Irving Heath’s life was one of service to the military, community and family.
Marilyn Heath, his daughter, said as a pastor’s youngest son, her late father learned not only the Golden Rule, but also the fruits of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Marilyn said that served him well in working with people in the military and community. Hearth, who was known as Irv, will be inducted into the Indiana Military Veterans Hall of Fame Nov. 4 at The Garrison, 6002 N. Post Rd., Indianapolis.
Heath, who lived in Noblesville for nearly 70 years, died in December 2016 at age 98.
A first lieutenant in the U.S. Army, Heath, a tank driver, was in the 4th Armored Division under Gen. Omar Bradley and Gen. George S. Patton during World War II. He arrived in Normandy, France, a few days after D-Day. He fought in the Battle of Bastogne and the Battle of the Bulge.
“He went across Europe into Czechoslovakia and met up with the Russians,” Marilyn said. “He has nine medals from World War II, including a Purple Heart with a cluster for his two injuries and a Bronze Star.”
After recovering from his injuries in Wales, Heath was getting ready to be deployed to the war front in the Pacific, Marilyn said.
“The atomic bomb hit Japan and that took care of that,” she said.
Heath grew up in Massachusetts and met his future wife, Rachel Waltz, at DePauw University. Rachel, who was from Arcadia, died in 2010. The couple was married for 68 years and had three children.
“After Pearl Harbor was bombed, he volunteered and went to leadership training,” said Marilyn, a Noblesville High School graduate.
After the war, Heath worked at Cresson Insurance Agency for several years and then became the sole owner for more than 30 years.
“He said after his war experience, especially dealing with the devastated villages in Europe and the effect on his inhabitants, made him want to help anyone in any way he could to improve their situation in life,” Marilyn said.
Health helped found the Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville in 1952 and served on its board of directors for 40 years. He was also inducted into the Indiana Boys & Girls Hall Club of Fame.
In addition, he served as precinct councilman for 18 years and was an active Lions Club member. Heath was presented with the Sagamore of the Wabash, an honorary distinction presented by the governor, and was named grand marshal for the Noblesville Fourth of July Parade in 2000.
After his daughter Ann died in 2013, Heath moved to the Sunrise Assisted Living Community in Fairfax, Va., in 2014 to be close to Marilyn and her husband.