Kent William Heitholt was, simply put, a big presence—an enormous bear of a man always in good humor. He was forty-eight years old when his life was abruptly cut short on Halloween night 2001.
“Heity,” as he was known by friends and family, was a journalist by trade. According to the Columbia Daily Tribune, he graduated from Missouri School of Journalism before setting out hopscotching his way across the south with jobs in local Nashville, Mississippi, and Louisiana newspapers. He finally landed at the Tribune. Sports were his forte and he was dedicated to his craft, an easy-going father figure to those he worked with.
Tribune colleague Jim Robertson remembers Heitholt as someone who was “always joking,” and had a “very nice, dry sense of humor.” A man who “loved newspapers and being a sports writer” who was always firm and fair.
A giver at heart, Kent was also known as an avid animal lover—even kept cat food in his car for local stray cats; one of whom returned each night at the Tribune parking lot demanding to be fed.
Sports may have been his work life, but his family was his true passion. His wife, Deborah, and his son and daughter, Vince and Kali were what he cherished most, according to co-workers.
If you have tips or information regarding the death of Kent Heitholt please visit the Columbia Missouri Crime Stoppers website: 875tips.com or call (573) 875-TIPS (8477)