Donald Ray Heldt, born on April 11, 1937 in Toledo, Ohio, to the late Gladys (Taylor) Heldt and the late George Heldt, passed away at age 81 on May 11, 2018 in Portland, Oregon, with his daughter, Stephanie Heldt-Sheller by his side. He grew up in South Toledo, attended Macomber High School, and graduated from University of Toledo. Don served in the Air Force from 1955 to 1960. He coached football at Toledo Central Catholic High School 1961-1964 and played for the San Diego Chargers for one season in the 1960s. He touched many hearts as a counselor at Child Study Institute 1961-1972. Don loved being a teacher, coach and athletic director at Toledo Public Schools, from 1970 until he retired in 1995. He loved being close to water and treasured the memories made at the family’s lakeside home 1972-2001.
Don was a great proponent of athletics; he played football and softball in various leagues throughout his life. He attended nearly all of his daughter’s basketball games in high school and track meets in both high school and college. His presence and support will be forever sacred to her. Don also competed in the Senior Olympics in Track and Field 1998-2004. He was a member of the Downtown Coaches Association and the Varsity “T” Club with the University of Toledo 1998-2005. He continued to be active and fit until his passing.
In 2005, he moved to Stuart, Florida to be closer to the sunshine. While in Florida, he loved playing softball and spending time with and travelling with his romantic partner, Connie Malone Smith.
In November 2017, Don moved to Portland, Oregon, to be closer to his family, which he adored. The feeling was mutual.
Don touched the hearts of literally thousands of people, through his teaching, his coaching and his general kind nature. Although some might say he had a tough-guy exterior, his heart was of an angel’s, especially when it came to his family. He absolutely cherished the times spent with his family, particularly recently with his 3 yr old grandson Lyndon.
Don was preceded in death by his brother, Arthur Leroy Heldt. He is survived by his daughter, Stephanie Heldt-Sheller; his son-in-law Nathan Heldt-Sheller, grandchildren, Lyndon Heldt-Sheller and Ellia Sheller; and nieces, Debra Heldt Segura, Cheri Heldt Schings, Lori Heldt Mondragon, and Evamarie Heldt Lants. Friends and family are welcome to attend the funeral service, on Saturday, May 19 from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. at Rose City Cemetery & Funeral Home, 5625 NE Fremont Street, Portland, Oregon, 97213. A Celebration of his Life will occur in Toledo this July.