She will be missed!
Heather Ann Whetzel Bissegger
Lou Gehrig’s Disease may have overcome her body, but it didn’t stand a chance against her spirit and her iron will. In all its debilitating cruelty, ALS never once affected her sunny optimism, sweet demeanor, or ferocious courage. And she didn’t allow her body to succumb to the disease a single day before she was ready and her work here was finished.
Part of that work was as a beloved teacher and volleyball coach at Bingham High School. She taught computers and business law. Heather never failed to inspire the thousands of students who are better from having been in her classes. She continued to teach even after her diagnosis with ALS, and in doing so she again showed the heart of a champion that she displayed as a volleyball player at Utah Valley University, and later as a volleyball coach in club and at Bingham. Her students, players and fellow faculty members will miss her.
As will her family and friends. Volleyball came in third in her life behind God and her loved ones. Her favorite thing in the world was to have dinner and visit with her parents, Don and Vicki Whetzel, and her older siblings and their spouses: Rebecca Seat and husband Jeff Seat, Mark Whetzel and wife Kristen Whetzel, Kristi Strong and husband Greg Strong, along with her cherished nieces and nephews, and of course her husband, Jeff Bissegger. She married him on August 7, 1999, in the Salt Lake Temple. Heather’s unwavering commitment to activity in the LDS Church and to living gospel principles sustained both her and Jeff throughout their struggle with ALS. Another of Heather’s favorite things was to watch reality TV with her mother-in-law, Barbara Bissegger, and with her sweet black lab Jack by her side.
Perhaps the key to Heather’s hold over so many peoples’ hearts was this: she was a stunningly gorgeous young woman who exhibited such obvious talent and intelligence, yet she always called attention to other peoples’ strengths and qualities. She made you feel as though you were the most valuable person on the planet. And even as ALS destroyed her physical body, she never complained or gave in to negativity. Her focus remained sharply on the feelings and well-being of others.
Free again to move about and enjoy her prized independence, she smiles on us now from heaven, serving as a guardian angel to the many people who love her. We know we will feel her spirit strongly at her services on Saturday, January 31, 2009, at Larkin Sunset Gardens, 1950 East 10600 South in Sandy at 11:00 a.m. There will be a viewing one hour before the services at 10:00 a.m., and one the night before on Friday, January 30, 2009, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the same location. And please do send or bring flowers—lots of flowers. Because Heather loved, and we suppose she still does love, pretty flowers. Those who would like to offer condolences may do so at www.larkincares.com