Helping Families and Friends Honor Their Loved One
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Frederick Joseph Heath

Frederick Joseph Heath, 79, died in Hospice Care on November 13,2021 at Brantwood Nursing Center. Although originally from Virginia, Fred and his wife Diane spent the last forty years of their lives in Granville County, North Carolina.

Fred was a very sociable, hardworking man who enjoyed life. He graduated from Thomas Dale High School and attended Asheville-Biltmore College (now UNC Asheville). Over the years, he worked in a variety of jobs. He was a home appliance salesman as a young man, also serving in the Navy Reserves. He was a volunteer fireman and did some police work. He was known by many in Oxford because of his business Vacuum Cleaner Solutions, which he opened in Oxford in 2007 after retiring from Sandusky Athol. He served actively in his union while working at Athol. He was involved in a number of local service organizations such as Lions Club, Woodmen of the World and Habitat for Humanity. He was a member of Oxford Presbyterian Church, which he attended regularly throughout the last ten years before having to limit his activities due to the pandemic. According to family, he kept an “open heart, an open mind and an open door.”

Fred had a gift for telling stories. He was a “foodie”, who enjoyed traveling and going to restaurants with his wife, family, and friends. He made a point of learning people’s names, and when making someone’s acquaintance, often asked where the person was from. Often, he would then recall a restaurant where he had eaten in that person’s hometown and tell a story about it. His hobbies included reading, country music and birdwatching. He also greatly enjoyed going on vacations with family members and friends.

Fred was resilient. He bounced back repeatedly after a number of serious illnesses including pancreatic cancer. In spite of spending his last few years in a nursing home, he was able to adapt. While he came to Brantwood for rehabilitation services in 2016, he remained there because of chronic health problems. He was nevertheless able to carve out meaningful ways to enjoy life. He developed friendly relationships with other residents and their families and the staff, played Bingo and Yahtzee and other games with residents and his wife, who visited the facility frequently before she became a resident herself, he maintained his relationships with family, church and friends on the outside to the extent this was possible.

Fred is survived by his sister Charlotte Gray Heath Bundy of Midlothian, Virginia, his brother Aubrey Owen Heath (Carolyn) of Roanoke, son Shannon Lee Heath of Staunton, Virginia, his (step)daughter Jennifer Matthews of Chapel Hill, NC, his daughters-in-law Carla Heath of Staunton, Virginia and Tammie Heath of Tennessee, grandchildren and step-grandchildren Amanda Stratton (Charles), Christa Heath, Branden Heath, Steven Mahon (Autumn), Raven Puhr (Ben), Brittany Heath, Jasmine Sessions, Jeremy Sessions and nine great-grandchildren as well as a number of beloved nieces, nephews and cousins with whom he kept in contact.

Fred was predeceased by his parents, Alvin Owen Heath and Margaret Marie Paytas Heath, of Chesterterfield, Virginia, his wife, Lois Diane Amos Heath, his sons Frederick Joseph Heath, Jr. (Joey), and Edward Owen Heath (Eddie), and his sister Marjorie Lee Heath Huband. He will be missed.

Due to COVID-19 concerns the service has been changed to Saturday, February 5, 2022 at 11:00 AM at Oxford Presbyterian Church, 121 Gilliam St. Oxford, NC 27565. The service will be livestreamed on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Oxford-Presbyterian-Church-152011345379561.

7 Comments

  • Cory Woodall Posted December 1, 2021 5:03 pm

    Freddie J was my daddy’s cousin. He sure could tell some great stories. I am so sorry for you alls loss! He will be missed!!

  • Aaron Chance Wilkinson Posted December 2, 2021 12:29 am

    Fred was a great guy, I always enjoyed talking with him when I saw him around town. He had a wonderful attitude and infectious optimism.

  • Brad and Jane Tippett Posted December 2, 2021 7:20 pm

    Diane, we were so sorry to hear Fred has passed away. Prayers for you and your family during your time of bereavement. May God’s Grace and lOve bring you comfort and peace!

    • Carolyn Steger Posted December 6, 2021 1:20 pm

      Brad and Jane, I am so sorry to have to tell you, but Diane also passed away at Brantwood after having been there a few months with Fred. She died on August 12, 2020.

  • Miranda Causey Posted December 3, 2021 11:04 pm

    I will truly miss Fred. For years the people of Oxford thought he was my dad because we were always together. Everyone loved him and EVERYONE was related to him! If you had time to talk to him, he would find a way you were related! You will be missed greatly.

  • Manie Parham Currin Posted December 4, 2021 1:02 am

    This is very sad news. I loved to visit Mr. Heath’s vacuum cleaner shop….he really knew his inventory, sold several good brands and could tell you the origin of the manufacture of each. When I ran into him in a restaurant, it always meant I would be there longer than I intended because I had to listen to the “Fred” stories!
    I miss him, I miss his store, I miss his stories and his gregarious personality! I am sure he has all the angels in heaven laughing! My prayer for the family is that you will always remember and follow Mr. Fred’s example of spreading love 💕 to all’!

    • Carolyn Steger Posted December 11, 2021 1:58 pm

      Manie, thanks for your comment. It sure brings back pictures of Fred to my mind’s eye.

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