Colonel Michael E. Heenan

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Michael E Heenan, beloved husband, father and friend passed away peacefully surrounded by family and friends on March 12, 2014 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

He was preceded in death by his father and mother, Edward and Jane Heenan.

He is survived by his wife, Charlotte, four sons, Brian, Kevin, John and Tim, five sisters, Mari O'Brien, Connie Heenan, Pat Ellen Heenan, Jill Heenan and Sharon Galbally, and three brothers, Kevin Heenan, Brian Heenan and Jack Heenan.

Mike was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania the second of nine children to Edward, an Air Force pilot, and Jane Heenan. He graduated from Saint Joseph Prep School in Philadelphia in 1962 and the United States Air Force Academy, in Colorado Springs, CO in 1966. While at the Academy, he received high marks in Academics, Military Training and Athletics. He coached and played on several Wing Championship Intramural Teams resulting in Cadet Squadron Three winning the Mulanaphy Trophy for top squadron in Intramurals.

Mike attended Undergraduate Navigator Training at Mather AFB, Sacramento, CA. Prior to attending Navigator Training, while on Temporary Duty at Lowry Air Force Base in Denver Colorado, he met the love of his life and wife of 46 years, Charlotte Ostmeyer He received his Masters in Communications/Public Affairs (Magna Cum Laude) from Denver University. His military schools include Squadron Officers School, Armed Forces Staff College and Air War College, receiving the Commandant's Award.

Mike had many distinguished accomplishments during his Air Force Career. As a Weapons Systems Officer (GIB) flying out of Udorn Royal Thai Air Base he flew combat missions over Southeast Asia where he was shot down and rescued, after evading both enemy forces and a variety of natural jungle threats. He quickly returned to finish out his combat tour after recovering from his injuries. He was later honored to escort the remains of his pilot, who had perished when the aircraft went down, for burial at Arlington National Cemetery, when they were repatriated after the war.

Mike was one of the Air Force's first Navigators to hold the position of Fighter Squadron Operations Officer and Squadron Commander, holding both positions in F-4 squadrons at Clark Air Base, Philippines. He later served as the Support Group/Installation Commander at Wheeler Air Force Base, Hawaii. Mike's last assignment was the Director of the Air Force War Gaming Center at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. He retired as a full Colonel after 26 years of distinguished service.

After retirement, Mike and Char moved to Colorado Springs and then to Stockton, Kansas, Char's hometown. In Stockton Mike assumed the status of "Gentleman Farmer" and small town politician, serving on the Stockton City Council as both Council Member and Mayor. Eventually they moved back to Colorado Springs, CO.

Mike's many decorations include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross w/1 OLC, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal w2/ OLC and Air Medal w/10 OLC.

Mike's loving wife, Char, was the center of his universe for 46 years; while their four wonderful sons - Brian, Kevin, John and Tim - were the pride and joy of their long life together. Mike and Char have always been unequaled in generosity and willingness to share their home, love and hospitality with friends; but especially with the many Air Force Academy Cadets they have sponsored, showing them by word and example what it means to be an Air Force officer and loving family.

Mike always exuded a marvelous, contagious sense of humor and was a devoted husband, father and brother. He was both an extraordinary patriot and an unforgettable friend; and he will be sorely missed by all who knew him. Godspeed, Mike.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at the Cadet Catholic Chapel at 10 AM on 17 Mar, 2014 followed by interment at the USAFA Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please give to in Mike's name.

Published in The Gazette on Mar. 16, 2014
Arrangements under the direction of:
Swan-Law Funeral Directors
501 North Cascade Avenue | Colorado Springs, CO 80903 | (719) 471-9900
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