Cover photo for Dene Heatherington's Obituary
Dene Heatherington Profile Photo
1922 Dene 2017

Dene Heatherington

February 24, 1922 — April 7, 2017

Bessemer City, North Carolina

Dene Heatherington died April 7 after 95 years of leading an extraordinary, exemplary life of devotion to her faith, her family, her friends, her community, and her profession.

Dene's childhood demonstrated her true grit and determination to always strive for excellence. She took on large scale responsibilities at a young age. Her love and joy of learning prevailed and after graduation from high school she packed her paper bags with her belongings, boarded a bus to Asheville and attended business school. After graduating she began working in Spartanburg. These early years of employment established her reputation as a highly professional and well-trained secretary. In 1954 she and her husband, Walt, and two children Terry and Susan moved to Bessemer City where Walt opened the Western Auto Store and she began a long and challenging career at what was then called Lithium Corporation.

As a woman of faith, Dene was committed not only to her church as an institution, but to the true meaning of Christian living in one's daily walk. She served First Baptist Church in Bessemer City in more capacities than will be noted here for the duration of her 63 years of membership. In her later years, she received great joy working with Operation Christmas Child. Her quiet, unheralded activities included taking elderly members to church, to doctor visits, going to nursing homes to present Sunday School lessons, making regular visits or calls to shut-ins and of course sharing her culinary or baking delights. Dene was never idle. She gave new meaning to the "Purpose Filled Life".

Dene believed in community service. Her values demanded that one should always be in service to others and find ways to improve their lives. She worked with the Red Cross and was their volunteer of the year in 1993, serving on their board of directors for a number of years. She served as secretary and treasurer and coordinated the United Way drive for all the years that Bessemer City has its own United Way.

She served on the Chamber of Commerce board of directors from 1980-1987 representing Lithium Corporation. She served as vice president in 1986. Other activities that demonstrated her love and devotion to her community included participation and leadership in the Bessemer City Woman's Club, the Bessemer City Garden Club, and the city Image Committee. She held leadership positions in all these organizations. Dene was awarded Citizen of the Year for Bessemer City when she was 81 years old. Aging was not an excuse to quit serving. It was a life-long commitment.

The most notable achievement of Dene's well - lived life was her role as Mother, Grandmother, and Great-Grandmother. All knew her love for them was deep and sincere and worthy of the time and effort extended on their behalf. She was sacrificial.
Dene had a passion for living a life that reflected her belief in service to others as she encouraged and empowered those whose paths she crossed. She was a gift to her family, her friends, and to all who knew her. She was a remarkable woman of faith and goodness and will be missed by those who loved her.

Dene is survived by her children, Terry Heatherington and wife Donna of Southport, NC; her daughter Susan Patterson and husband Dennis of Kings Mountain; grandchildren Brandon Patterson and wife Danyale; Aaron Patterson and wife Dannielle; and Stuart Heatherington and wife Gina; great grandchildren Nicholas Cook, Cole, Jude, and Kalia Patterson; and Elijah, Ethan, and Easton Heatherington.

A memorial service will be held at First Baptist Church in Bessemer City Monday, April 10. A reception for family and friends will be held at 3:00. Services will begin at 4:00 in the sanctuary.

Interment will follow at Westview Gardens.

Memorials in honor of Dene can be made to First Baptist Church, PO Box 397, Bessemer City, NC 28016.

  • Visitation

    April 10, 2017
    3:00 PM to 4:00 PM

    First Baptist Church

    107 E. Washington Avenue
    Bessemer City, NC
  • Memorial Service

    April 10, 2017
    4:00 PM

    First Baptist Church

    107 E. Washington Avenue
    Bessemer City, NC
  • Interment

    Monday April 10 2017

    Westview Gardens

    1123 Edgewood Road, NC
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dene Heatherington, please visit our flower store.

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