Gretchen Aleta Van Sant Heyer, age 79, died November 30, 2019, following a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease, in her home at Saddle Brook Memory Care Community in Frisco, TX. Gretchen was born March 30, 1940, in Santa Fe, NM to Joel Nicholas and Mary Foy Van Sant IV.
Gretchen’s father was a mining engineer and she spent her early childhood years growing up in various cities within the state of New Mexico: Santa Fe, Raton and Mexico Springs, the latter residing on a Navajo Indian Reservation north of Gallup. Her experience living on an Indian Reservation left Gretchen with a life-long affection for Native American people and their culture. At age 13, the family moved to Denver, CO and Gretchen attended Alameda High School. She was an excellent student.
Gretchen married Lamont "Monty" D. Heyer on June 14, 1959, whom she had first met in high school, following Monty’s graduation from college. Gretchen in a letter summarizing key events of her life wrote, "From my first date with Monty, I knew that he was the person with whom I wanted to spend the rest of my life". After two years as an Army wife living in Ft. Monmouth, NJ and Sacramento, CA, she spent the majority of her adult years in the Southern CA area, with some time in Peoria, AZ and Frisco, TX.
Gretchen was a full-time homemaker raising their son, Scott, for the first 13 years of married life before entering the work force as an executive assistant with first Merle Norman Cosmetics and then Everest & Jennings International Ltd. Getting married at age 19 meant college was unfinished business for Gretchen. She went back to night school while continuing to work and keeping the home running smoothly. Fourteen years later Gretchen graduated from Pepperdine University’s School of Business with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, now that’s tenacity!
Gretchen is survived by her son, Scott (Stephanie) Heyer; grandchildren: Nikki (Blake) Heyer-Borg, Nathan "Nate" (Corinne) Heyer and Neil Heyer; great-grandchildren: Dean & Isla Borg (Nikki & Blake) and Aaron & Noah Heyer (Nate & Corinne) along with a soon-to-be born 5th great-grandchild (Nate & Corinne) in May 2020.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Monty; along with her younger brother, Joel Mathis Van Sant V.
Graveside services and interment will be held Wednesday, December 11, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. in the Panguitch Cemetery. Funeral Directors: Magleby Mortuary, Richfield Salina and Manti. Online guestbook at www.maglebymortuary.com
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