Sadly, Eric passed away on April 7, 2022.
His family will keep his website active in his memory and the work he did for hiking and backpacking in Louisiana.
On October 8, 2022, friends and family of Eric gathered at the Backbone Trail in Kisatchie National Forest for a memorial hike in Eric's honor. Please click the photo to enjoy some of the wonderful memories made that day.
Shortly after Eric died, I asked Lena what she would like to do to remember Daddy and to feel close to him. She chose to plant a tree. Planting a tree is very fitting considering Eric's passion for the outdoors, as well as the tree Eric and I planted in our front yard when Lena was born. We've always called it Lena's tree and have enjoyed watching it grow as she has grown.
She initially wanted to plant Eric's tree underneath her tree. I explained that there wasn't enough room under her tree and that trees do not do well when planted so close together. We settled on planting a tree at LSU AgCenter's Burden Museum and Gardens as part of their Arbor Day celebration. The trees planted would help rebuild their forests that were damaged from Hurricane Ida in 2021. In addition, they would register the tree and provide us with coordinates for its location. Lena would be able to follow it's growth and go see it and feel close to Daddy no matter where she lived and it would never be "sold", as in selling the house would sell the tree.
This idea could not have been more perfect for our girl and for Eric's memory. This way, Eric will always be a part of Burden, where he enjoyed time spent with family and friends and his dogs.
Our beloved son, brother, friend, fiancé, and father, Eric Heber, 46, left this world on April 7, 2022.
Eric was born on April 7, 1976, in St. Petersburg, FL, to Malcolm Heber II and Judy Johnston. He is survived by his daughter, Lena Heber of Baton Rouge, LA; mother, Judy Johnston of Theodore, AL; fiancée, Angelle Blair of Baton Rouge, LA; ex-wife and mother to his daughter, Jackie Heber of Baton Rouge, LA; sisters, Kim Boykin of Theodore, AL and Sarah Heber of Purcellville, VA; brother, Malcolm Heber III of Denver, CO; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Malcolm, his step-father, Dennis Johnston, his aunt, Carol Williamson, and his cousin, Jerry “Bo” Williamson.
Eric was an avid lover of the outdoors, hiking, backpacking, and the natural beauty found outside. He was a Louisiana Master Naturalist, serving as President and Vice President of the Louisiana Hiking Club, as well as a founding member of the Bayou State Trail Association, working to establish the first long distance trail in Louisiana that will be over 100 miles. His time in the outdoors and hiking/backpacking brought him so much joy and happiness. He believed that the simple act of placing one foot in front of the other, and traveling on your own power, mile after mile, could be beneficial to mind, body, and spirit. He had a passion for sharing his vast knowledge on the trails in Louisiana with anyone willing to listen. Please visit Eric’s website, www.louisianahikes.com, to learn all about his love for hiking and backpacking.
His passion for the outdoors and his love for his fiancée, Angelle, was surpassed only by his love and devotion for his daughter, Lena. He was an amazing Daddy and co-parent with Lena’s mom, Jackie. Eric and Lena loved swimming together and caring for their dogs, Hutch and Leo, and hamsters, Hammy and Squishy. Eric’s curiosity and study of nature is thriving in Lena. He loved how smart she is and how she asks so many amazing, thoughtful questions. He treasured their conversations.
Eric served the recovery community for many years, being a rock for so many people struggling with addiction. He helped countless people and changed many lives through his work with sober living homes and sharing his own story and growth. He was a beloved member of Oxford House and held many positions locally, statewide, and nationally. The world will continue to be changed through the people who crossed paths with him.
He will be missed more than any words could express but he will be forever in our hearts.
Visitation was held on Thursday, April 14, 2022, at 1:00PM until funeral service at 2:00 PM located at Resthaven Gardens of Memory and Funeral Home in Baton Rouge, LA. Please take a hike for Eric, support someone in need, or consider a donation to the Louisiana Hiking club at https://www.louisianahikingclub.org/donate