Rachel Naomi Heitman, 30, of Ketchikan passed away on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center after a courageous 5½ year battle with cancer. She was born September 8, 1990 in Anchorage, AK, the daughter of Scott Heitman and Theresa Heitman.
Rachel moved to Ketchikan in 1993 with her family and spent most of her childhood playing in the forest and beaches of Herring Cove. She attended Houghtaling Elementary School, Schoenbar Middle School, and graduated from Ketchikan High School with the class of 2009. She was an excellent student and well loved by her teachers. She played soccer for KYSL and the Kayhi Lady Kings and played the bassoon in the band and pep band.
Rachel loved working with children and animals. Rachel’s first job was at the Rainforest Sanctuary where she cared for reindeer. She also worked for Sockeye Sam’s where she met her life partner and father of her daughter, Matthew Meredith. After graduating she worked at Residential Youth Center, Ketchikan Regional Youth Facility, and Community Connections. In all of her roles she demonstrated her love for children and the community through her leadership, kindness, and grace.
Rachel was involved in her church, the First Assembly of God, from a young age and enjoyed being a part of the youth group and various bible study groups. She was a prayer warrior and felt great joy from seeing the results of prayers being answered. One of her biggest desires was for people to love and serve God as she did.
Rachel had many other passions and excelled at everything she pursued. She enjoyed hiking, camping, kayaking, boating, journaling, art and foraging. She enjoyed making artwork with natural elements and sharing her art with the community. She also enjoyed traveling abroad and loved learning about other cultures.
Rachel’s greatest passion in life was being a mother. She loved her daughter Avery with her whole heart and showed her devotion in everything she did. The two of them enjoyed exploring the outdoors, making art, reading and baking together.
Rachel was a warm-hearted, loving, and generous person. She was a wonderful mother, daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, cousin, and friend. She was a devoted child of God and will be missed by many.
She is survived by her daughter Avery Jayne Meredith; life partner Matthew Meredith; mother Theresa Heitman; father Scott (Melissa) Heitman of Port Angeles, WA; sisters Sarah Heitman of Jackson, WY and Gracie Heitman of Juneau, AK; brother Gerek Heitman of Aurora, CO; nephews Aleyn and Torsten Widmyer of Juneau, AK; grandparents Jack & Carol Heitman of Loveland, CO; Grandmother Nancy Shirley Daniel of Fairbanks, AK; aunts Nancy (Tom) Haskins of Fairbanks, AK, Laura (Rick) Starrett of Hood River, OR, and Jacqueline (Dave) Larkin of Grand Rapids, MI; uncles David (Mel) Daniel of Anchorage, AK, Brian (Pam) Heitman of Denver, CO, and Mike (Laura) Heitman of Albuquerque, NM; Great Uncle Larry Michaels of WI and many cousins and many close friends.
She was preceded in death by her grandfather Herbert Daniel Sr, uncle Herbert Daniel Jr, and uncle Edward Daniel.
A celebration of life and worship service will be held on Saturday, February 6, 2021 at 2:00 PM at First Assembly of God. Due to COVID, space will be limited and face coverings are recommended. The service will be live streamed at www.facebook.com/ketchikanfirstassembly.
A second celebration of life for all to attend in-person is scheduled for this summer on Saturday, July 3, 2021 at Ward Lake.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in honor of Rachel Heitman to First City Council on Cancer, PO Box 8832, Ketchikan, AK 99901.