Patricia Heaton Mourns Death of Her Brother, ‘Minister of Culture’ Writer Michael Heaton
Everybody Loves Raymond‘s Patricia Heaton is mourning the loss of her 66-year-old brother, Michael Heaton, this week.
“I’m still processing the fact that I will never see or speak to my brother again in this lifetime,” Heaton wrote on Instagram Monday.
According to Faithwire, Heaton’s brother was a reporter, features writer, and columnist for Ohio-based newspaper, The Plain Dealer. He also wrote for the “Minister of Culture” column for more than 30 years and was highly regarded in the journalism community before his retirement in 2018.
Patricia’s post included footage of Michael during a 2012 interview by local outlet WEWS-TV, whom she called an “excellent human being.”
In the interview, Michael talks about his famous sister, his career in journalism, and his family life growing up.
“People always say, ‘Oh, you poor thing,'” he said, in reference to growing up with four sisters.
However, Michael clarified that being the only male sibling had its perks.
“I got my own room, no hand-me-down clothes, and I dated all their friends,” he joked.
Michael then reflected on his sister, Patricia, calling her a “heavy achiever” as a child and someone who was always a “go-getter.” He also joked that he was responsible for her career in Hollywood.
“I have to take credit for all of her success,” he said, explaining that Heaton followed him to New York City after he moved there to work for People magazine.
Michael pointed out that following one visit to New York, his sister, who was in college at the time, changed her major from journalism to drama.
Regarding her Hollywood success, Michael said he was “surprised and yet … not surprised.”
During the interview, he shared how humor helped him and his sister get through their mother’s death when he was 14, and she was 12.
“We had a very funny family. Laughs were very important to us,” he said. “Humor really … helped us through it.”
Some of Michael’s friends and colleagues paid tribute to him on social media this week.
“Goodbye my friend. Minister of Culture. Master of Discarded Metal. Loyal friend. Proud father. Court jester. Wag. Reliable wingman. Seeker of happiness. ‘It’s a joke, don’t you get it?'” Mike McIntrye, the executive editor of Ideastream Public Media, tweeted.
Goodbye my friend. Minister of Culture. Master of Discarded Metal. Loyal friend. Proud father. Court jester. Wag. Reliable wingman. Seeker of happiness. “It’s a joke, don’t you get it?”@MichaelHeaton5 pic.twitter.com/CZm3QmHswD
— Mike McIntyre (@MichaelMcIntyre) September 19, 2022
“Michael Heaton was such a brilliantly kind and funny man and generous colleague, and the world is, without question, worse without him. RIP, Minister,” wrote Henry J. Gomez.
Michael Heaton was such a brilliantly kind and funny man and generous colleague and the world is, without question, worse without him. RIP, Minister. https://t.co/uTLTWx9IOP
— Henry J. Gomez (@HenryJGomez) September 19, 2022
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Phillip Faraone/Stringer
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.