Bill Heynen, In Memoriam and Tribute...
This Legacy is created in loving memory of Bill Heynen who left this world suddenly after being hospitalized with COVID-19 before vaccines were available. We will cherish his memory, will share the amazing qualities he had and the accomplishments he achieved.
Many people come and go in our lives; however, a special few touch us in ways that change us forever. Bill was one of those exceptional individuals. We are grateful for the loving memories and sculptural gifts he left for us so that he may remain in our hearts and minds forever. His sculptures are so much more than just a body of work; they represent the many facets of this artist – the energy in creation and completion – the beauty and creativity. Once Bill touched your life you could understand his love and loyalty to family & friends, feel his zest and joy of life, count on his integrity, glow as he beamed his wide broad smile, and revel in his wickedly unfiltered humor. He shared his compassion for creating works of art, retirement planning by diversifying savings with stock portfolios, and acquiring & managing properties by teaching and helping others. Everyone knew his word was his bond. All family and friends looked forward to eagerly accepting his engaging hugs.
Bill believed that a person’s capacity for personal development is without limits. He felt obtaining competence in a broad range of abilities and areas of knowledge should be everyone’s goal. For those that knew him well, Bill exemplified one who excelled in a great variety of areas. Artist, Teacher, voracious reader, life-long-learner, natural athlete, communicator, and charismatic are characteristics that describe him. Additional skills and accomplishments are: Realtor, Property Owner & Manager, Carpenter, Construction Worker, Portfolio Manager, World Traveler and Author.
When Bill was two, he and his older brother, Bob, moved from Kansas to Southern California with his parents, Harold & Carmelita. Brothers Rod, Jerry & Wiley were added to the family. While living in El Monte he attended Elementary, Junior High, and High School graduating in 1956. After chores, if he was not playing football, basketball, or baseball, he was catching “crawdads” in the San Gabriel River. Biking skills, perseverance, & responsibility were engrained with paper routes from 4th grade to the beginning of High School. A gifted athlete during his high school and college years, Bill played Varsity Basketball earning honors as a leading scorer & rebounder, Player of the Year, & First Team in Pacific League. In college, he was selected 1st Team All-Conference while playing for a winning basketball team. His record as third leading rebounder in college history still stands. He continued to participate in basketball and baseball after college and became an excellent swimmer, diver, sailor, bowler, water & snow skier. Bill moved his body in an almost effortless manner.
After earning his Bachelor of Arts and Secondary Teaching Credential, Bill began his career at Montebello High School teaching Creative Wood Sculpture, a Fine Arts course he developed for Grades 9-12. He was awarded the State of California’s “Outstanding Art Instructor Award” from 1966-1994. During these years his students also received rewards for Outstanding Art Achievement from County, State, and National Competitions. After receiving his Master of Arts Degree, he joined the staff at California State University, Los Angeles, teaching Wood Sculpture. As a well-educated, charming, witty teacher and educator, he challenged himself and his high school, university, and adult students daily to make each day count in setting and achieving goals. He insisted that each work of art be unique and original.
Bill dedicated over 60 years of his life creating art works of Animals, Humans, Relief Carvings, Freeform, and Functional Sculptures from exotic and domestic hardwoods using hand tools. His sculptures have received many “Best of Show” awards at local galleries and shows. Public Art Works include “Are We Not All Men and All Brothers” at California State University at Los Angeles. Articles about Bill and illustrations of his sculptures have appeared in many periodicals and book publications. Sculptures he has created are held in collections in the United States and World-wide. He was a featured artist on the Long Beach Open Studio Tour. http://lbopenstudiotour.com/bill-heynen/ Authored and published in 2014, the book, "Dynamic Creations: Wood Sculptures" by Bill Heynen, is a lavish visual portfolio of his life’s work to date.
As a certified Master Wood Sculptor, he was a sought-after-lecturer, teacher, and featured speaker. In a clearly stated and easily understood manner, he conveyed his creative approach and the techniques he utilized in creating his own sculptures. Engaging the viewer in the dynamic flow of the sculpture, encouraging continual interaction between the audience and the carving was his ultimate goal. Sculpture is the art of making shapes. Wood sculpture is a subtractive art form. The artist works from the outside in, carving with tools to remove the wood until the desired form is released. While working on one sculpture, Bill would be mentally planning the next work of art. Having just finished his last sculpture before entering the hospital, Bill left in his studio, on his work bench, his drawings and the wood he had selected for his next sculpture.
“As I offer this portfolio, I feel a powerful urge to create something new and unique. It gives me great personal pleasure to produce a work of art that is different in some way and cause it to come into existence. The physical interaction continues to give me great satisfaction and I lose all sense of time.”
Bill is survived by his wife, Joan; children, Tracy, Jim, & Jeff; grandchildren, Kristin, Reed, Luke, Corinne, Sofia, & William; great-grandchildren, Imani & Sky; brothers Jerry & Wiley & extended family and friends. Please click on the PHOTOS in the Legacy section featuring this beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin, and friend interacting with many over the years. The TRIBUTES in this Legacy section contain comments from notebooks & letters collected over the years written by art lovers and collectors indicating how Bill and his sculptures touched and changed lives. To view additional Sculptures, click on the HOME, PROCESS, BOOK, & GALLERY sections of the website. Additional Tributes may be sent by using the CONTACT section of this website.