Obituary Listings

Joseph E. Heckel

October 21, 1925 June 24, 2018
Joseph E. Heckel
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Obituary for Joseph E. Heckel

Joseph E. Heckel, Jr., 92, of Gibsonia (formly Bloomfield), passed away June 24, 2018 at West Penn Hospital after a brief illness. Born in Ben Avon, he was the son of the late Joseph E. and Elizabeth (MacDougall) Heckel. He was the beloved husband of 67 years of Joan (Goodwin) Heckel, and father of Dr. David G. Heckel of Jena, Germany; Sarah G. Lavoie (Marc) of Orlando; Rebekah G. Criss of New Castle; and Martha H. Crummy (Bill) of Gibsonia. Five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren also survive him. After graduating from Avonworth High School in 1943, Mr. Heckel joined the U.S. Navy and served on a destroyer in WWII. He received a degree in Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh in 1949, and graduated from the Western Theological Seminary in 1952. He served as a Presbyterian pastor at Long Run Church in Irwin, PA, The Railbelt Church in Alaska, Third Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, and Trinity UP Church in Mars, PA. In 1971 he received a Master of Education degree from University of Pittsburgh and became a Vocational Counselor n several high schools, and retired from Mars Area High School. He and his wife Joan were deeply involved in mission work during turmoil in Central America, and in later years with prisoners in Pennsylvania State Penitentiaries, particularly Juvenile Lifers. Mr. Heckel enjoyed gardening with his wife, whether in the permafrost of Alaska, the huge gardens he had while raising his family, or in the community garden of Bloomfield. He nurtured growth in these gardens, as well as in people while serving as a pastor, counselor, advocate, and friend. He shared the Word and love of God. Mr. Heckel impacted many lives in his professional career, on his many mission trips and throughout his volunteer work.

Visitation is at Winter Funeral Home, PC, 4730 Friendship Ave., Pittsburgh, PA, 15224 on June 27 from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. A memorial service will be held at East Liberty Presbyterian Church, 116 S. Highland Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15206 in July 1 at 2 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family request that memorial donations be made to Jubilee Partners, 427 Jubilee Rd., Comer, Georgia 30629.


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