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Obituaries

Heidi Viemeister

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Heidi Viemeister, photographed by Axel Bahnsen

Heidi Viemeister, photographed by Axel Bahnsen

June 20, 1951–Dec. 27, 2016

Heidi Viemeister — artist, sister, mother and grandmother—died peacefully on Tuesday, Dec. 27, from lung cancer. She was 65 years old. She struggled against injustice and inequality. She loved children and animals.

The third child of Read and Beverly Viemeister, Heidi grew up in Yellow Springs. She always loved horses and learned to ride her horses Thunderbird and Winnie at the Riding Center. She attended the Antioch school, and after graduating from YS High School, Class of ’69, she studied printmaking and art at the Dayton Art Institute. Her original posters for the Little Art Theater were always bright and cheerful. She started working for her father at Vie Design Studios as a paste-up artist, and eventually took over as president. She designed and illustrated numerous Antioch University documents. Recently, she had been helping to clean things up and design things for Antioch.

Heidi Viemeister with grandson

Heidi Viemeister with grandson

Heidi’s son Michael was born in February 1971, and in the 1980s she had two daughters with Tim Harris — Portia, born July 1985, and Alison, born June 1987. Together, they kept a horse, Jackson, and two miniature horses, John and Wayne, and also raised two pigs — Lunch and Dinner. In 1993, she and the girls moved to Wellington, Colo., where she worked at Colorado State University in Fort Collins until a diagnosis of breast cancer detoured her life. Heidi and the girls returned to Yellow Springs on Lincoln Court, where they remain to date.

Heidi was a gifted artist and insightful illustrator. She loved drawing and made beautiful “shadow” paintings, miniature sculptures of crying babies and small ceramic animals. She created T-shirts and sculpted cat doorstops and magnets for Young Concepts. An avid rock-hound, Heidi was always searching for petrified dinosaur bones to add to her large collection of unusual minerals, Indian artifacts, dinosaur poop and other stones found on her travels and around Yellow Springs. She was always on the lookout for homeless wildlife and cared for a large list of pets: Charlie, Rover, Louie, Recess, Precious, Peeps, Killer, Baby, Jackie, Bunny, Akela and many others. 

Heidi was most proud of her family: her children Michael (major, US Army), Portia (musical producer, Torch Studios) and Alison (chef at Antioch); her grandchildren Truman (17), Ceron (12), Trinity (10), David (2) and Dylan (1) and Sophie (on her way); and her siblings Kris, of Virginia, and Tucker and Roslyn, who live in New York. We will regularly and fondly recall the many fine and funny times we shared with Heidi, and carry on Heidi’s legacy — and will miss her posts on Facebook! (Happy rock hunting, Hei.) 

Heidi’s memorial is being planned for February.

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4 Responses to “Heidi Viemeister”

  1. Annie Schurer says:

    Heidi is a true and loving person she is free now and i am so happy she did not have to suffer long I am very new to smartfones i was able to google my late Brother John Schnurer and share pictures with her I would double post and say oops she was feeling joy seeing his pictures They had a special relationship they would go to ponds and be fascinated with simple things like mirrors and magnets it is always the simple and little things. When we lost Gary Snyder who dilligently served in Vietnam what was Heidi’s concern? It was that she was wanting to know if his dog or dogs were being cared for. That is a true heart I believe she and I are distant cousins of Dr Doolitle.Her heart is and was large beyond imagination her love for mankind and peace in earth is and was amazing. Her struggles were similar to mine in many ways. She always picked herself up turned around and started over again. A fighter a survior I remember when I lived in Va. There was a thigh high snow and an earthquake. She then touched bases with me. The earthquake was aproximately 75 miles from where I lived at the time. The building did the rhumba. We all went outside as it was odd and appeared to be unusual There was no safe place for me except a teeny tiny bathtub it was clean so just to be sure i placed a clean towel in it to sleep that night. When Yellow Springs was a Village we were always welcom in each others homes. We didnt lock out doors Joe Holly would come in and bring my father Herman Schnurers dry cleaning in and put it in the closet. We had a milkman Charles Chips and all those fun things of the 60s On Mayday we would pick dandielions and buttercups put them on the doorsteps and ring the doorbells and run away barefoot was a way of life. Many things have changed since then There is still a bond between a lot of us Upon my visit to Yellow Springs in November I really didnt recognize more than 4 or 5 people I still walked around and had no fear of being on the streets I guess I felt as if it was still my stomping ground I cannot be sure I had not been there since 2006 when we lost John Schnurer. My kind friend and heros Pam and Neal Crandall Ken Odiorne took time with me and I was able to see the shells of old places I had been and lived. I was blessed with Neal taking me to pray at Dad’s and John’s burial ground as well as Corrine’s late husband it was snowing droplets of sleet we cried and prayed it was by the lilac bushes that Mom planted also it was the place all of my pets were laid to rest. it was so melencoly Funny I saw Steve Lord in Dinos he had a ponytail in my minds eye he looked the same to me as he did when we were in high school I imagine that that is just how I see people just as they were. I do that to this day. Its probaly not Godly to some however my telephone and laptop kept switching from French to English. I repeatedly changed the settings and they kept reverting back. I felt as though John and Dad were talking to me. Practice your french practice your French I saw it as a sign to stay close to Heidi It was almost like a subliminal message. Who really knows? Not I. I have been through a lot as had Heidi different things but life changing. she and I I believe had one thing in common and that is to pick oneself up dust oneself off and start all over again. And why with all the hurricaines and things I have been through all the material possesions I have lost do I still have a pair of earings that Kris made me at Ohio silver? I am cluless as to that She has her wings she has her arms wrapped around us as an angel does as do her parents my parents and all of the families who took me in and wrapped there arms around me. Many have crossed over and yet their love remains in our hearts May heaven or the other side be good to all as those that have left us did leave us with many memories of the rich childhood we had in Y S its not too often that people are exposed to the wealth that we were it is rare and will always be cherished Be free sweet Heidi and stay with us always I feel you here with me now and that is a treasure to behold grab on to and run with Heidi will give us youth forever Peace and many blessings to the family Annie Schnurer

  2. Stephanie Kaelin says:

    “How lucky I am to have had something that makes saying goodbye so hard” AA Milne

  3. Matt Minde says:

    Sorry! Correction noted! —MM

  4. Tucker Viemeister says:

    correction: that’s not baby michael with heidi, it’s one of her grand childrent

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