Heath Cruts Ice was born in Watonga, on Nov. 11, 1981, and passed away Aug. 1, 2013, at his home in Ridgecrest, Calif., at the young age of 31.
Heath spent the first three years of his life in and out of Children’s Hospital. He had several surgeries in those three years. After his last surgery we brought him home on his third birthday.
He never let any of this stop him from doing what he wanted. He always found a way to deal with his “modifications,” as he liked to say.
He attended Watonga Elementary from kindergarten through fifth grade, and sixth and seventh grade at Keys Elementary, Keys. He spent the rest of his school years at Tahlequah Public Schools where he was graduated as valedictorian in 2000.
From a young age, he was interested in electronics and in fixing computers. Heath always loved learning.
Heath was hired by Tahlequah schools his sophomore year as a computer tech. He was very well-respected for his tenacity and humor, and received the TEA scholarship for teaching.
This scholarship was bestowed upon him because he had taught teachers and fellow classmates about computers, and would continue to teach people the rest of his life. Heath also tutored for Boys and Girls Club of Tahlequah.
Heath attended Rolla-Missouri State University of Engineering and graduated in 2005. Soon after he became a computer engineer and was hired by NAWCWD-China Lake in 2005.
The following was written by a coworker:
“Heath was with us at China Lake for a short period, but contributed to the nation’s security in several meaningful ways. Not only did Heath help advance the anti-submarine warfare capabilities of the Navy, he also contributed to the state of the art in areas of advanced air vehicle threat detection and U.S. force protection.
Heath will be remembered by those of us blessed to have worked with him as having a strong work ethic and commitment to our freedoms, and of course his keen sense of humor and introducing us to the novelty of wearing flipflops and shorts whenever he could. He will be sincerely missed.”
Heath is survived by his parents, Mickey and Debbie; one sister, Trisha and her family; and one brother, Ray, all of Tahlequah. Grandparents are Willie and Wilma Cruts of Watonga, and Pauline Ice of Fay. He is also survived by his uncle, Don Cruts and his sons, Daniel and Tanner of Edmond, his uncle Rickey and aunt LaNae of Thomas, aunt LaDawn Archer and her children Colton, and Carsen of Broken Arrow, and uncle Wayne and aunt Karen Hurst of Tonkawa. His cousins are Bobby and Ian Ice and Kaylee Williams.
Heath was preceded in death by his grandfather, Donald Ice; his uncles Bobby and Danny Cruts, and Danny Ice. Heath also leaves behind many family members, and many, many friends around the world.
Heath was and continues to be an inspiration to many for his tenacity, endurance, unique humor, loving personality, humility and most of all for living life to the fullest extent possible. We would like to continue his enthusiastic ways by honoring him with the following:
• Watonga/Fay Celebration, Tuesday, Sept. 3, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Fay Community Building in Fay.
• Tahlequah Celebration, Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013, from 6 to 8 p.m., in the Methodist Atrium Center, First United Methodist Church, 300 W. Delaware, Tahlequah.
We also know Heath would love it if you wore flipflops, if you feel comfortable doing so. We will also have a memory drop box, if you would like to write a special memory of Heath for us to keep. You may write it at home and just drop it in the memory box as you enter. His legacy site follows for those who would like to leave memories: http://www.legacy.com/guestbook/dignitymemorial/guestbook.aspx?n=heath-ice&pid= 166274828
In lieu of flowers the family ask that donations be made in Heath’s name to the following charities: Fisher House Foundation Inc., 111 Rockville Pike, Suite 420, Rockville, Md., 20850. The Fisher House bilds and donates comfort homes on the ground of major military and VA medical centers, which enable family members to be close to a loved one at the most stressful times - during hospitalization due to illness or injury. Fisher Houses are a vital sanctuary for the families of our nation’s heroes who have been wounded in combat since operations began in Iraq and Afghanistan. Other considerations are Children’s Hospital, Orthopedic Unit in Oklahoma Cit; any Blue Star Mothers organization; or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Sign the online guestbook at www.hartfuneralhome.net.
Hart Funeral Home, 1506 N. Grand, (918) 456-8823.