Michael Austin Heitzke was born October 8th, 1985 in Bridgeport, CT, but we knew him as Mike. His parents, Steve and Debby Heitzke gave him the middle name of ‘Austin’ after the Austin Mini Cooper. After the family moved to Texas, everyone thought it was for the state capital. Mike and his sister, Kerstin, spent most of their formative years in Boerne, TX.
The name was prophetic as Mike loved cars his entire life. He always had a project car in the garage, and another overly loud car to drive around. Mike was a constant presence at car meetup groups wherever he lived, forging close friendships out of a shared obsession. He found similar comradery at the gym, where he love to powerlift. His passions tied together two main principles the mechanical and the creative. From his design work, to the car, watches, and his tattoos; form, function and beauty all intertwined.
Mike grew up building massive Lego cities, crafting elaborate stories that often ended with dinosaurs destroying the city. In Connecticut, he was always outside, building a fort in the backyard as home base for his bug and lizard hunts. He started drawing at a young age, crafting books inspired by his adventures and his love of reading. Mike excelled in school, showing aptitude across all disciplines. His love of the outdoors continued, helping him earn the rank of Eagle Scout. Throughout his life, Mike was always surrounded by a large group of loyal friends.
He had a unique way of being able to think and break down the complex in simple and creative ways. Mike was passionate about sharing this ability and his expertise, giving back to the design community. He received accolades for both his leadership and mentorship. Mike was known to be thoughtful in his communication, listening and caring even if they had only met once, a gentle giant of design. This was important work for him and considered himself a servant leader, always looking to support in any way possible.
Mike met everyone with an open and patient heart, connecting with people wherever he was. He always saw the best in everyone. He was always there to help and do whatever he could, including help his sister move into her first NYC apartment in a 7th floor walkup on a hot August day. Noticeably, he did not readily volunteer to help her move to her current apartment in Brooklyn, but would have if she asked.
He had an abundantly full and joyful life with family and friends. His house was filled with life and love. He will be forever loved and missed by countless friends and family.
Tragically for all who knew him, and those who now cannot, Mike passed away at the age of 37 on September 21st, 2023 in Nashville, TN. Celebration of life arrangements will be announced at a later date. Donations in his memory may be made to The East Nashville Hope Exchange at www.enhopeexchange.org.
Nashville Cremation Center is Honored to be entrusted with handling Mr. Heitzke's arrangements. Please visit the guestbook to leave a thoughtful note for the family.