Robert and Karen Reuter
Search in
15524 Heiberg, Harrison
Howell D.
November 11, 1925 - November 30,
Hei Heiberg set out to be a military planner from birth. To ensure that his
birthday would forever be observed as a holiday, complete with parades, he
made his premature appearance at Camp Marfa, Texas on 11 November
1925. Weighing four pounds, two ounces, including the blanket, he spent his
first days in a dresser drawer, so unprepared were his parents for this early
arrival. However, by the age of six months, he was ready for his first and only
four-year tour at West Point, albeit under the sponsorship of his father, newly
osted to the Department of Mathematics. Hei shared his nickname with his
father (USMA Class of '19), and seemed destined to follow in the Cavalry
tradition started by his grandfather, Elvin (USMA 1896). He was on a horse
efore he could walk, and growing up at Forts Knox, Riley, Leavenworth and
Huachuca allowed him the opportunity to acquire a respectable number of
horse show trophies and ribbons. However, a whole new world opened up
after his first flight in an airplane at the age of fourteen when he was living in
the Philippines with his mother and stepfather (Captain James B. Edmunds).
He completed his first two years of high school in Manila and returned to the
States in 1940 to spend a year at Fort Knox, Kentucky with his father, step-
mother and sister Heide. He joined the Edmundses in 1941 to spend his
senior year at Western High School in Washington, DC with first cousins Lee
(USMA '46) and Wolcott (USMA '50) Parmly. He attended Sullivan's
Preparatory School after graduation while joining cousin Lee in treading the
Halls of Congress seeking political appointments to West Point. It was a
challenge for a couple of Army Brats, but their perseverance paid off, and the
two joined the Class of 1946 on 1 July l943.
Another dream was fulfilled with Hei's selection as an Air Cadet. His
roommates, Fred Thomas and Brooke Albert, were both New Englanders and
several years older than Hei. They called him "the Kid," subjected him to
open windows on cold winter nights and maintained a paternal watch over his
romance with Mimi Branson, a former schoolmate at Western
Published Assembly Jun '94
Harrison Howell Dodge Heiberg Jr.
No.15524 Class of 1946
Died 30 November 1990 in
Alexandria, Virginia, aged 65 years.
Interment: United States Air Force
Academy Cemetery, Colorado
Springs, Colorado.
e 1 of 3Heiber
, Harrison Howell D.
Civilian life was as rewarding for Hei as his previous thirty years of active
duty had been. He was Assistant to the Director of Mount Vernon during the
two-year Bicentennial observance and served six years as Vice President,
Armed Forces Benefit Association. His final retirement in 1984 gave Hei and
Mimi the opportunity to devote more time to the Episcopal church, in which
they were licensed Eucharistic Ministers, and to their 44-foot cruiser,
Vandrefalk. They both joined the Coast Guard Auxiliary and became deeply
involved in teaching boating safety and performing operational patrols on
Chesapeake Bay. Hei was elected commander of the Northern Virginia Power
Squadron and was a flotilla commander in the Auxiliary. He went on to
become a division captain in the Auxiliary and had been elected rear
commodore (thereby regaining his "eagles" in Coast Guard insignia) when he
was diagnosed with bone cancer. Hei died on 30 November 1990. He was
survived by his wife Mimi; a daughter, Karen; two sons, Hal and James; and
a grandson, Grady.
Although a memorial service was held at Fort Meyer, Virginia, Hei was
interred at the Air Force Academy, in accordance with his wishes, on 4 June
1991, the forty-fifth anniversary of his graduation from West Point. In a
fitting gesture, the current director of the mascot program at the Air Force
Academy brought a young prairie falcon to the graveside service to join
family and friends in their farewell to a "founding father" of a great
institution that traces its roots and traditions to the United States Military
His wife, Mimi, and children, Karen, Hal and James
Personal Eulogy
e 3 of 3Heiber
, Harrison Howell D.
Hawk Chalk, Vol. XXX, No. 1, April 1991
A Tribute by Donald A. Garlock, Jr.
When Col. Heiberg took office as Eastern Director in May
of 1962, NAFA was in its infancy. Many of NAFA’s old-tim-
ers tell me about the early days of our organization and
of working with Hei — I love those stories. Although I
did not know Col. Heiberg until more recent years, I am
one of the few who had the privilege of working closely
with him in his later years. And work we did! We spent
hundreds of hours — researching, editing, reminiscens-
ing — and in spite of failing health, Hei remained feisty,
dedicated, tireless, meticulous and firm. He had a love
for and knowledge of NAFA unlike any other, and right
up to his last day he maintained a NAFA file that rivals the
Archives. When I asked him for specific documentation
from, for example, a letter written in 1963, he had his
hands on it pronto.
Perhaps the greatest single contribution Col. Heiberg
made was co-authoring, with Jack Young, a nearly com-
plete rewrite of NAFA’s original Constitution and Bylaws.
The rewritten document has admirably withstood the
rigors of nearly 30 years. When President Jim Weaver
charged me with updating and reprinting the Constitu-
tion.and Bylaws, I called Hei for help. Together we em-
barked on a two-and-one-half year task. Hei’s intimate
knowledge of NAFA from its inception and his impecca-
ble records ensured that the document has retained all of
its original integrity and accuracy while incorporating all
the subsequent amendments. Without Col. Heiberg, the
task would have been nearly impossible. Over the course
of the project, Hei and I developed a friendship and a
mutual respect.
The Constitution & Bylaws are appropriately dedicated
to “the co-author and guardian of this document,” a
recognition Hei did not expect. My reward for the work
involved is knowing that he saw the project come to frui-
tion and that he, in a small way, was acknowledged for a
lifetime of service to the North American Falconers Asso-
ciation. I am privileged to have known and worked with
Hei Heiberg, and I shall miss him.
Hawk Chalk, Vol. XXX, No. 1, April 1991
by S. Kent Carnie
The last Issue of Hawk Chalk contained a brief announce-
ment of the passing of Col. H.H.D. (Hei) Heiberg, a name
too little known among many of NAFA’s newer members.
Assigned at the Air Force Academy while it was being es-
tablished, Hei’s duties included organizing the Academy’s
original falconry program. Falconry found a kindred spot
in Hei’s soul and was with him the rest of his days. Like
many in the military, Hei’s flying was often constrained by
his duties and assignments; but to say that falconry was
always in Hei’s life, with or without a bird, would be an
Upon its founding, Hei was NAFA’s first Eastern Director.
The last Hawk Chalk listed the other positions he held
while in NAFA. No one has held more, and he held most
of these in those few years between 1962 and 1968! With
Jack Young, he also revised NAFA’s original constitution
into the basis for our present governing document. Very
early in NAFA’s existence, Hei made a special effort to in-
sure that we would be perceived as more than just some
hunter-user group but rather as a body of environmen-
tally oriented and concerned sportsmen seeking the best
for our raptorial heritage. He will be remembered, partic-
ularly, for his staunch opposition to commercial traffic in
wild-caught raptors and in development of NAFA’s early
positions on legalization and commercialism.
Perhaps even more important than the incredible amount
of work he did for the Association, Hei exerted a strong
moral force representing honesty and integrity. In every
sense of the term, Hei was, truly, “an officer and a gentle-
man”; an officer by act of Congress (based on his West
Point education), a gentleman by nature! For those criti-
cal earliest years, Hei was a pillar of strength and honesty
who attempted to insure that NAFA “DID” instead of just
“SAID”! He set an example that contributed much to the
reputation for integrity that we enjoy today.
Hei kept careful and complete records of all his NAFA
activities. This, coupled with his active participation in
early efforts to preserve NAFA’s records at McGill Univer-
sity, has been of great benefit as we now assemble NAFA’s
official corporate records at the Archives of Falconry. Of
the NAFA materials transferred to the TAF from McGill, a
great percentage were Heiberg’s records. He, thus, made
this additional, very tangible contribution to the efforts of
our Association.
Although playing a less visible role in NAFA in recent
years, Hei continued, literally to his last days, as our
Parliamentarian and as the Constitution Committee,
a contribution recognized in the most recently pub-
lished copy of that document. Even after learning of his
terminal condition, Hei thoughtfully provided for our
history. Not only reorganizing his remaining records,
Hei painstakingly labeled and indexed some 400 of his
Kodachrome slides to enhance the historic value of that
collection. His NAFA papers are being integrated into
NAFA’s Central Records. The remainder (mostly predating
NAFA’s formation) will comprise the Heiberg Collection
at the Archives of Falconry — as will his equipment and
those portions of his library not already duplicated in the
TAF collections. Through all of this his widow, Mimi, has
thoughtfully given of her own efforts to insure the proper
utilization of this legacy Hei has bequeathed to all future
generations of American falconers.
He is missed. Clearly, it will be a long time ‘til we see his
like again. Keep ‘em flying up there!