Helping Families and Friends Honor Their Loved One

Gary Allen Heidt, age 79

Gary Allen Heidt, age 79, of Roland, Arkansas passed away on Thursday, September 9, 2021. He was born on May 20, 1942 in South Bend, Indiana.

He is preceded in death by his parents Vern and Doris Heidt; brother Brian Heidt; nephew Brent Heidt; and granddaughter Melissa Grothe.

Gary is survived by his wife of twenty-five years Suzanne Heidt; children Debbie Weidl (Scott), Scott Heidt (Laura), Nora Simmons, and step-daughter Christina Lusinger; grandchildren Joseph Grothe, Dylan Simmons, and four step-grandchildren; nephew David Heidt (Jennifer); great nephews Connor and Nicholas; and a host of friends.

Gary was a loving husband, father, friend, mentor to his numerous students, and a hero. He was a wildlife biologist, and was also chair of the biology department, and a professor of biology at UALR for thirty-eight years. He was a Civil War buff, author of Mammals of Arkansas, and he loved his cats.

The family asks that memorials be made to Feline Rescue & Rehome (FURR) at or The American Heart Association at

A memorial service will be planned for a later date to be determined.

Arrangements are under the trusted direction of A Natural State Funeral Service, 2620 West Main Street, Jacksonville, Arkansas, 72076. 501-982-3400.


  • Diana Elrod Posted September 10, 2021 5:07 PM

    My mentor, my friend.

  • Mark Shanley Posted September 10, 2021 8:01 PM

    So glad to have met Dr. Heidt, and served on student committees together. He was a nationally known and respected scientist and educator. Blessings of peace and comfort to all his family.

  • Mark Shanley Posted September 10, 2021 8:08 PM

    So sorry to hear of the death of Dr. Heidt. He was a nationally recognized and respected scientist and educator. I count myself fortunate to have met him and to have served on student committees together. Blessings of peace and comfort to all his family.

  • Crystal Haltom Kalz Posted September 11, 2021 12:39 AM

    I’m so sorry for your loss. My deepest sympathies and prayers for you all.

  • Johnny Peppers Posted September 11, 2021 6:58 AM

    A second father, mentor, friend, and cheerleader!

  • Barbara Vanlandingham Posted September 11, 2021 1:14 PM

    So sorry for your loss, Suzanne and family! Praying for you all as you journey through this difficult time.

  • Darrell Heath Posted September 11, 2021 4:57 PM

    Gary’s amazing abilities as a field biologist, teacher, and mentor are the stuff of legend. He was something of a legend himself, as there were/are a great many people who have heard stories of him, his research, or his courses, but had never actually met him. The tales were undoubtedly told by those of us who knew him and loved him: his students. If you came under his wing, you couldn’t help but be influenced by him in one way or another. Eventually, we all move on and become mentored by still others. We take a little something from all of them before we finally fledge and become our own thing but, for me, Gary looms larger than all of them. Thank you, Gary for investing your time and effort with me, it was always more deeply appreciated than you could possibly have known and I am all the better for having had the privilege

  • Gene Eddins Posted September 11, 2021 5:57 PM

    Going to Miss you Buddy.

  • Donna Eddins Posted September 11, 2021 6:01 PM

    I will miss Gary’s intelligence & wit. So many fun times with Gene, Gary & Suzanne.. Let us know about the Mothership 😊. Rest In Peace, Gary❤️

  • Blake Sasse Posted September 12, 2021 11:04 AM

    Gary was of great help to me when I came to Arkansas in 2000 to become the AGFC’s nongame mammal biologist. His knowledge and passion for mammalogy was always evident.

  • Judy Heston Posted September 12, 2021 1:38 PM

    Gary was my good friend in home room at John Adams High School. I struggled with Latin and he helped me through it. I shall always remember his kindness.

  • Janet Lanza Posted September 12, 2021 7:49 PM

    I’m sorry to hear the news about Gary and I’d like to extend my deepest sympathies. He was much admired as a teacher and enthusiastic wildlife biologist.

  • Angelica Cardaci Posted September 12, 2021 7:52 PM

    So sorry for your loss. My deepest thoughts and prayers are with you and your family

  • Chris Thomas McAllister Posted April 4, 2022 5:09 PM

    Dr. Heidt was my first mentor. I accompanied him and others on numerous field outings and learned more about mammals from him than anyone else. I remember clearly an outing back in 1976 with Gary and students to Dumas, Arkansas. I borrowed Gary’s .22 rifle and hit a skunk with it and broke the stock of his gun. He and students all took it in and laughed for hrs about it. I did replace the gun stock, ha! I am glad I was able to honor Gary with a new species of coccidian parasite, Eimeria heidti from bats. RIP, Dock!

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