Michael Clarke Heffernan, 81, passed away in the early morning hours of Nov. 30, 2021, at Carilion-Roanoke Memorial Hospital. He was a family man, loving husband, devoted father and grandfather, and a proud veteran of the United States Navy. Born Sept. 23, 1940, in Danville, VA, he was the oldest of four children of William P. and Frances Clarke Heffernan. The family relocated several times during his youth, eventually landing in southern California in the 1950s. Mike was an altar boy in the Catholic church and attended Pius X High School in Donwey, CA, graduating in 1958. Soon after, he enlisted in the Navy and served with distinction aboard the destroyer USS Willard Keith. His Navy career took him and his fellow Tin Can Sailors around the world, and he was honorably discharged in 1964. He returned to his native Virginia and enrolled at National Business College in Roanoke, where he earned an associate’s degree in business administration. While in school, he worked at Lotz Funeral Home, a job he would return to part-time after 35-plus years in the carpet and floor-covering business. He married Jo Ann Mitchell on April 24, 1965. The couple lived in Winston Salem, NC and Chattanooga, TN before settling in Roanoke. They are longtime members of Our Lady of Nazareth Catholic Church. Mike loved classical music, travel and spending time with family.
He is preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Patricia L. Dudley; and a brother, Robert F. Heffernan. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Jo Ann M. Heffernan; a brother, John R. Heffernan, and sister-in-law, Patsy, of Roanoke; a daughter, Donna Sisson, son-in-law, Charles, and grandson, Luke, of Fairfax; a son, James M. Heffernan, daughter-in-law, Stephanie, and granddaughter, Olivia, of Harrisonburg; cousins, nieces and nephews.
The family will receive visitors Thursday, Dec. 2, from 3 to 6 p.m. at Lotz Funeral Home, 1001 Franklin Road, SW Roanoke. Funeral services will be held Friday, Dec. 3, at 1:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Nazareth Catholic Church, 2505 Electric Rd, Roanoke. The family requests that masks be worn at all ceremonies. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Tin Can Sailors, P.O. Box 100, Somerset, MA 02726, or a charity of your choice.
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