Wirt Heagler


Wirt Reed Heagler, Jr. 83 of Pine Bluff, beloved husband and father, surveyor and scoutmaster passed away at home surrounded by his family Thursday, October 3, 2013 after a courageous battle with cancer. He was born on December 8, 1929 in Paragould, AR to Wirt Reed and Lillian Mahan Heagler. He is preceded in death by his parents, three brothers John, Earl and Arthur E. Heagler; two sisters Helene H. Black and Araminta H. Hays. He is survived by his wife Anne Heagler of Pine Bluff, son Reed Heagler and wife Robin of White Hall, Ark., daughter Lynn Heagler Davis and husband Larance of Shannon Hills, Ark., brother Robert M. Heagler and his wife Gail of Jefferson City, Miss. and granddaughter Katie Marie Heagler of Fayetteville, Ark. Wirt spent his early childhood years growing up at Crowley Ridge State Park where his father was the Superintendent over the CCC during the construction of the park. At age 13 Wirt took up the hobby of photography developing & utilizing his skills during his school years and throughout his life. After graduating from Paragould High School in 1948, he was educated at the University of Arkansas, Monticello, Ark. and Rolla School of Mines, Rolla, Miss. majoring in Civil Engineering until he was drafted into the Korean War. Wirt entered the U.S. Army July 10, 1951 and was stationed in Munsan, Korea as a War Photographer & Interrogations of Prisoners for the Korean War from January 1952 until June 1953. While in Korea, Mr. Heagler and 4 others assisted the United Nations by taking identification photographs of 132,000 Communist prisoners held by the UN Command. After returning home from the war, Wirt resumed land surveying in 1955 under the direction of his father with Southern Rice Farms in Carlisle, Ark. It was during this time while he was commuting between Little Rock & Carlisle on a Trailways bus he found himself sitting next to a very shy and beautiful girl. On July 21, 1956 he married that girl Annette Ketchum at the First Presbyterian Church of Marvel, Arkansas by Rev. C.T. McCulley and they spent the next 57 years as soul mates. In 1956 Wirt joined his brother as a Resident Engineer with A.E. Heagler Consulting Engineer Firm and transferred to Pine Bluff, Ark. He continued his career as a Registered Land Surveyor with Ellers, Heagler & Associates until his semi-retirement in 2000. On May 1, 1970, he and 8 other Registered Land Surveyors formed and chartered the Jefferson County Chapter of the Arkansas Association of Registered Land Surveyors. He was a member of the Arkansas Society of Professional Surveyors and served as Jefferson County Surveyor from 1975 until 2000. His love for Scouting began when he was a child during WWII. In 1963 he signed on as Assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 100 of the First Presbyterian Church in Pine Bluff, Ark. and in 1969 became Scoutmaster. Over the past 45 years, he mentored an estimated 500 Boy Scouts who grew up to become business and scout leaders themselves; 64 of these boys made Eagle Scout. In 2003 he was the recipient of the Silver Beaver Award, highest award in the Quapaw Area Council. In 2010 he was one of 300 volunteers from across the nation to be inducted into the BSA 100th Anniversary National Hall of Leadership in ceremonies held at the National Mall in Washington, D.C.; the only Quapaw Area Council Scoutmaster to ever be inducted as a member. Due to the dedication and inspiration he bestowed on numerous Boy Scouts that are now working with the BSA today throughout the country, Wirt received the John R. Fordyce, II Scoutmaster Legacy Award in 2007. He was very devout in his faith as a Christian and was a member of the First Presbyterian Church for the past 56 years where he served as a Teacher, Deacon and Elder. The family wishes to thank all the wonderful friends who have shown so much compassion, support and prayers over the past several months. We especially want to thank Hospice Angels for the outstanding compassionate nursing care and their enduring support. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Pine Bluff or to Boy Scout Troop 100, c/o First Presbyterian Church, 717 West 32nd Ave., Pine Bluff, AR 71603. Services will be 2:00 P.M., Monday, October 7, 2013 at First Presbyterian Church with Reverend Susan Carter Wiggins officiating. Burial will follow in Graceland Cemetery by Ralph Robinson & Son Funeral Directors. Visitation will be from 2-4 p.m. Sunday afternoon at Robinson’s. Online register: www.ralphrobinsonandson.com