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Op-Ed: Saying Goodbye to "Mr. Redwood"

Redwood, the nonprofit facility located in Ft. Mitchell, honored him with every recognition they had.

Now, it’s time for a final good-bye.

Carroll Joseph ‘CJ’ Mac Heidrich, passed away August 10 at the age of 86.

Mac Heidrich was affectionately known as “Mr. Redwood” – and why not?

Mr. Redwood’s life consisted of his family –particularly his son, Gary – born in 1957 with cerebral palsy. A close second was Redwood.

Gary attended Redwood from 1959 until his passing at the age of 54 in 2012.

For years Mac spent a portion of nearly every day with us at Redwood – fixing whatever needed it, helping in the dish room for the cafeteria, and squeezing in a little break for the stories he shared with all of us.

Mac was one of the first presidents of Redwood’s Parent Group.

Perhaps the inscription on the Above and Beyond Award he received this past June at the Redwood Annual meeting and dinner says it all: “Mac has been known by many for his voluntarism, ideas, inspiration, donations of time and talent and treasure, his wonderful smile, his story telling, his woodworking projects and perhaps most of all, his gratitude to Redwood for, ‘what you did for my boy, Gary.’”

But just as Mac recently said, “I think it’s about time for me to go and let someone else have a turn.”

Perhaps, Mac – but those are big shoes to fill.

We’re going to miss you.

John Francis is the Executive Director and CEO of Redwood.