Victor E. "Gene" Heath

V.E. “Gene” Heath was born in Austin on June 29, 1906. At the age of 13 he became Peter Mansbendel apprentice and worked with him until he
graduated from Austin High School in 1924. Peter almost considered Victor a second son. They had a close relationship through out Peter’s life which is evidenced by multiple letters between them. At Peter’s recommendation Victor then attended Cooper Union Institute of Advanced Arts in New York City and graduated in 1928 for the institute. Upon graduating he moved to Houston and formed a furniture making/carving business and stayed there for the next 30 years.  He was a talented woodworker and woodcarver and he and Peter continued to business together until Peter's death in 1940. He retired to Hill country and lived there with his wife Zelda until his death in 1999.
Victor carved a beautiful memorial plaque in mahogany for Valerie's family upon her death in 1977. That carving was then given to St. David's Episcopal church (Downtown Austin) by the Williams family as a tribute and it hangs to this day next to the small altar in the back of the church that Peter had carved in the 1930's.
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