Rick Heyden – The Heyden Stanley Group
By Danny Keating, Director of the Louisiana/Mississippi HVAC Insider
On Sunday, February 21, 2021 at the age of 71, Rick Heyden transitioned peacefully to his heavenly home. Rick fought a very private battle with cancer and most people had no idea that he was so close to passing or that he was even sick, which was the way he wanted it.
Most people know that in addition to my duties with the HVAC Insider that I have proudly represented the Heyden Stanley Group, a manufacturers rep agency, in Louisiana and Mississippi and have done so for a little over ten years. Rick Heyden was both my boss and my friend for those ten years.
Rick had a ‘larger than life’ personality. You would hear Rick’s friendly and contagious laugh long before you would see him. Rick loved life and life loved him. He loved his family, his friends, his business, his ranch, and his beloved Texas. You could not help but be upbeat if you were anywhere near Rick. His friends remember Rick most for his laugh, his outgoing humor, his positive energy, and most of all his kindness. He was truly a larger-than-life person.
Rick Heyden was a fixture in the HVACR industry for over 4 decades and was well known and was actively involved in many organizations including HARDI. Most everyone in our industry knew of Rick’s love for hunting. He would often host hunts at his family ranch in Uvalde, Texas. He was immensely proud of his long family line of Texas roots tracing back to the Texas Declaration of Independence. Rick said he “sat on the shoulders of giants”.
What many people probably did not know was that Rick had a passion for live performing arts. Rick served on the board of the New Braunfels Performing Arts Theatre. He found great joy in seeing a little movie theatre, to which he had taken his children to see movies in the 1980’s, transformed to a live performing arts theatre bringing world-class entertainment to New Braunfels.
Rick was also a member of the Downtown Rotary Club and the Wurstfest Association in New Braunfels, giving back to the community by helping others. Rick organized his infamous Wild Game Dinners, which grew into a major annual fundraiser and a night of fun for the organization.
Rick loved attending live sporting events and held season tickets to the San Antonio Spurs since their earliest days. From the sidelines, Rick cheered on the team through five NBA championships, sharing the game experiences with family and friends.
The Rick Heyden I knew was hard working, hard playing, trustworthy, honest and a joy to be around. Unlike many people, I loved getting phone calls from ‘my boss’. He would always leave me in a better mood after the call was finished. Rick was special in that way.
Since I was two years older than Rick, he would often ask, “Danny, how long are you going to keep working?” I would answer, “Until you fire me!” We would laugh and eventually Rick decided that he was going to “give up working in about five more years (that was a year ago) and I would have to hang around until then”.
Now if you ask me, “Danny, how long are you going to keep working?” I would answer, “As long as I can bring value to Rick’s memory and not a day longer!”
Rick, you are loved, you are missed, and you will not be forgotten.