Former officer remembered

Beth Wilberding

Although he hadn’t walked the Hill in 11 years, a former campus police officer who died last week is being remembered fondly by his former co-workers.

Hugh Heater Jr., 74, died Feb. 9 at The Medical Center.

He was a campus police officer at Western for 23 years before retiring in 1993.

“He was extremely well thought of,” Capt. Mike Wallace said.

Heater loved working with the students, faculty and staff, Wallace said.

Heater’s son, Calvin, said his father was an inspiration to many people.

“He was very hardworking, loved by many,” Calvin Heater said. “He was always here when I needed him. We laughed a lot and joked a lot. He would go out of his way to do things for us.”

Horace Johnson, a former campus police chief, worked with Heater from the time he started at Western in 1976 until Heater’s retirement in 1993.

“He was a wonderful man, excellent police officer and best officer to have for public relations,” Johnson said.

Heater was retired as a lieutenant from campus police.

But Western wasn’t the only place where Heater was loved. He worked at Gatewood and Sons Funeral Chapel Inc. for five years.

“He was a very honest gentleman,” funeral chapel owner Sue Gatewood said.

She described Heater as dependable and “very likable because of his personality.”

Heater was also active with the Eleventh Street Baptist Church. He was a deacon and a senior choir member.

Besides working for campus police, Heater was a Warren County deputy jailer and a member of the Fraternal Order of Police.

“He touched a lot of lives over the time he was here,” Calvin Heater said. “He kept you laughing, kept you smiling. He was just a great guy.”

Reach Beth Wilberding at [email protected]