GARDNERVILLE - Described as a man of integrity and diligence, lifetime Nevada rancher Roy Heise, 85, died Nov. 9 at Manor Care in Reno.
"He was the last of the real cowboys," said longtime family friend Dr. Bruce Wallace of Reno.
"He was most at home in the saddle of his horse, looking for a stray calf. He was the epitome of the classic Nevada rancher, who worked from sunup to sundown seven days a week, whose word and handshake were more reliable than any lawyer's document."
Heise lived his entire life at the ranch where he was born Aug. 26, 1914. A funeral service will be held at the Carson Valley Methodist Church in Gardnerville at 11 a.m. on Monday with the Rev. Pete Nelson and the Rev. Emil Leising officiating.
His forbears include the Heise and Neddenriep families, who emigrated to the Carson Valley from Germany in the 1860s and '70s.
In addition to raising cattle on their Valley ranch, the Heise family grazed cattle on federal lands, including the Carson Iceberg Wilderness area at Wolf Creek. He was noted as a premier breeder of purebred sheep and was a top consignor to the prestigious California Wool Growers Association sales for 50 years.
"I think to have to think of him bringing cows home on a cold day out of Wolf Creek," said Valley rancher Arnold Settelmeyer, "And I have to think of his sons and the fine family he's raised.
"In regard to Roy Heise, I think we've lost a another one of his kind of cattlemen in Douglas County. I enjoyed talking to him, and his honesty."
Always concerned about the preservation of the history of the Valley, he was instrumental in the restoration of the Genoa Courthouse as a museum in the early 1960s. He solicited a significant amount of funds from Valley residents for the museum and served as the Carson Valley Historical Society president for several terms.
Mr. Heise carried mail in the first rerides of the Pony Express and rode on the section between Carson City and Genoa.
As the congregation of the Episcopal church grew in Carson Valley, there was a need for a church building. The historic Coventry Cross Chapel was moved from Smith Valley to Minden and placed on land donated by Mr. Heise. He served on its vestry for many years.
He was appointed by the governor to the State Employment Security Council in the early 1960s.
He is survived by his wife Dorothy, of Gardnerville; sons Frederick of Carmichael, Calif., William of Minden and John of Medford, Ore.; cousin Clarence Burr of Gardnerville and of F. Heise Land and Livestock Co.; six grandchildren; and his faithful horse, Buck.
Burial will be at Fredericksburg Cemetery, Alpine County, Calif. Memorial contributions may be made to the Genoa Courthouse Museum, P.O. Box 311, Genoa 89411.