Shirley A. Heckman

Sept. 15, 1940 – July 16, 2019

Shirley Ann (Wright) Heckman was born in Belleville, Illinois, on Sept. 15, 1940. Shirley passed away July 16, 2019, at Memorial Hospital in Seward at age 79. Shirley graduated from Belleville Township High School in 1958. 

She married Keith E. Heckman, a handsome Air Force airman, on June 21, 1958. For their first 12 years they lived in Springfield, Illinois, where Keith was in the Air National Guard. They then moved to Nebraska, where Keith would tell her “it’s the good life,” over and over, and eventually she agreed. Two children were born to them while they lived in Springfield, Illinois, (Phillip and Karen) and their third child (David) was born in Nebraska.

Shirley was a stay-at-home mom until her youngest child started school. She began her working years in 1973 at Milford Public Schools as a paraprofessional. She retired from that position in 2005. Shirley loved and cherished the friends she made while there and, of course, loved being with the children. She enjoyed seeing the children learn, grow up and become good citizens.

Church was always a big part of Shirley’s life, and she prayed a lot for her family and others. Her church family meant a great deal to her. She was a member of the Milford Assembly of God Church since 1967. 

Anyone who knew Shirley well knew of her love for dogs. She always had a dog growing up and she would tell you their names with fondness. A host of friends will remember her love of yard work. She even liked pulling weeds. Working in the yard was her golf game; she and her husband would often talk about each of their “games” and if they had played the front nine or the back nine.

Shirley had one sibling, an older brother named Don. They were close even though miles separated them most of their adult life. His passing in 2004 was a very sad time for her. Also preceding her in death were her parents; her husband, Keith; her brother’s wife, Janet; a son-in-law, Bob; a daughter-in-law, Rachele; a brother-in-law, Rod; a sister-in-law, Lois; and a great-niece, Tammy. 

Survivors include her three children, Phillip Heckman, Karen Spiehs (husband Rex) and David Heckman (wife Dorota); four grandchildren, Derek (wife Kristen), Danielle (husband Steve), Seth and Ashley; three great-grandchildren, Adeline, Ari and Zane; plus cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.

A gathering of family and friends was held July 18, 2019, at Lauber Funeral Home in Milford. A family graveside service was held at Blue Mound Cemetery in Milford, with the Rev. Lamoin Lytle officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to the family for later designation to the Nebraska Children’s Home. Condolences may be sent to the family at

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