Gene Lawrence HeckemeyerAugust 11, 2022
Gene Lawrence Heckemeyer, age 74, of St. Elizabeth, passed away on Tuesday, August 9, 2022, at his home surrounded by family. He was born in Waynesville on November 15, 1947, son of the late Lawrence and Cyrilla Rose (Doerhoff) Heckemeyer. On April 11, 1970, at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in St. Elizabeth, Gene was united in marriage to Dianne Huhman, who survives at their home. Gene was a lifelong resident of St. Elizabeth and an active member of the community. He was a graduate of St. Elizabeth R-IV and later attended the University of Missouri pursing a bachelor's degree in chemistry. In addition to farming and raising hogs, Gene had a rewarding career teaching science, mathematics, and driver's education at St. Elizabeth R-IV for over 28 years, until retiring in 1997. After retirement, Gene continued to farm and drive the school bus route, which he drove for over 42 years. He shaped countless minds and his unique teaching methods made lasting memories for his students who affectionately referred to him as "Geno". Sporting events were always a great pastime for Gene. During his high school career, he was a phenomenal athlete with a competitive spirit. Gene had the privilege of witnessing his children and grandchildren's many achievements both on and off the court and field. Throughout the years, Gene attended many state championship games to cheer on the Hornets and took pride in their success. In most recent years, his grandsons made the journey to the Final Four several years in a row, bringing excitement to the town and joy to their proud grandpa, who was their biggest fan. Gene was a familiar face at all the home basketball games where he ran the scoreboard for 50 years. He was an avid St. Louis Cardinal and MU sports fan. Gene was a devoted family man, who always put his family's needs before his own. He enjoyed playing cards, especially pitch and pinochle, and spending time with his close-knit family. He was a faithful member of St. Lawrence Catholic Church and taught CCD for over 25 years. In addition to his loving wife, Dianne Heckemeyer, he is also survived by five children, Perry (Charlotte) Heckemeyer, Lynn (Ken) Struemph, Kaye Finn, Paul (Angie) Heckemeyer, and Lisa (Sean) Lucas; 10 grandchildren, Reese Heckemeyer, Ava Heckemeyer, Brooke Struemph, Ross Struemph, Nolan Heckemeyer, Dani Heckemeyer, Vanessa Heckemeyer, Brock Lucas, Ella Lucas, and Lucy Lucas; sister, Irene (Bill) Foster; three brothers, Pat Heckemeyer, Richard (Jan) Heckemeyer, and Jim (Karen) Heckemeyer; sister-in-law, Becky Heckemeyer; and numerous nieces, nephews, family and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Dennis Heckemeyer. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, August 13, 2022, at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in St. Elizabeth with Fr. Christopher Aubuchon officiating. Interment will be held in St. Lawrence Cemetery in St. Elizabeth. Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m., with a prayer service at 3:30 p.m., on Friday, August 12, at the St. Elizabeth Community Center. Memorial contributions are suggested to the St. Elizabeth Park Board. Arrangements are under the direction of Fancher-Rekus Funeral Home in St. Elizabeth. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.fancher-rekusfuneralhomes.com.