Meet The Family
Sally and Dick celebrated their 60th anniversary last year, and decided long ago, that Sally would manage the Christmas tree farm, which she has done faithfully almost all of the past 50 years. The straight rows, golf course like mowing, and careful shaping of our trees are all due to her insistence that the best care possible for our trees takes place. For over 50 years Sally has spent at least part of most days, mowing, planting, or shaping our trees. She graduated from Beaver College, now Arcadia, and when she was not working on the trees, or raising our sons, she was a substitute, teaching at one of our area schools.
Dick, on the other hand, is a Wharton School grad, a former air force pilot, flying KC-97 tankers in the early days of the cold war. He had his own insurance agency for 20 years, and taught school at Owen J. Roberts for 25 years. When he retired from teaching, he joined his sister, Barbara Longstreth, and they jointly ran Longstreth Women’s Sports in Parkerford, (specializing in women’s field hockey, lacrosse, and softball) Barbara was recently elected into the National Sporting Goods Hall of Fame. Only the 5th woman to be so honored in the past 65 years. The business was sold 11 years ago, and recently Dick has been buying up old cabins in the Pine Creek Valley and renting them out to vacationers, fishermen and hunters. The website is
“Pinecreekhospitality.com“. In addition to that Dick has been counseling would be entrepreneurs who want to start their own businesses, through SCORE. Concerned about the huge problem posed by student debt, he has also published a booklet, How to Get a College Education with Little or No Student Debt” free copies are available for our customers.
Top Row (left to right): Andrew, Angus Ball, Nicole, Rich, Jerry, Sally, Dick, Bruce, Zach, Jeffrey, Kaytlin Berlund, Howie, Tom, Garrett Kittleson
Bottom Row (left to right): Dave, Michael, Judy, Vanessa, Rachel, Carlee, Shannon, Carol, Jodie, Rhonda
Our family continues to grow. Our 5 boys have provided us with 14 grandchildren, and 5 greats the 5 boys and 4 grandsons had their annual “opening day of Trout Season Bash” at our cottage on Pine Creek, near Slate Run. The entire extended family had our annual gathering for a week at Lords Point, Ct. 26 made it this year, and we had to rent 2 additional cottages. 24 of us are included in the photo with this letter. This was our 55th year of vacationing together.
Our sons are still involved in interesting activities. Our oldest, Rich, is the National Sales Director for Ovation RCS, a wholly owned subsidiary of UPMC. Dave is an entrepreneur in Muskegon, Michigan, with a group of rental properties that he owns and manages. His wife owns and operates a children’s day care center. Bruce continues to fly the executives of Werner Trucking company around the country in their corporate jet. Howie is a national product sales manager for a mid-sized tobacco company. Tom, an aircraft engineer, originally worked on the engine for our newest strike force fighter. For the past several years he has been working on jet engines used to power electric generators He has just going back to his first love, and that is designing aircraft jet engines, and has just taken a new job with Pratt & Whitney and will be working on the latest jet engine technology.
We are now finding that following the careers of our grandchildren are becoming just as exciting. Bruce’s son, Zach, a computer engineer who has his own consulting business in Florida, is going to Japan for a week as this is written in the first week of November, for a series of meetings with companies who are interested in his work with automatically driven cars. Rich’s daughter, Nicole, was asked by her company to represent them during acquisition talks in Spain.
Howie’s oldest son, Jeffrey, who is being married shortly, has been working on a University of Iowa/government project, which when completed next year, will earn him a PHD in Mechanical Engineering. Most of the other grandchildren are either in college, or just starting their careers. It’s amazing to think that it all started when we moved here to Sheephill Rd. and started our little Christmas tree operation 55 years ago in 1963.
Since Dick has been involved in so many outside activities over the years, Sally has really managed the Christmas Tree Farm. Even though she is approaching 80. She still trims the trees by hand, and hand mows around the trees numerous times during the year. (with help from some neighbors!) She takes pride in keeping the fields like a lawn. This is our 55th year in the tree business, and we continue to plant seedlings. The seedlings planted this year won’t be ready for sale until Sally is in her mid/late 80s and Dick will be approaching 90. Having struggled financially like most young families, Sally has always tried to keep her tree prices down. We hope to continue to provide Christmas Trees for our friends and neighbors for many years to come.
Sally Heylmun…hard at work!
Linsey is probably familiar to all of our past visitors. She began with us when she was just 13 years old, and has continued to work with us, ever since. She graduated from Owen J, and Temple University with a degree in horticulture. Can’t help but think her experience with us, helped her choose her life’s work. She still makes her way to manage our weekend sales, all the way from Delaware, where she manages the gardens for one of the large Dupont Estates, there.
– Say hello to Linsey. She’s an absolute gem.