Family owned & family focused since 1952

John P. Heffernan III

OBITUARY FOR JOHN P HEFFERNAN III BSE MSE PE

Dec 16, 1977 –OCT 2, 2018

 

A tragedy has struck our family unexpectedly this past week, with the death of our third born, and only son, John.

John’s connections run worldwide, and we are experiencing an outpouring of grief from many friends and business associates. We will try here to provide you with the information needed to realize how far-reaching his kindness, support, and professional guidance was for many in his life. We are a military family, and as such, he lived an extraordinary life of continued travel, friends, and work opportunities. His goal was always to “Swing for the Fences”, and this encompassed his life.

John was born in Syracuse, New York, on Dec 16th, 1977 in the same hospital where his Dad was born in 1943. USAF tour took us back to our home and family for 3 years, so his roots are deep in the Heffernan tradition of Irish migration to Central New York which dates back to the early 1800’s. He was a true Irishman. Had the Heffernan Irish Crest inscribed on his arm. Loved the Irish décor, flags, and especially St Patrick’s Day! We have spoken with several friends who always got a call on St Pats Day. John came home to be with his family and will remain with us until he will eventually make his way back to his homeland in our family burial site in Cazenovia, NY.

John traveled on his first flight at age 3 months when his Mom and I went to visit friends at Travis AFB, Ca, where we transferred to in August 1978. He attended Pre- school and Kindergarten at Orchard Road School, in Vacaville Calif.  There were 3 John’s in his class, so he was dubbed John 1.  This stayed with him forever in our family.

We moved on to Tempe, AZ in 1984, where our family has called home for over 34 years. John attended Cielo Elementary and Pueblo Middle School, and was an original family member of St Andrews Catholic Church, where he will complete his journey thru a short life on Friday, Oct 12th.  Our family is devastated. Our original Pastor, Fr Joe Hennessey, will be conducting John’s final mass. They go back a long way, John having served as an Altar Boy for 3 years, completed his Eagle Scout Project with the support of the church and Fr Joe, and First Communion in 1985. He also taught in the RE program, and sponsored in the RCIA programs. John was a firm believer in the Catholic Faith and God. His Religion carried him thru tough times in his life. As difficult as this is for the rest of us, we know he’s going to be ok.

Another family step into the Airlines led John to Center, PA, a small community just North of Pittsburgh. He attended Center High School, and Graduated in 1996.  Played all sports, enjoyed the closeness of 135 members of the Class of 1996, many of whom we have shared our grief with in the last few days. Great group of friends that we had the privilege of sharing John with.  We found a receipt for $5.00 for John’s Mom adopting one of two great friends in his life, a Black Lab named Shelby from the Center Shelter. She was with him for many years, and was followed by another truly exceptional Lab friend, Kendall. That’s her in the picture with John on a hike in the Malibu, CA Mountains.

John was a member of the Class of 2000, at the Air Force Academy. Many true, close friends still from this world have reached out to us. Many Friends, many stories, many pictures. Awesome He completed his formal education at Arizona State University, where he ultimately Graduated in Dec 2002 with A Master of Science Degree in Civil Engineering.

He was excited when his first job took him to Malibu, CA, as an engineer for the City. He worked at this until 2005, when he formed his own company, JPH EQUITIES, with John and his Dad as the main members, which remains in place today. From 2005 thru 2017, was a true adventure for him. “Swinging for the Fences” covers it all. He contracted for several Fortune 500 Companies, with the main emphasis on Commercial Real Estate Development, taught at Pepperdine and Drexel Universities, had an apartment on Central Park in NYC, the list is endless. Always busy, always a friend and advisor, always remained close to his family. Yet again, another world of truly great friends from his 15 years in Calif, Bless you all for being with us now.

John wanted to be home with his family.  He was contemplating this for many months, and finally made the decision to move back to Tempe during the 2017 Holidays. His sisters and two nieces are here, and he always felt he was missing too much. We were elated to have him back, and he actually ended up purchasing the house right next store to us! Said he wanted to be around to help us if needed, and reconnect with Arizona. He was considering a run for Political office in 2020, and became active in the local district organizations. He also was involved with a group who Rescues and Fosters Labradors, and was supposed to be starting in October. His Family room has two large Dog Beds, dishes and etc ready to go. Heartbreaking. Click the link for donations to this group and for college funds for his two nieces https://www.gofundme.com/john-p-heffernan-iii-memorial-fund?sharetype=teams&member=895402&pc=sms_sf_co2876_v1&rcid=e64e5873ad5240198dc1753ebaa8761f

John was associated with many national organizations, some of the biggest being the MBA Mortgage Bankers Association, American Society of Civil Engineers, California Mortgage Brokers Association, was currently teaching in the College of Engineering Construction at Drexel University, Philadelphia, along with being the President of JPH Equities, Scottsdale, AZ. His Linked In site has contacts in the thousands.

A “Free Spirit” who rode Harleys, owned a 1962 Black Cadillac Convertible, aptly named “The Bird, a great friend to many, a True Relationship with God, loved his family, and came home to us to be close. We are all devastated, and were looking forward to our remaining years with all of our family together in Arizona.

The phone, email, and social media response has not stopped. Please use this site to let us know your feelings. It will carry us on thru what is, and will be a really tough time in our lives.

John is survived by his parents, Jack and Reenie, Sisters Kelly Munoz and Eileen Goltz, and two very special nieces, Meghan and Emily Munoz.

Lastly, we are Blessed with many friends and family who will be traveling to Arizona to honor our son and their dear friend. Our Church, St Andrew the Apostle, which we have been members of since 1984, is taking great care of us at a time when we really need support. The Visitation and Mass will begin at 10:00AM on Friday, Oct 12, 2018, followed by a luncheon at  St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church 3450 W. Ray Rd. Chandler, Az 85226. Our family has decided to also hold a gathering at John’s new home in the afternoon. He wanted to do a house warming party, so his will take place Friday afternoon. He was very proud and excited about his new home. Please stop by if you can. Directions available Friday, a 5-minute trip from the Church.  His joy was rummage and garage sales. Enough said. Come and see.

Our hearts are broken. Thanks for all your support.

The Heffernan Family

     

38 Comments

  • Kathy Nolte Posted October 8, 2018 2:35 PM

    I can’t begin to tell you how sad my heart is, to hear this news of John’s passing. It is apparent that he touched many lives with all of his far-reaching connections and abilities. I know everyone is devastated and overwhelmed with grief at this time. I hardly know what to say. I am grateful for the opportunity I had to meet him and help him in a business transaction. I could tell he was very focused on goals and had a lot of ‘irons in the fire,’ but seemed to have the ability to keep things moving and get things done! My most deepest sympathies to all of you.

  • Josephine Levy Posted October 8, 2018 6:30 PM

    I knew John as a great neighbor and friend. His love for dogs was evident and reflected his gentle, open nature. His loss is tragic and a shock to all of us. I am so terribly sad and hold his family in my heart during their grief.

  • Terri Blake Posted October 8, 2018 7:18 PM

    I cannot begin to tell you how sorry I am for your loss. I have been a friend of Kelly’s for 30 years and my memories of him go back to us visiting your home on the weekends. No words will ease your pain, but just know that he has not left you. He will forever be watching over you …your own special angel.

  • Ann and Don Newnum Posted October 8, 2018 7:33 PM

    Our hearts, prayers and love are will all of you. This world has lost a outstanding young man. John will always be with everyone whos life he has touched forever. All our love and prayers.

  • Ginny Nolin Posted October 8, 2018 8:11 PM

    There no words I can that can take away your pain over the loss of this incredible young man, nor can I put into words the sadness I am feeling over John’s passing. I thank you for the beautiful tribute to John’s amazing life. I regret that I will be unable to be with you on Friday. I can, however, send my love and support for the exceptional young man you raised, as do Tracy and Kristen. I will truly be with your entire family in thought and prayer.on Friday, and always.

  • Mike and Nancy Posted October 8, 2018 8:13 PM

    We were blessed to have enjoyed the years we shared while our kids grew up together. We treasure all of your friendships. There are such precious memories of the times and trips we had together. Although John is gone from us for awhile, he is with God and we will be reunited some day. He will be sorely missed until then. Our prayers and thoughts are with you.

  • Felipe & Jayne Munoz Posted October 8, 2018 8:20 PM

    We have that pitiful sorrow which comes when saying goodbye to a loved one; a dull ache in our heart because we’ll miss a good soul. We can only pray that God will lighten your burden and sadness. We share, but cannot fathom your loss. God be with you and care for his faithful follower John.

  • Melissa Agnor Viscovich Posted October 8, 2018 8:29 PM

    To the entire Heffernan Family, I’m so very sorry to hear of this tremendous loss. I can’t imagine the pain you’re feeling and hope you know that the concern and support of the many who love you and who loved John surrounds you in your grief. I didn’t have the privilege to know John as an adult, but based on all I know and love about Jack and Reenie, I know he was a special and treasured person who clearly had a passion for life and a deep love for his family. Please take care and know that Dave, Anna, Sophie and I are thinking of you all during this exceedingly difficult time. Please take care and hold each other tight.

  • Fred Dobronz Posted October 8, 2018 9:37 PM

    Heff, always with a joke, or a funny YouTube video comment…

  • Johnny Basha Posted October 8, 2018 11:17 PM

    I’m saddened by the loss of the most remarkable young man I had the privilege of knowing. Johnny left an indelible impression on my life, as 27 years later, I still reflect on the conversations I had with a young man in his early teens. He was wise beyond his years. I was in awe that a young boy could possess such wisdom and insight. Throughout my adult life, I have reflected many times on the insights Johnny Heffernan shared with me and the ways he changed me for the better. This is a time of sadness for all. If Johnny were here, he would tell us to be strong and set examples for all. While I am beyond heartbroken to hear of Johnny’s tragic passing, his memory will live on in hearts of those who were as blessed as I was to have him in their lives. Sending much love to the Heffernan family.

  • Anne (Badger) Simmons Posted October 9, 2018 4:55 AM

    I knew John as Kelly’s little brother. She always was so proud of John but especially loved how much he loved her girls.This tribute is so beautiful and I truly ache with you over this loss. My heart goes out to all who are grieving. Fr. Joe is the perfect choice to celebrate John . We are out of town so won’t be able to be there but my heart and mind will be. Love to you all.

  • Ian Faieta Posted October 9, 2018 6:03 AM

    A true brother to most of us who grew up with John. You will be missed and never forgotten, as you have touched, and been a part of so many peoples lives. Rest in peace brother.

  • Jeff Schummer Posted October 9, 2018 6:15 AM

    My heart goes out to the entire Heffernan family. I came to know John as a very down to earth, exceptional person, who wanted to make a difference in peoples lives through training, and education in the world of Commercial Real Estate Finance. We worked together on several important executive leadership and professional certification programs with the Mortgage Bankers Association, Pepperdine University, and A.S.U. John had a real passion for developing others, and it was a privilege to know and work with him. One of his last lectures was to a group of young and upcoming future leaders. He closed by saying “When we make a decision to enter the unknown there are always variables which we can have no knowledge nor control over. However, it is better to charge ahead in the best manner we can because if you never fail that only means you never tried”. He truly lived and modeled this principle. I will miss John, greatly. God Bless.

  • Liz, Max, and Vivienne. Munoz Posted October 9, 2018 6:33 AM

    I am so very sorry! John was an amazing presence. His achievements are remarkable to read and I know you are very proud parents. Our deepest and most heart felt sympathies are with you all.

  • Chuck and Sharon Grow Posted October 9, 2018 10:29 AM

    We are saddened and stunned by the news of John’s passing. We were so pleased when we knew that he was moving in next door and looked forward to having him as a neighbor. We cannot imagine the grief that John’s family and friends are feeling and only wish there were some magic words to help heal their hearts. Our blessings and love are with everyone who knew and loved John. Chuck and Sharon Grow

  • Wayne Francis LeSueur Posted October 9, 2018 1:35 PM

    I first met John as an active 11 year old, when his mother, Reenie, came to work as an exceptional hygienist in my dental practice. From our first meeting, I have always had the highest respect for all of the Heffernans. John is a great credit to his family and his love for his parents, sisters and nieces was obvious. At each meeting, I was impressed by his enthusiasm and the way he looked to the future. For a young man who could live anywhere, to buy a home next to his parents speaks volumes about his devotion to his family. John is a very bright light who lit this world for too short a time. Wayne LeSueur

  • Connie & Larry Budge Posted October 9, 2018 2:36 PM

    Dearest Reenie and Jack. Our love and prayers to you and the family.

  • Ron and Judy Tapscott Posted October 9, 2018 3:14 PM

    Dear Jack and Reenie,

    We are deeply saddened to learn of the tragic loss of your son. Our hearts go out to you and your family. We are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.

    Ron and Judy Tapscott

  • Abraham Park Posted October 9, 2018 5:02 PM

    I am so sad to hear this – we worked together at Pepperdine and John was a down to earth, very talented person who brought so many contacts to our program. We also talked about God and our faith together. I pray for the entire family. This makes us realize how at the core of our lives, we all need Jesus and we all should take each day and relationships as precious gifts from God. I will miss you John.

  • Bryan Watson Posted October 9, 2018 5:25 PM

    Heff,
    Way to young to leave us. Great person and it’s amazing how many people you touched. Prayers for your family.

  • Nick Redondo Posted October 9, 2018 7:08 PM

    Jack my deepest condolences.

  • Jean Porter Posted October 9, 2018 7:21 PM

    My deepest sympathy for the loss of your son. My heart goes out to you for losing him so early in his life. My sincere thoughts and prayers for all of John’s family and friends.

  • Richard & Joanne Fitzpatrick Posted October 10, 2018 7:24 AM

    Our prayers and thoughts will be with you from this day forward. May the good Lord hold you in the palm of His hands/

  • Spike and Patti Brigati Posted October 10, 2018 7:32 AM

    I have known Jack and Renie since high school. In fact he actually introduced me to my current (and only) wife Patti in 1966. I never met any of the children because of their movements around the country. I do feel a special bond with them over this tragedy having lost a son-in-law a few years ago and living that loss with my daughter -today 10/10 was Jeff’s birthday. I have read what a wonderful person John was and frankly would expect nothing less considering his parents He will be remembered in our prayers.

  • Mike Wilson & Lori Knaggs Posted October 10, 2018 7:54 AM

    Jack, Reenie, Kelly, and Eileen, and Family,
    We are so sorry to hear of this terrible lost. I can’t imagine the pain you are feeling. I remember him as a young man heading to the USAF Academy and hearing of his many achievements throughout the years. We hope those many memories will comfort your entire family. You’re all in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Roy Barber Posted October 10, 2018 10:56 AM

    I’m am saddened to learn of this terrible loss. I will always have fond memories of our childhood friendship and all the family adventures we took. My deepest condolences.

  • Phoenix Chapter Kiwis Posted October 10, 2018 12:04 PM

    Dear Heffernan Family,
    The Phoenix Kiwis have had you all in our thoughts and prayers, since hearing the sad news of your loss. John’s life and accomplishments must make you extremely proud. Please know that one and all of us is here to offer support and help in anyway possible. May God watch over the family and provide comfort during this saddest of times.
    Faithfully,
    Reenie’s Sister Kiwis
    Phoenix Chapter Kiwi Club
    Juonne England- President

  • DENNIS AND THERESA PERALTA Posted October 10, 2018 12:37 PM

    Dear Heffernan Family,
    Our prayers and condolences go out to your family during this time of loss and mourning. Knowing that John was a “Man of Faith,” it is our belief that he is in a better place with our “Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” May God comfort your family during this difficult time.

  • KAHRA WHISLER Posted October 10, 2018 2:51 PM

    To the Heffernan Family,
    My condolences to you all. I was so shocked when Carol called me with the news. “Luke 23:43 Truly I say unto you, today you will be with me in paradise”
    Love and prayers to all of you.

  • Michelle Chapes Posted October 10, 2018 3:55 PM

    A young life gone too soon. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. May god comfort you in this difficult time.

  • Joe Swogger Posted October 10, 2018 5:46 PM

    My deepest condolences. John was a good man who lived an amazing life. Gone way too soon.

  • Denise Felluca Posted October 12, 2018 5:38 AM

    My thoughts and prayers are with the Heffernan family. I will miss John dearly. We both were transfers into Center Middle School, and have kept in touch throughout the years. My college and first years as a pharmacist wouldn’t have been the same without him. He touched the lives of some many people it’s incredible. His impact, his joy, his humor, and his memory will live on with those who knew him. I lite a candle this morning at our church as I could not be there today, I will leave you all with what I would text him every year on St Patrick’s Day. “May the road rise to meet you, May the wind be always at your back, May the sunshine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields, and until we meet again May God hold you in the palm of his hand”

  • Stacy sustar-ritchart Posted October 12, 2018 6:43 AM

    So sad to hear of John’s passing! Heff you were a funny and caring guy! God speed my friend you will be missed! Fly with the angels

  • Le Moyne College Alumni Office Posted October 12, 2018 6:55 AM

    Please accept the most heartfelt sympathies of Le Moyne College. We hope the love and memories that you will forever hold in your heart bring you peace and comfort during this difficult time.

  • Anne Cantwell Posted October 12, 2018 5:15 PM

    An incredibly beautiful tribute. Heartbroken for our Heffernan family, but comforted to know that you are surrounded by so much love and support. Love and hugs to all of you.

  • Pete Hipple Posted October 12, 2018 5:57 PM

    Jack, my sincere condolence to you and your family. May you experience God’s peace and comfort in the midst of your grief.

  • Patrick Ryan Posted October 14, 2018 6:27 PM

    Heffernan Family,
    I’m incredibly saddened to hear of John’s passing. Early on in life I knew him to be a smart and creative guy- one of Casey’s buddies and a fellow Irishman. My very first introduction to the Academy was given by John. Apparently he sold me on the Civil Engineering major as well. While I was away at the zoo he was in Tempe, helping out my mom after my dad died- constructing a porch, fixing gutters, telling jokes. A few years later he was back again to help me prepare for my professional engineer license, gifting me a book and offering encouragement that I took to heart. One of my first thoughts at learning of his passing was what an interesting life he lived. Its something I try to impress upon my kids- don’t do ordinary. I know you’re proud of him and I’m grateful to have known him.

  • Bill Alison Posted October 15, 2018 10:45 AM

    Jack, Lisa and I are very sad to hear of your loss. I know words can never express how we feel in a time like this and I cannot imagine what it would be like to loose a child..please know we are thinking of you. I know you can be proud of the life he led and the good man he came to be.

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