Russell “Sonny” Heath, 88, of Cleves, OH, passed away December 19, 2022. He was born in Lawrenceburg, IN at home on September 8th, 1934 to the late Russell and Nellie (nee Tague) Heath. Russell graduated from Taylor High School in 1954, where he started dating the love of his life, Patricia (Patsy) Ferraris. They were married on September 3, 1955 at St. Joseph Church in North Bend, OH.
Russell’s initial career of 20 years was at Western Southern Life Insurance Company followed by twenty years as the co-owner (with Patsy) of Ann’s Tavern in Cleves, OH. In semi-retirement, he enjoyed working on the golf course for the Hamilton County Parks (Shawnee Lookout Course) and also at Sugar Ridge Golf Club. On the course, he could be found with his cooler of candy that he shared with fellow golfers and the teenage workers.
Sonny enjoyed working with kids, initially as an elementary school basketball coach, and then as a Sunday School Teacher for high school seniors, the first male president of Three Rivers Middle School PTA, and the coach of the Taylor High School Girls and Boys golf teams, culminating in being the conference coach of the year … not bad for a self taught golfer who didn’t pick up the game until his 50’s. He is one of the few golfers who could brag about shooting his age on a round of golf.
He was active in community as a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church, a charter member of the Cleves-Three Rivers Kiwanis (over 50 years), Knights of Columbus, and as a Master Mason in the Masonic Lodge.
In addition to Patsy, Russell is survived by his children, Annette (Chuck) Carter, Cindy (Steve) Gillman, Judy (Jeff) Helmes-Sneed, and Greg (Beth) Heath, grandchildren, Brandon Heath, Chris Bucher, Danielle Hirth, Andrew Gillman, Josh Helmes, Emily Issette, Kristen Heath, Rachael Rosenberger, and Ali Sneed. He enjoyed 17 great grandchildren who had a special place in his heart and consider him their playmate.
Russell was preceded in death by his parents, siblings, Pat Collins, Rosie Holcomb, Joann Folke, and Larry Heath, and his granddaughter, Amanda Bucher.
Visitation will be Thurs., December 29, 2022, 9-11 AM at Dennis George Funeral Home, 44 S. Miami, Cleves, OH 45002 followed by Mass of Christian Burial at 11:30 AM at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 25 E. Harrison, North Bend, OH. Interment will be in Maple Grove Cemetery, Cleves.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Knights of Columbus, St. Joseph of the Three Rivers Council 11550, c/o the funeral home.
To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Sonny Heath, please visit our local florist at