Father Gerard Thomas Heintzelman

10/10/1933 - 06/07/2024


Obituary For Father Gerard Thomas Heintzelman

Father Gerard Thomas Heintzelman, 90, of Danville, PA, passed away on June 7, 2024, at Maria Hall Danville PA. He was born October 10, 1933, in Sunbury, PA, the son of Russell Samuel Heintzelman and Helen Mulcahy Heintzelman.

In 1947, he entered St. Charles College, Catonsville, MD, for four years of high school and two years of college and then his final two years of college at St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, MD. The final four years preparation for ordination, along with 175 classmates, was completed at St. Mary’s Seminary, Roland Park, Baltimore MD. Father Heintzelman was called to Priestly Ordination for the service of the Diocese of Harrisburg by Bishop George Leo Leech and was ordained March 14, 1959, in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Harrisburg PA.

Father Heintzelman’s ministry began with a 28-day assignment at St. Peter Church, Mount Carmel, and St. Paul Chapel, Atlas, PA. His second assignment was the neighboring Parish, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Mt. Carmel PA in April of 1959. He later joined the staff of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament serving Polyclinic and Osteopathic Hospitals in Harrisburg in 1963. In 1964, Father Heintzelman became Chaplain to the Catholic patients at Geisinger Medical Center and the Basilica of Saints Cyril & Methodius, Danville, PA. Along with these primary duties, Father Jerry taught at St. Cyril’s Academy, assisted weekends at St. Joseph’s Church in Berwick, PA and supervised the completion of All Saints Cemetery in Elysburg, PA.

In 1970, Father Jerry became an assistant at St. Patrick Cathedral along with sharing visitation of the sick at Harrisburg Hospital. From 1971 to 1973, he served the Good Shepherd Parish, Camp Hill, PA as an assistant. During this period of time, Father also served as Executive Secretary, Diocesan Liturgical Commission. His first Pastorate was St. Peter’s Parish with its mission in Wrightsville, Columbia, PA. In 1977, Father Jerry returned to Hospital Chaplaincy at Hershey Medical Center with residence at St. Joan of Arc Church. In 1980, he accepted the call to Chaplaincy at Sacred Heart Hospital, Eugene, OR; until 1983, when he joined the staff of St. Mary’s Medical Center on the Park, San Francisco, CA.

In August of 1985, Father Jerry returned to the Diocese at the invitation of the then Bishop Keeler. After a brief stay in St. Rose of Lima Parish, York, he became Pastor of Mary Gate of Heaven Church, Myerstown, PA in 1985.

After his retirement in December of 1993, Father was in residence at St. Joseph the Worker, Bonneauville PA. In January of 1995, Father Jerry accepted the invitation to be Chaplain at Queen of the Valley Hospital, Napa, CA. He served as Staff Chaplain and Director of Pastoral Care until his retirement on November 1, 2006. Upon return to the Diocese, he lived at Sacred Heart Church, Lancaster, PA.

On March 16, 2008, Father returned to the Motherhouse of the Sisters of Saints Cyril and Methodius.

Father Heintzelman appointments of ministry and service were celebrated with a Golden Jubilee Mass in 2014 by Bishop Ronald Gainer in the Basilica, Danville, PA. In this period of ministry, Father Jerry also served as Chaplain to the Diocesan Nurse’s Guild.

He is survived by three nephews; Leo Sekulski and his wife Elizabeth of Lewisburg PA; Chuck Sekulski and his wife Connie of Northumberland PA; Jim Sekulski of Northumberland and two nieces; Ann Boyer of Northumberland, PA and Jane Ritter and her husband Ken of Kutztown, PA. Several great-nieces and great-nephews survive as well as great-great-nieces and great-great-nephews.

He was preceded in death by one sister Rita E. Sekulski and one brother Daniel Heintzelman.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, June 13, 2024, at 12:00 Noon at the Basilica of Saints Cyril and Methodius, 1002 Railroad Street, Danville, PA with Bishop Ronald Gainer as celebrant along with co-celebrants; Father Patrick Divine, Father Valentine Anyanwu, Father Timothy Marcoe, and Father Charles Ocul. Friends will be received from 10:00am-11:45am at the Basilica. Burial will follow in All Saints Cemetery, Elysburg, PA.

The family will provide flowers. Memorial contributions may be made to Sisters of Saints Cyril and Methodius, 1002 Railroad Street, Danville, PA 17821.

Arrangements are under the direction of Visneski Funeral Home, Inc 42 West Mahoning Street Danville PA 17821. www.visneski.com.


13 Jun


10:00 AM - 11:45 AM

Basilica of Saints Cyril and Methodius 1002 Railroad Street Danville, PA 17821 Get Directions »
13 Jun

Mass of Christian Burial

12:00 PM - 01:00 PM

Basilica of Saints Cyril and Methodius 1002 Railroad Street Danville, PA 17821 Get Directions »
13 Jun

Final Resting Place

01:15 PM - 02:15 PM

All Saints Cemetery 172 All Saints Road Elysburg, PA 17824 Get Directions »
by Obituary Assistant

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  • 07/02/2024

    🕯️🌳🕯️ Requiescat In The Loving Arms Of The Father Almighty,Son Jesus Christ His Only Begotten SON,The Holy Ghost, Blessed Virgin Mary,All The Angels And Saints.🕯️✝️🕯️

  • 06/11/2024

    Father Jerry certainly reflected the Light of Christ wherever he was! He was a friend of our family (my Mother was a Schott and Father Jerry served with Father/Bishop Schott in Mt Carmel), and I am a 1968 graduate of St Cyril's Academy (Father Jerry taught us, I believe, senior religion class). My husband and I lived away for a while. When I would come back to visit, I would attend Mass at Maria Hall with my relatives. Father Jerry would always acknowledge me and welcome me back to my home town! He will be greatly missed. I am so thankful I had the opportunity to experience his joy, peace, and love of our God! Heaven has just been blessed!

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