OBITUARY: Arnold ‘Arne’ Heitmann

It is with sad hearts we say goodbye to ‘Arne’ Heitmann.

Arne passed away peacefully in his 97th year, after a brief illness, on Dec. 21, 2022, off to join “Cill” on their next sailing adventure. 

Arne leaves behind his children and their spouses, Arne (Adair), Kjell (Lori), Scott (Gail), Lisa (Rich), daughter-in-law Susan and brother-in-law Gene. He joins his wife, “Cill”; his youngest son, Erik (Susan); his brother, Roald (Janet); and his sister, Sonja (Gene), who preceded him in passing.

Arnold ‘Arne’ Heitmann

Born north of the Arctic Circle in Bodø, Norway, Arne spent 68 years of his life in his seaside home in the town of Swampscott and sailing out of Marblehead Harbor. Arne designed all sorts of mechanical turbines and pumps at General Electric in Lynn, Northern Research and Engineering in Woburn, and his retirement business, Essex Turbine. 

Arne’s greatest joy in life was sailing with his family and friends. He always made time for afternoon sails in and around Marblehead Harbor and frequently loaded us all up to sail down to the Cape for family vacations.

Arne was never out of ideas for projects big and small. When the sea wall in front of the house was destroyed in the Nor’easter of ’69, he along with his family designed and built a replacement wall that protected his home and still stands today.

He lived his life according to the Viking proverb “Bound is the boatless man” and designed and built or salvaged and restored several large sailboats with help from his family and friends. He started his final boat-building project at 96 and unfortunately ran out of time to complete his final project.

He is survived by four of his five children, nine grandchildren, many nieces, nephews and friends, who all held a special place in his heart. He will be sorely missed.

His family will host a gathering in his honor sometime in the spring of 2023 because a celebration must include a boat. In lieu of flowers, Arne would prefer you go for a sail or contribute to Tufts University School of Engineering. 

Arrangements are under the care of Eustis & Cornell of Marblehead. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy for the Heitmann family may be shared at

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