Thomas T. Heckard
December 24, 1930 - June 20, 2016
Thomas T. Heckard, 85, passed away peacefully at SpiriTrust Lutheran The Village at Sprenkle Drive, Monday, June 20, 2016. He was the loving husband of Shirley L. (Lehman) Heckard with whom they celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary in August, 2015.
Mr. Heckard was born in Lebanon on December 24, 1930, son of the late Ralph and Rose (Stoudt) Heckard.
Tom interrupted his college years at Millersville University to serve his country honorably in the US Navy during the Korean War. After his service he returned to finish his degree in 1956.
He went on to pursue his love of teaching within the West York Area School District for 34 years in 9th grade World Cultures. Tom served as a coach in several sports at West York, most notably as the Head Coach of the Varsity football team for 14 years, which included an unbeaten streak over 2 consecutive seasons in 1967 and 1968 for which he was named York County Coach of the Year. He retired from teaching in 1990. Over 30 summers he also ran the West Manchester Township Recreation Department's youth playground system.
In 1993, Tom underwent a successful heart transplant at the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, after which he became an ardent proponent and ambassador for organ donation throughout Pennsylvania.
Memberships included St. Matthews Lutheran Church in York, the York Area Transplant Support Group, Shiloh Lions Club, Vikings Athletic Association, West York V.F.W. #8951, Shiloh American Legion Post 791. Honors included his induction into the Central Pennsylvania Sports Hall-of-Fame and Lebanon High School Athletic Hall-of-Fame. While at Millersville University he was selected to the 1st team of the Central Penn Football League in his freshman year and 2nd team in 1955 to the NAIA.
In addition to his wife, survivors include two sons, Thom Heckard and his wife, Susan of Virginia Beach, VA and Dave Heckard and his wife, Cynthia of North Wales, PA. In addition, Tom had seven grandchildren, Thom's children Katherine, Charlotte and Elizabeth and Dave's children Seamus, Maeve, Padraig and Finn. Tom also leaves a sister, Darlene Gingrich of Lebanon, PA.
A Memorial Service to be followed by a Reception will be held on Friday June 24 at 1:00 pm at St. Matthews Lutheran Church, 839 West Market Street in York. Officiating will be his pastor, Reverend Kevin Shively.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to either the Gift of Life Donor Program, 401 North 3rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123 or the Dover Area Community Library, 3700 Davidsburg Road, Dover, PA 17315.
Arrangements were entrusted to the LeRoy R. Leber Funeral Home, Inc., 2290 School Street, York (Shiloh), PA. www.leroyleberfuneralhome.com
Published by York Daily Record on Jun. 22, 2016.