Mike
Marshall Nathaniel “Mike” Heyman
June 1924 – 28 January 2021

Marshall Nathaniel “Mike” Heyman passed away on 28 January 2021, months shy of his 97th birthday.

Mike’s life is best recounted in phases that defined him. Born in Albany, New York, he lost his mom at age nine to an infection she picked up visiting him in hospital after a tonsillectomy, following which he and his father Berthold – “Butch” poured themselves into Boy Scouts, with Mike attaining Eagle Scout and Order of the Arrow, returning during college as waterfront director for the Scout summer camp.

MikeWWIIHe went to Union College in Schenectady, just as the war started, and enlisted in the Army after his sophomore year. The Army sent him to Georgia, and then to Europe, as a Recon Platoon section leader for Team Cherry, 3rd Tank Battalion, 10th Armored Division where he saw action in Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge; experienced enemy machinegun fire; watched a German tank blow up his jeep;  managed to locate and direct a missing supply train into Bastogne, assuring the battalion’s survival; greeted and briefed arriving elements of the 101st Airborne; and then, after surviving the siege, froze his feet New Year’s Eve sleeping in a foxhole in the deep snow which got him sent back to England to thaw out. Five months later, he was sent back to Germany with the Aviation Engineers, this time “to rebuild it, not to destroy it”, overseeing an element of yet to be demobilized former German POWs building the runways of Rhine-Main air base. 

Back in the States in 1946, he graduated from Union, married his high school sweetheart, Blessing, and headed to the University of Iowa where he received a Ph.D. in Psychology. In 1951, he and Blessing moved to Washington, DC and started a family while Mike worked for the Navy Department, writing Officers Candidates exams. In 1952, he joined the CIA where he spent his career as an operations support psychologist, helping his mentor John Gittinger develop and implement the Personality Assessment System (PAS). He got to travel extensively, twice sojourning abroad with family in tow on extended tours in Saipan and Tokyo, and retired in 1979 as a branch chief.

Retirement did not stop him or his travels – he consulted with the Department of Defense on foreign group assessment models, with the US Marshals Service crafting witness relocation identities, and the Secret Service, exploring the personality profiles of presidential assassins.  His mainstay, though, became his support of Hocking College in Ohio, where he spent many years helping students define their course of study.

In the early aughts, fed up with Northern Virginia traffic, he and Blessing left the home they built over 50 years for Sedona, Arizona to be “closer” to their boys in Mesa and Southern California.  Together, they embraced the red rocks, threw themselves into the 10th Armored Division Veterans Association, enjoyed semi-annual visits from their grandkids. After Blessing died in 2015, Mike soldiered on, feeding the javelinas, bunnies, deer, and quail that frequented his yard while waiting out his days, endlessly expressing gratitude and love for his home, his life, and for the people he loved and loved him back.

He leaves behind his caring sons Andrew (Lynne Collins) and Edward (Deborah), grandchildren Jordana, Benjamin (Katie), and step-granddaughter Tamar Meusel (Casey), and two great-grandchildren, Rowan and Isla Meusel; friends and neighbors.  We will all sorely miss him.

Blessing & Mike Heyman at the 2014 Western Chapter Reunion of the 10th Armored Division Veterans in Phoenix, Arizona Mike & Blessing 2014

Blessing & Mike Heyman at the 2015 Western Chapter Reunion of the 10th Armored Division Veterans in Phoenix, Arizona Mike & Blessing 2015

Mike Heyman signing 'The Rifle' as Andrew Biggio watches (Oct 2018)
Signing 'The Rifle'

Mike Heyman and Andrew Biggio holding 'The Rifle' (Oct 2018)
Holding 'The Rifle'

Andrew Biggio and Mike Heyman with 'The Rifle' (Oct 2018)
Standing 10th Armored Proud

Marshall "Mike" Heyman — WWII Soldier
Marshall "Mike" Heyman WWII Soldier

'The Rifle' has posted a really great video on YouTube which documents the return of 16 WWII veterans to Belgium in December 2019 for the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge.

The stirring video may be viewed here -- https://youtu.be/_B1u50vUffI

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