Harlan Raymond Heitkamp, founder and former chairman of Corpus Christi-based ValueBank Texas, passed away on February 6. Raised in Bracken, he attended Texas Tech University, earning a master’s degree in civil engineering. After marrying his wife of 64 years, Gerry, in 1958, the couple moved to Corpus Christi where Heitkamp worked for the City of Corpus Christi Department of Engineering. Eventually, he formed his own civil engineering firm, Maverick Engineering, with offices in San Antonio, Houston and Corpus Christi.
After serving on the International Bank of Corpus Christi board of directors, Heitkamp decided to become more actively involved in the community banking industry. He formed a control group that purchased five local community banks, which became ValueBank Texas. Heitkamp remained involved in the banks until his death.
Heitkamp was a leader in his community, both locally and statewide. He served the Independent Bankers Association of Texas (IBAT) as chairman of both the organization (1997–98) and its subsidiary, IBAT Services Inc. (1996–97). He also served as chairman of TIB (The Independent BankersBank) and the local chapter of Ducks Unlimited Chapter. His son, Scott Heitkamp, also served as chairman of IBAT (2011–12) and the Independent Community Bankers of America (2017–18).
“The Heitkamp family personifies Texas community banking,” says Christopher Williston, IBAT president and CEO. “They are dedicated to their communities and have gone above and beyond in every way to support the industry they hold so dear.”
“He was one of a kind who was loved by many…a gentle and kind soul whose big smile and bright blue eyes just made you feel good,” ValueBank Texas noted on its Facebook page.
Heitkamp is survived by his wife, Gerry; son Scott Heitkamp and his wife Carrie; grandchildren Hailey Linz (Brent) and Andrew Heitkamp; great-grandson Banks Linz; sister Darlene Ferry (David); brother Robert Heitkamp; brother-in-law Matt Landry; and numerous nieces and nephews.