Obituary: Harold Heinlein / Golfer dies on first hole of course he helped build
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Harold Heinlein, his brother Herb and their parents started to build Bon Air Golf Course in 1930, a donkey and a shovel their only equipment.
They finished work on the Moon course in 1932. Harold and his brother operated the course until 2005, when it was sold to the township and renamed Moon Golf Club.
Golf, family members said, was Harold Heinlein's life. On Sunday, he died playing the sport he loved after he suffered a heart attack on the first hole of the Moon club. He was 93.
"Golf was his life inside and out," said his son, Don. "I don't think you could have scripted a better movie."
Mr. Heinlein was a 50-year PGA professional who, until this year, played golf four times a week. This year, he cut back to three times a week.
Mr. Heinlein was born in Imperial on April 28, 1919. A key component of his life that did not involve golfing was how he met his wife of 67 years, the late Margaret (Mushalansky) Heinlein. They met at a roller rink.
As a PGA professional, Mr. Heinlein gave lessons and played in tournaments. He played in many competitions in the Tri-State area.
"He wasn't an amateur," said Don Heinlein of Moon. "When they played for money, he could win the money."
Mr. Heinlein had the opportunity to play with famous golfers, including Arnold Palmer and Sam Snead. Mr. Heinlein, his late brother Herb, their father and Snead played a round on the course the Heinleins built.
Mr. Heinlein trained many golfers, and family and friends described him as a "straight shooter."
Bob Mark, 80, of Weirton, W.Va., took lessons from Mr. Heinlein in 1967 and they became friends.
Mr. Mark tells of a time when a man asked to play nine holes with Mr. Heinlein, and the man didn't play well. Afterward, the man asked Mr. Heinlein to evaluate his game.
"I'd lay off for two weeks and then I'd quit," Mr. Heinlein responded.
"He called an apple an apple," Don Heinlein said of his father.
Though a straight shooter, Mr. Heinlein also was said to be kind and willing to help out when needed. Besides golfing, he also enjoyed hunting and fishing.
In addition to his son, Mr. Heinlein is survived by another son, James Heinlein of Claysville, and a daughter, Ellen Heinlein Bolton of Moon. He had seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be today from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at Copeland Funeral Home in Moon, 981 Brodhead Road, where services will be held on Thursday at 9 a.m.
First Published May 30, 2012 12:00 am