Our favorite Norwegian Lloyd Engen would often write in his columns about “all the heroes I need,” referring to various folks he admired.
To borrow Lloyd’s phrase, Ken Heide is “all the hero I need.”
He is a special hero in my book.
Ken celebrated 85 years of life this month. He is a San Luis Valley original who has lived in the same town for most of his life.
He has served his town of Mosca well, as a fireman and fire chief and as a long-time businessman. The Heide garage is now the Pit Stop, but for many years Ken Heide ran the garage where people would come for service and good conversation. Anyone who has spent more than two minutes with Ken Heide knows he can tell a story like nobody else. Many of his accounts lead his listeners to laughter. I never had the pleasure of spending time in that Heide garage when Ken ran it, but I can imagine it as a place where people enjoyed gathering.
I know I enjoy spending time in Ken’s presence.
I have been fortunate to know Ken as a father-in-law and am grateful that even though he is no longer a legal relative, he is still willing to claim me as family and I him. He and La Vona are still very special to me.
My parents have also remained close friends to the elder Heides, and when my parents were in town last weekend, we made an afternoon trip to the Heides’ house in Mosca for a wonderful visit. La Vona was a great hostess, providing popcorn and soda, and Ken offered up good conversation.
The Heides have some difficult decisions ahead of them, and for health reasons they may need to leave their beloved Valley, but I know God will lead them in their future as He has in their past.
Both are Valley originals, La Vona as an Asay, and this is home with deep roots. Ken served our country during the Korean War but for most of his life has remained in or near his Mosca hometown.
He and La Vona have served in the Monte Vista Seventh-day Adventist Church and have been involved in nondenominational study groups as well.
Ken is one of those men who is transparent. We see through him to Christ.
I am grateful for his 85 years here and know God has a house already built for him in heaven.
It will be a place where people will love to gather.