Heidi Schiltz Westmoreland of Mountain View, Calif., passed away June 5, 2014, at her Bigfork home, amidst her family, surrounded by the thoughts, fervent prayers and great love of her family and a host of friends, near and far away. She and her family traveled to Bigfork in April so that her final days could pass in the comfort of beloved people and landscape.
She was born in Fort Benning, Ga., at Martin Army Hospital Feb. 8, 1962, where her father was attending Army Officer Orientation. During her childhood her mother often referred to Heidi as her Georgia peach. She traveled the U.S. from coast to coast with her family and to Mannheim, Germany where she began high school, most importantly meeting her two dearest childhood friends, Gaye Thatcher Lierley and Carin Lozano-Ross. The three, who called themselves “the fun fairies,” have remained the closest of friends since that time. Gaye was with her in the days preceding her death.
Following graduation from Leavenworth High School in Leavenworth, Kan., Heidi attended the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kan., where she earned a degree in electrical engineering, and fell in love with her future husband, Bradley Westmoreland, a fine young man from Independence, Mo. Ultimate Frisbee at KU filled their free time and has remained as a bond for many friendships in all their communities. They married in 1985, after graduation. Her first job was with Texas Instruments where she worked as a classified RF engineer; not her favorite work. After moving to Mountain View she worked as a teacher of engineers at Analog Design, then started her own course design company, Quality Technical Instruction.
Daughter Olivia was born in 1990, and son Luke in 1993, in Mountain View. She discovered a love of teaching as she participated in Olivia and Luke’s educations and in 2010 enrolled in a teacher certification program at San Jose State in San Jose, Calif., which she completed in 2012. That summer she was hired to teach mathematics at Crittenden Middle School in Mountain View where she taught one year before taking a medical leave of absence the following September in order to again undergo treatment for cancer, diagnosed 14 years earlier. Though breast cancer has certainly been a hard reality, her life has instead been defined by love and care of family, intellectual curiosity, humor, travel and pleasure in the continuing relationships of friends and community.
Heidi often said she not only loved but was “in love” with her husband and her children.
She is survived by her husband, Brad and her children, Olivia and Luke, of Mountain View and Bigfork; parents, Don and Sharon Schiltz of Bigfork; sisters, Heather Fern and husband David of Whitefish, and Cori Wellenstein and husband Michael of Helena; and brother, Mark Schiltz and Cissy Klein of Bigfork. She cherished and generously nurtured her nine nieces and nephews, and she and Brad not only planned family trips but excursions that included many of the “cousins.” Sometimes even their parents went along.
Heidi’s family plans a private memorial service on the family mountain property near Bigfork and, at a later time, a celebration of her life in Mountain View.
The Heidi Westmoreland Teaching Scholarship has been established through the Tower Foundation at San Jose State University. The scholarship is designed to help a gifted teacher/teacher candidate with financial need and a passion for learning to pursue his or her education. Checks may be made payable to Tower Foundation, and on the memo line of the check, note that it is for The Heidi Westmoreland Teaching Fund, Account No. 095-1242-5314. Checks can be sent directly to Tower Foundation, San Jose State University, One Washington Square, San Jose, CA 95192-0256.