Devoted husband, father and grandfather (Opa) and faithful Catholic, he is survived by his loving wife Helen (Kliegl) Heineman of 55 years, 4 sons and their wives: John and Liesa Heineman of Lincoln, RI; Michael and Wendy Heineman, George and Jennifer Scionti Heineman all of Framingham, MA; and Joseph and Andrea Heineman of Wakefield, RI; 10 grandsons: William, his wife Mary Kate, Christopher, Luke, Timothy, James, Zachary, Joseph, John IV (Jack), Nicholas and Alexander; the oldest of 7, he is survived by his 6 siblings and their spouses, Margo and Pera Daniels of Reno, NV, George and Margie Heineman of Naples, FL, Charles and Joyce Heineman of Houston, TX, Ellen and Larry Colemire of White Mountain Lake, AZ, Robert and Eileen Heineman of Skokie, IL, Teesie and Paul Eck of Telluride, CO; and numerous nieces and nephews. Mr. Heineman is pre-deceased by his parents George and Eileen Heineman of Connersville, IN.
Heineman graduated from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, magna cum laude, in 1957 followed by a year on a Fulbright Scholarship at the Free University of Berlin in Germany.
After three years at Cornell Graduate School and another year in Germany on a Jacob Gould Schurman scholarship to Heidelberg University, he spent his first three years of teaching as a history professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY and Boston College. When he received his Ph.D. from Cornell in 1965 he became an Assistant Professor of History at Boston College.
In 1967 he received a National Foundation for the Arts and Humanities grant as an “outstanding teacher,” for eight months of study in Germany, which was the foundation for his biography of Constantine von Neurath. He was Chair of the Boston College History Department from 1970 to 1976 and was awarded the Phi Beta Kappa teaching award for excellence. He became Full Professor in 1978 and continued to teach full-time until his retirement in 2003. As Professor Emeritus he taught Honors courses for an additional year. John led numerous tours and trips throughout Europe and was the coordinator of the Radcliffe College core program in Western Civilization for 17 years where he also received an award as an outstanding teacher.
His love of teaching permeated every aspect of his life. He was the principal organist, music director and CCD director at St. Anselm Parish in Sudbury for 20 years.
A devout Catholic, John served as a Eucharistic Minister and Lector at St. George Parish in Framingham for over 20 years.
From 2011 until 2017, he taught with his wife Helen in the Lifelong Learning Program sponsored by Framingham State University and the Framingham Public Library.
In the midst of his busy professional and religious life he remained a devoted husband, father and grandfather.
After his retirement John and Helen traveled extensively, including three world cruises, but his favorite spot in the world was sitting beside Long Pond in Brewster during the summers.
His Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. George Catholic Church, 74 School Street, Framingham on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 at 10 a.m.
Interment will follow at Edgell Grove Cemetery, 53 Grove Street, Framingham.
Expressions of sympathy may be made in Dr. Heineman’s name to St. Patrick’s Manor, 863 Central Street, Framingham, MA 01701 or St. George Catholic Church in Framingham.