With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of Walter Norman Heine, 88, beloved husband, father & brother who passed away peacefully on the 14th Day of February 2023. Walter was born in Queens, NY in 1934 and spent his childhood in Milford, PA, Pike County. Known as “Buddy” by all, he had many fond memories of life and friends in Milford where he graduated from high school in 1952. Walter then attended Drexel University where he met his future wife Almyra. Both graduated from Drexel in 1959 and were married that same year.
In the following years he would serve in various engineering roles with the PA Department of Health, including regional sanitary engineer, and Chief of the Division of Mine Drainage Control while attaining his Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1964. Walter went on to play a key role in shaping environmental policy in the regulation of mining operations in PA as the Associate Deputy Secretary for Mines and Land Protection in DER from 1971-1977.
In 1977 President Jimmy Carter nominated Walter as the first Director of the Federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. During his 3 years as Director of OSM he oversaw the development and implementation of the first federal regulations covering coal mining and laid the foundation of today’s modern mining and reclamation programs. Following his time in Washington, Walter opened his own Civil Engineering Firm, Walter N. Heine Associates, based in Boiling Springs and later in Carlisle where he worked until retirement in 2003.
As a part of his career, Walter also gave over 30 years of his time as a member of the Citizen’s Advisory Council (CAC) with DEP and also as a representative to the Environmental Quality Board (EQB). Additionally, Walter spent many years as a West Pennsboro Township Supervisor and later a Planning Commission member. Walter enjoyed singing and was a member of the Carlindian Chorus (barbershop) in the 70’s and 80’s and later the Keystone Capital Chorus until 2020. He also enjoyed playing the guitar and piano. Walter loved to play basketball and became an avid golfer in his later years.
Walter and Almyra purchased a farm in the Newville area in 1968 which they often lamented to be the best decision they ever made and is where they raised their three children and resided until 2022. An animal lover, Walter could often be found out on the beef cattle farm with his dogs and cats.
Walter is survived by Almyra S. Heine (wife), Dana Heine Steffy and Leah S. Heine (daughters), Derek P. Heine (son), Paige S. Steffy, Dillon R. Steffy, Armahn D. Heine Kareena J. Heine (grandchildren), Richard B. Steffy (son-in-law), Deepak Saini (daughter-in-law), Doris Malanczuk (sister), and other extended family members. A private burial ceremony will be held with internment at Prospect Hill Cemetery in Newville. A Celebration of Life gathering for Walter is planned for later this spring. He will be dearly missed and always remembered.
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