Wayne Walter Heinze

May 17 1949
Jul 13 2022
73 Years
Paoli, Pennsylvania

Wayne Walter Heinze, 73, of Paoli, Pennsylvania, passed away peacefully on July 13, 2022, with his wife and son by his side.

He was the son of Walter and Veronica Hinchcliffe Heinze, born in Kearny, New Jersey.  He grew up in the projects there with his younger brother Rick, living in the chaos and violence of a postwar metropolis minutes from Manhattan. From his father, Walter, a veteran of intense combat in the Pacific theater, he learned tenacity, justice, and a passion for the outdoors and sports. From his mother, Veronica, an endlessly resourceful survivor of the Great Depression, he learned a love with no bounds, empathy for children and animals, and the indefatigable optimism to charm, comfort, and unify in even the darkest of times. The wild imagination, exceptional wit, and drive to transcend the mundane with extraordinary pranks were wholly his own.

At Kearny High School he was a fierce athlete, starring as a track sprinter and as a running back for the football team. He had scholarship offers from several prestigious universities and attracted the attention of NFL recruiters before devastating knee injuries cut short his career. He went on to attend Montclair State University, studying history and earth sciences with a vigorous thirst for knowledge while working part-time in factories. He would often commute to school and work by foot and buses, running up to 13 miles while carrying a loaded backpack.

His athletic pursuits continued in baseball, basketball, and running for years through the Kearny Athletic Club, an organization which he co-founded.  He began a volunteer coaching career in his late teens that would continue in some form for his entire life. To the countless dozens of athletes in whom he distilled both a love of sports and the hard-won wisdom that only athletes can earn, he was known for decades later as “Coach,” as former players recalled the transformative life experience of playing for him on one of his numerous championship teams.

He was an avid lifelong fisherman, conservationist, and lover of the natural environment. Trips with his family to the saltwater bays and inlets along the New Jersey coast were in his blood, but he equally loved discovering hidden freshwater ponds, swamps, and lakes around the state and the country, eventually catching fish in 38 states. He kept meticulously detailed naturalist’s logs of every fishing trip of his adult life. For every birthday from the age of 21 to 72, he caught the same number of fish as his age on that day. 

With a trademark patience honed over decades as a quietly extraordinary fisherman, he waded and waited for the love of his life until his mid-30s. That was when he met his wife Rosemary (nee Callahan), and proceeded to dedicate himself to her with an unwavering absoluteness throughout their 37 years of marriage. In Woodbury, New Jersey, and later in nearby Haddonfield, they raised their son Justin, where they both poured their lives and energies into giving him every opportunity. 

Wayne passed along all of his passions to his son, and they shared a particular devotion to baseball, track, literature, and camping. Among countless camping adventures, Roan Mountain State Park in Tennessee and Grand Canyon Parashant National Monument in Utah were favorites. With an incredible devotion, he coached all of his son’s sports teams year-round through his youth, and later drove countless hours to every single one of his son’s college cross country and track meets.

His final great athletic venture was a fully original and volunteer effort to promote women’s sports, particularly women’s professional hockey. He interviewed players from all over the world, including Olympians. He was particularly instrumental in growing the fanbase for the Connecticut Whale which he celebrated on social media as Cetacean Nation Hockey.

In his professional life, Wayne brought the same dedication, good cheer, and drive for success to his work as a sales manager in the building and construction sector. When medical issues forced his retirement, his characteristic fierceness became only more evident as he prevailed in the last decade over a succession of monsters that sought to take him down. 

In addition to his beloved wife Rosemary and their son Justin, Wayne is survived by his brother Richard Heinze and his wife Wallie, their daughter Victoria Straka and her husband Keith, and their daughter Veronica Rose. His cousins Patricia Burroughs and William Burroughs also survive him, as do his uncle Joseph Hinchcliffe, his wife Sandra, and their children. His cousin Dale Heinze, his wife Donna, and their son Brian also survive. He was predeceased by maternal aunts and uncles Richard, Frank, and Marion, as well as Muriel Burroughs and her husband Bill. On his father’s side, he was also predeceased by his uncle Fred Heinze, and his wife Doris.

Additionally, Wayne is dearly missed by his sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law Helen (John) Lozano, Annamary Callahan, Gracemary (John) Lipnicki, Mary (Tom) Noone, John Callahan, Eileen (the late Bob) Garner, and Frank (Kim) Callahan, and their children, including those of his late brother-in-law James Callahan.  A dear aunt, Anna Marie O’Reilly also survives, as does a large extended family of Callahan, Reilly, O’Reilly, Gibson, and McCarty cousins.

A funeral mass will be held on Thursday, July 21st at 11:00 a.m. at St. Norbert’s Church, 50 Leopard Road, Paoli, Pennsylvania, with visitation from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the service.  The mass will be livestreamed at www.parish.stnorbert.org/livestream/

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Be The Match at https://bethematch.org/, Friends of Heinz Refuge at https://fohrefuge.org/, or the Student Conservation Association at https://www.thesca.org/.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Wilde Funeral Home of Parkesburg, Pennsylvania. Online condolences can be posted at www.wildefuneralhome.com

Service Date: 
Jul 21 2022 - 11:00am
Service Location: 
St. Norbert’s Church, 50 Leopard Road, Paoli, Pennsylvania


Dear Rosemary, our hearts go out to you and Justin in your time of sorrow for your beloved Wayne. You have our deepest sympathies, and we hope you are surrounded by much strength, compassion and love during this time. Our deepest condolences,

Your HPP Family


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It is a shock to lose your oldest friend.  Wayne and I were friends in 1953 before we attended kindergarten.  He was in the "Projects" behind our house on Wilson Avenue. 

He was instrumental informing the Kearny Athletics Club which became the meeting grounds for kids in Track and Football. 

I was always sad to see that Wayne could not play further than High School and he suffered with the knees from his time as a Full-Back for the rest of his life.  But he toughed it out and went fishing with me on a trip back to Jersey a couple decades ago despite the pain.

He was the eternal optimist and a person who was absolutely and entirely reliable.  As they say, just not made like this anymore. 

Anyway, I am reliving our adventures and my condolences to his family... a huge loss.

Jerry Y

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Dear Rosemary and Justin,

Please accept our deepest sympathies. While we never met Wayne, a quick read of his obituary reminds us of what we missed out on. It sounds like he was a great character who lived the life of a champion. The world needs more people like him.

Please take solace in the great memories and experiences you shared as a family and know that they last forever. We wish you strength and peace in the times ahead.

With warmest wishes, Kevin & Yvonne Hanrahan

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I shared some years of friendship, and chaos, with Wayne during H.S. and for a short time after...all before we went our separate ways.  Wayne never missed a stride when it came to sports, nor a beat with respect to his poetry, or for the sake of having a mad-dog hell of a good time! He always gave 110% in my eyes.  I could never keep up with him in any of those endeavours.  He was all energy, with a kind, adventurous, and generous spirit.  Like I said, we only shared a few moments together in the grand scheme of things, but it was always one hell of a ride.  

Paul P

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Well the time passes Paul.  There were a lot of good times had in those days and Wayne certainly knew how to profit from them.  Yes, now I remember it was amazing that you could be interested in football and poetry at the same time. 

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Dear Rosemary,

Wayne will be deeply missed and his memory will be cherished. We are sending our most heartfelt sympathy to you and your family.

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Rosemary - My family and I are sending you and Justin love, prayers, and comfort in this especially difficult time.  From the obituary, I can tell Wayne was a real "gem" and I am sorry I never had the chance to meet him.  If I can be of any help, please do not hesitate to ask.  Charlie

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Rose and Justin, 

Coach Wayne was such a kind, warm hearted fatherly figure to me and my brother. We learned so many life lessons and ways to have fun. I still remember fishing trips and hiking trails that I couldn’t wait to experience. 

As I entered middle school, coach Wayne was instrumental in leading me to focus and discipline in my running career, I wouldn’t have had any success if it wasn’t him taking me under his wing and teaching me many techniques and rewarding me with an ice cold Gatorade at the end…there are many other memories too. The only sad memory is learning of him becoming ill and facing so many mountains to overcome. It is amazing that his positive spirit pre vailed. I will never forget his words of wisdom or the uplifting support he offered me and my family. 






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Wayne was such a special person. We are so sorry for your family’s  loss and pray that you receive strength and peace during this time 

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The absolute heart & soul of the Connecticut Whale fan base. I loved interacting with Wayne and chatting about the Pod

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Dear Rose & Justin,

Although I never met Wayne or Justin, he sounds like a marvelous husband, father and coach. Warm thoughts and prayers for you both. 

Michael Foley

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