving wife of 50 years, Brendia, son Charles "Chuck" Jr, daughters; Christine, Cherie, and Candace "Candy," sixteen grandchildren and three great grandchildren, his mother, Betty Ann, brothers, William "Bill", Clinton "Clint", and sister Sue Ann, along with many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father Leo and his daughter Margaret Ann.
In 1962 he joined the U.S. Air force and retired after seventeen years with a medical discharge after serving our country during the Vietnam War. He went back to school and obtained his A.A.S. in electrical and hydraulics, graduating at the top of his class. He did electrical work on lumber stackers for sixteen years and continued consulting worldwide for four years after that.
In 1966 Vince was stationed for temporary duty in Fairbanks, Alaska. This experience changed his life forever, while there he discovered the world of dog sled racing. When he got home, he convinced his wife Brendia that they should look for their first Siberian Husky; Kado. It was perfect as she could show them and he could race them. They only used Siberian Huskys for a few years before he wanted to go faster and be more competitive. He continued to race sled dogs for 31 years. It became his wife's hobby, his children's hobby and even several of his grandchildren joined their "papa" in dog sled racing. He was able to recognize his dream and took his dogs, wife, and two grandchildren to raced in Alaska in 2005, 2006, and 2007. His granddaughter continued on with his dream moving to Alaska and working with sled dogs while going to school in Fairbanks where it all began. He kept several dogs even after his health deteriorated beyond his ability to race dogs. It was his life and his passion, claiming even a month ago that he would race again.
He had a military burial service on May 3, 2013, at Newport Cemetery. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations may be made to the Newport Hospital and the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America. Sherman-Knapp Funeral Home in Newport was in charge of the arrangements.