TAMAROA -- Vernon M. Heck, 73, passed away at 6:06 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, in Pinckneyville Community Hospital.
Vernon was a retired coal miner and worked for Arch Coal Company for 35 and a half years. He also worked as road maintenance for the Perry County Road District and as a truck driver for Ryterski Trucking.
He was a member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Tamaroa. Vernon had served as Trustee and was on the Parrish Council.
He was a member of Knights of Columbus in Pinckneyville, Moose Lodge in Pinckneyville, and Tamaroa Masonic Lodge. He was also a member of UMW of A and served on the Tamaroa Village Board and Tamaroa Grade School Board.
He was a U.S. Army veteran and served in Germany during the Vietnam War. He had served as a field medical technician.
He was born March 2, 1940, in Du Bois, the son of William and Sophia (Kreoger) Heck Sr.
He is survived by three children, Greg Heck and wife, Debbie, of Du Quoin, Mary Nippe and husband, Ricky, of Tamaroa and Charles Heck and wife, Kami of Du Bois; special friend, Betty Ogilvie of Tamaroa; two sisters, Evelyn Kostecki of Du Bois and Martha Rulevish of Tamaroa; eight grandchildren, Bryant Lively, Kaliyn Lively and Kelton Lively, all of Tamaroa, Taylor Heck of Du Quoin, Payton Nippe and Bailey Nippe, both of Tamaroa, Jacob Heck and Sophie Heck, both of Du Bois; one great- grandson, Jaedon Heck of Du Quoin; many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; one daughter, Stacey Fox; one brother, William "Pete" Heck Jr.; and four sisters, Frances Biesk, Helen Kurtz, Virdell Deering and Hilda Wojtowicz.
Mass of Christian burial will be at 10 a.m. Monday, Feb. 17, in Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Tamaroa, with the Rev. Oliver Nwachukwu officiating. Burial with Masonic services will be in Immaculate Conception Cemetery at Tamaroa. Military graveside rites will be conducted by Du Quoin VFW and American Legion and Army National Guard. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday at the the church, with Rosary prayed at 8 p.m.
Friends may make memorials to Stacey's Field of Dreams or Immaculate Conception Catholic Church General Fund and will be accepted at the funeral home.
Searby Funeral Home in Tamaroa is in charge of arrangements.
For additional information or to sign the memorial guest register, visit www.searbyfuneralhomes.com.
Published in The Southern Illinoisan on Feb. 13, 2014