John “Jake” Heims | Dec. 4, 1921 — Jan. 22, 2013

Valpo man was war hero

2013-03-01T00:00:00Z Valpo man was war heroCarrie Rodovich Times Correspondent
March 01, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Jake Heims was an outgoing man who didn’t know a stranger, said his daughter, Tammy Wright.

“He would walk into a room and walk out knowing everybody,” she said.

John “Jake” Heims, 91, of Valparaiso, died Jan. 22. He worked 30 years for U.S. Steel. He also had been a head custodian for 14 years in the Lake Station school district.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Gertrude Heims.

He was a World War II Army veteran and a prisoner of war.

Heims was serving with the Army in Europe during World War II when he was shot in the leg and his whole division was taken prisoner, said his son, son Gary Heims.

“He was a 23-year-old gunner,” he said.

He was forced to walk for miles and was interrogated. He spent several months in captivity before he was liberated.

Heims said he admired his father for his strength.

“He didn’t take nothing from nobody,” he said.

Wright said her father liked to keep busy.

“He couldn’t sit around,” she said.

Before his wife died, he enjoyed wood working and the couple displayed their works at area craft fairs. He also enjoyed fishing, she said.

He had an excellent sense of humor, she said.

“He liked to hear a good joke, and he loved to tell a good joke,” she said.

Wright said her father was a family man who loved to take care of them.

“He was a great father and a great grandfather,” she said.

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