Serving Whitman County since 1877

Robert (Bob) Joseph Heilsberg

Dec. 22, 1944 - July 7, 2023

Robert (Bob) Joseph Heilsberg was welcomed into heaven on July 7, 2023. Born on December 22, 1944, in Colfax, Washington, he was the eldest son of Bill and Norma Heilsberg.

Bob spent his childhood in Colfax with his parents and sister Jackie. He graduated from Colfax High School in 1963 and then attended Eastern Washington University earning his Bachelor of Science in Biology. He later obtained his Masters in Chemistry from Washington State University. Bob spent his career teaching Jr. High and High School Science and Math across Washington State. Bob retired in 2000 from Jennings Junior High School after 33 years of service to his community.

In 1980, Bob met and married Kathie (Parady). In two short weeks of time they met, dated, broke up, and got engaged. Theirs was a divinely appointed romance. They recently celebrated their 43rd wedding anniversary on June 21, 2023. Bob and Kathie settled out on Hilty Road just outside Colfax and eventually moved to Bob's childhood home. The small family farm they maintained together remained a passion project of Bob's until 1999 when he decided to retire. Bob delighted in giving rides on the combine and participating in community harvest for those who needed support.

Mr. Heilsberg loved teaching. Each of his students held a special place in his life. Seeing the kids who were struggling go on to succeed brought him the most joy. He always rooted for the underdog (hence remaining a loyal WSU Cougar and Mariners fan).

Throughout their married life Bob and Kathie lived in Colfax, Wash .; Liberty Lake, Wash .; Mesa, Ariz .; Barrow, Alaska, and finally settling in Nampa, Idaho, where he spent the final six years of his life.

Golf remained Bob's pastime for the entirety of his life - that and Mariners baseball. Placing TVs strategically around the property to watch games while sorting his tools.

Bob was a gracious host and loved working a room at a party. He had a contagious laugh and was fiercely loyal. Chances are if you were single, he tried to set you up with one of his single friends. His desire was for everyone to have a family.

Bob is survived by his wife Kathie at their home in Nampa, Idaho; three children Chad Heilsberg (Amy) Nampa; Kristi Ray (Chad) Echo, Ore .; and Jessica Sapien (Josh) Seattle, Wash .; and eight grandchildren. As well as many nieces and nephews and countless wonderful friends. He was exceedingly proud of each of his children and grandchildren - frequenting every game and concert he could possibly attend. His family is his legacy, and we will all do our best to remain kind, compassionate and caring as we carry on together.

Services will be July 15, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. at the Colfax Cemetery, 804 WA-272, Colfax, WA 99111. If you are unable to attend you can celebrate Bob by buying a cheeseburger and having an ice-cold beer in a frozen mug in his honor.

In lieu of flowers, the family has chosen the Doctors Hospice of Idaho as their preferred organization. Corbeill Funeral Homes in Colfax is helping the family. On-line condolences can be made at


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