Mrs. Collette Katherine (Heathcote) Walz died on December 31, 2018 at the age of 75. Collette was born October 11, 1943 in Aberdeen, South Dakota to Mr. Gerald Heathcote and Mrs. Katherine (Friedel) Heathcote. A long-time resident of Las Cruces, New Mexico, Mrs. Walz was married to Mr. Fred Walz until his death in 2002 and was the long-time companion of Mr. Floyd Highfill of Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Collette spent her teenage years in Santa Ana, California and graduated from Santa Ana High School in 1962 and then California State University, Fresno in 1966 with a degree in mathematics. She was quickly employed by Lockheed Missiles and Space from 1966 to 1969 and bought a sports car, to the amusement of her father. She was an accomplished pilot and had an amazing ability to learn and tackle challenges. She moved from San Francisco to Boston to become a Field Service Engineer for Raytheon, where she met Fred Walz, who shared her keen intellect and sense of adventure. They were married in 1971, had two children, and moved to Las Cruces in 1978.
Collette loved to travel with Floyd, engage with her family, and was the best singing voice the family ever heard. She was active in the Mesilla Valley Chorale and the St. Paul’s United Methodist Church Choir. She would go out of her way for a swim and loved to sew.
She is survived by daughters Mrs. Kirsten Collette Stefan of Houston, Texas and Mrs. Jennifer Gonzales of Las Cruces, New Mexico; Grandchildren Celeste Walz and Caleb Gonzales of Las Cruces and Kate Stefan of Houston, Texas; and Great Granddaughter Collette Gardner of Las Cruces, New Mexico.
We remember her sense of humor, love of family and friends, her always positive attitude, and her will to put others’ needs before her own. She is an inspiration for her family. We will honor and remember her by keeping these virtues in our hearts and minds. Services will be held at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church at 9:30 AM on Monday, January 7, 2019. The Pallbearer will be Jose Gonzales, Caleb Gonzales, Celeste Walz, Michael Angel, Michael Highfill, Paul Stefan, Kate Stefan, Gene Christensen, and Anthony Blea.
Arrangements with Getz Funeral Home, 1410 E. Bowman Ave. Las Cruces, NM 88001. Please visit www.GetzCares.com to sign the local online guest book.