Helping Families and Friends Honor Their Loved One

Lonnie Dale Heft, age 79

Lonnie Dale Heft, 79, of Paris, Arkansas, passed away on October 30, 2023, at home with his family. He was born in Paris, Arkansas, to Julius and Mildred Ann (Tucker) Heft on October 14, 1944. He grew up in Paris with a large family of one of 12 siblings (ten brothers and two sisters) working on the family farm. He attended Paris Grade and High School (class of 1962), where he developed lifelong friendships and an appreciation for education, and agriculture. He enjoyed being involved in Future Farmers of America and served as vice-president his senior year.  

Lonnie married Martha Kay Edwards, his high school sweetheart, in February 1966 (57 years). He adored his wife and stayed close by her side.  

Lonnie was the first in his family to attend and graduate college. He graduated from Arkansas Tech University of Russellville, Arkansas and received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1967. Then after graduating college moved to Blytheville, Arkansas for his first teaching job as a math and science high school teacher. During the summers in the early 70’s, he attended Tulane University and graduated with a Master of Arts in Teaching degree in 1973. 

Lonnie continued teaching math and science at Booneville, County Line and Paris high schools for over 10 years. After teaching, he pursued a career as a Real Estate Broker and sold properties for several years before pursuing his final career as an Oil and Gas Right of Way Agent. Lonnie’s love for dealing with property appraisal, negotiation and meeting new people took him and Martha all over the United States.  They were able to travel from the northern part of the United States to Michigan to the southern part of the United States to Florida. Martha loved traveling with him and being part of his business adventures. After retirement, he enjoyed being home with family, working outside on his tractor, and buying and selling rental properties as a hobby. During the last part of his life, Lonnie and Martha regularly attended and developed blessed relationships at Pentecostal of Paris. Lonnie was a Christian, loved the Lord, and knew that his Heavenly Father loved him. 

He was a devoted father and grandfather who instilled in his grandsons an appreciation for working outside, driving tractors, riding lawn mowers, and chopping wood. He loved to ask questions, a lot of questions, and wanted to give his opinion, even if you didn’t always agree. 

He is survived by his loving wife, Martha; children, Don (Sabrina) Heft of Fayetteville, Arkansas, Marlo (Jody) Harris of Fort Smith, Arkansas, and Roberta Warren Heft (daughter-in-law) of Jacksonville, Arkansas; four grandsons: Sebastian and Spencer Heft; Warren Heft; and Josiah Harris, three brothers:  Thomas (Sharon) Heft, Emil Dick (Elizabeth) Heft, and Andy Ray Heft; his sister Anita Kay (Butch) Heft Johnson. He was preceded in death by his son Dale Heft. Also, preceded in death by his six brothers:  Arthur (Norma) Heft, Roy Heft, Frederick (Pat) Heft, Theodore Heft, William Heft, and Edwin (Glenda) Heft and sister Catherine (Wallace) Heft Bowen. 

“I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You” (Job 42:5). The deeper and more accurate understanding of God gained through suffering leads us to worship our Creator and gives us confidence for what lies ahead. 

The Heft family is grateful to Vikki Morse and her family for unselfish acts of kindness and time spent caring for Lonnie. Furthermore, we want to extend our heartfelt gratitude to Carl and Sissy Judah Knee.  

A memorial service to honor and celebrate the life of Lonnie Dale Heft will be held from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm on Thursday, November 9, 2023, at Paris First Assembly of God Church, 1111 South Elm Street, Paris, Arkansas with Jim Russell, and Brad Stovall presiding. Afterwards the family will be hosting drinks and hors d’oeuvres from 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm at Prestonrose Farm and Brewing Co., 201 St. Louis Valley Road, Paris, Arkansas.

Arrangements by A Natural State Funeral Service 2620 West Main Street, Jacksonville, Arkansas 72076. 501-982-3400. Online guestbook available at


  • Wendy Posted November 3, 2023 6:25 PM

    Sorry for your loss. Praying for your family

  • Joel Dowdy Posted November 3, 2023 11:13 PM

    So sorry Marlo and Family for your loss. Praying for you all.

  • Jamie and Carla Wells Posted November 4, 2023 3:43 AM

    Our Deepest sympathy and prayers for all

  • Mickey and Rob Oates Posted November 4, 2023 6:24 AM

    A brilliant man who will be sorely missed. Prayers for the family.

  • Laura Koch Rodriguez Posted November 4, 2023 11:26 AM

    Mrs Heft, Don and Marlo, please know you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Todd Roland Davis Posted November 6, 2023 4:06 PM

    Condolences to the family. It hasn’t been but a couple of months since he saw me out at Mother’s Estate and stopped to talk. His friendly demeanor will be missed in this harsh world.

  • Jim Blum Posted November 10, 2023 7:02 AM

    Very sorry for your loss, Marlo. Condolences to you and your family.

  • Celeste Fox Posted November 10, 2023 10:19 AM

    Mr. Heft taught me in high school. Then we worked together when he was in real estate and I was a mortgage lender. He was always so nice to me. I never knew he had his Masters Degree nor that he had such diverse careers. May he rest in peace.

  • Paula O’Bar Posted November 10, 2023 6:48 PM

    We thought Lonnie was a wonderful person. Our prayers to the family. May he rest in peace.

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