Her former colleagues in the Alaska Legislature mourned the death of Cheryll Heinze, remembering her as a lawmaker and person of warmth and good nature with a passion for Alaska and an ability to work with people on both sides of the aisle.
Heinze died Tuesday night in a plane crash on Beluga Lake in Homer.
She was 65.
Reps. Mike Chenault and Berta Gardner, former Rep. Harry Crawford and Sen. Lesil McGuire recalled her as a good colleague in an arena that can be hard on good natures. Crawford remembered her help in getting a bill to strengthen Alaska's anti-stalking law through the Legislature. A Republican, Heinze carried the bill for Crawford, a Democrat, through a GOP-dominated Legislature because she believed the bill would help victims of stalking, never mind the source. She was not a political player. She was naive, perhaps, but with good will and generosity of spirit that earned the respect and affection of those who knew her.
BOTTOM LINE: Our thoughts and prayers go to Harold Heinze, Cheryll's husband, and rest of her family and friends.