Ilera Helen “Ricky” Heckel (nee Richter), age 95, passed away peacefully at her home surrounded by her family. Helen was born in Kiel, WI on March 22, 1925 to the late John and Lanieta (Bowe) Richter. At the age of 15, Helen was named Calumet County Dairy Queen in 1941. On February 1, 1947, she was united in marriage to Kenneth Charles Heckel at St. Mary Catholic Church, Appleton, where she was a lifelong member. The couple enjoyed 35 years together until Kenneth passed away in 1982. After many years of being a stay-at-home mom to six daughters, she went to work for Outagamie County Aging Services from 1978 to 1989. She enjoyed sewing, working in her garden – especially with her roses, canning, and dark chocolate – but most of all, she enjoyed spending time with her family. Helen loved her family unconditionally and always put others needs before her own. She will be greatly missed.
Survivors include her six daughters: Margo (Mike) Poeschl, Appleton; Linda Heckel, Appleton; Sheri (Bob) Dobratz, Appleton; Joanne “Jodi” Johnson, Menasha; Betty (Keith) Rosenberg, Appleton; and Janis “Jan” (Alan) Buss, Greenville; 11 grandchildren; 17 great grandchildren; and sister-in-law Linda Richter, Chilton. She is further survived by many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, 2 brothers: Delmar and Ronald Richter, sister, Irene Windsor and sister-in-law Ruby Richter.
A private family service is being planned. A memorial fund has been established for Ascension at Home Hospice, 2074 American Dr. Suite A, Neenah, WI 54956.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to the staff at Ascension at Home Hospice for the compassionate care given to Helen.
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