Evelyn Heckendorf, 94, of Hot Springs Village passed away Friday, Oct. 26, 2012 at Fountain Lake Rehab and Health Center.
She was born Feb. 8, 1918 in Bushnell, IL, moving with her family at the age of six months to Merrill, where she lived for 88 years before moving to Hot Springs Village, AR to live with her only daughter, Marlyn.
She attended school in Merrill and graduated from Lincoln County Normal (a teacher’s college) in 1937. She taught one year and then married her childhood sweetheart, Marvin Heckendorf in 1938, who preceded her in death Nov. 7, 1993. Both were employed at the Weinbrenner Shoe Factory in Merrill until they retired in 1980.
She was the daughter of the late James and Catherine Early and was also preceded in death by her two brothers, Arthur and Elmer and two sisters, Carol and Lillian.
Evelyn is survived by her daughter, Marlyn Ruch of Hot Springs Village, AR; two granddaughters, Robin Smith of Seneca, IL and Rhonda Urh of Stallings, NC; great granddaughter, April Fosen (of Seneca, IL); great grandson, Scott Ericson, Jr. (of Seneca, IL); three great great granddaughters, Cassidy, Sophia and Ella Fosen (of Seneca, IL); two great granddaughters, Nicole Urh (of Stallings, NC) and Julia Urh (of Stallings, NC); great grandson, Samuel Urh (of Stallings, NC); one brother-in-law, Norman Heckendorf (of Merrill); one sister-in-law, Margie (Secard) Heckendorf (of Merrill); many nieces and nephews, and lastly, her best and dearest friend, Charlotte Peters, of Merrill.
Evelyn loved to sing and in her youth sang with other girls on the local radio program. She also sang in a number of local talent shows. She was an expert swimmer and tennis player. After marrying Marvin, she became an expert fisherman and deer hunter, which they always did together. They also traveled with a small RV, visiting 49 of the 50 states, first with Marvin and then with her daughter, Marlyn.
Evelyn loved reading everything and especially poetry. Frequently, she wrote her own poems. She was a Red Cross Volunteer at Pine Crest Retirement Center and received an award for her faithful service.
Evelyn was an avid Green Bay Packers fan, usually wearing her Packers sweater whenever she watched them play and rooted, loudly, from the living room. She was a good sport and a good friend and she will be truly missed by many.
Evelyn was a long-time member of St. Stephen’s Church in Merrill, teaching Sunday school for many years. After moving to Arkansas to live with her daughter, Marlyn, she regularly attended Village Bible Church.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, June 22, at the Waid Funeral Home, 301 Eagle Dr. in Merrill. Visitation will begin at 1 p.m., with the memorial service starting at 2:15 p.m. The Rev. Linda Kuhn will officiate. Following the memorial service, a grave-site ceremony will be held at Merrill Memorial Park, after which a celebration of Evelyn’s life will be held at Eagle’s Club in Merrill. Relatives and friends are all invited to attend. Waid Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.waidfuneral.com.