Deacon Andrew Heckman dies; funeral is Tuesday in Roanoke

ROANOKE — A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 11, at St. Joseph Church here for Deacon Andrew Heckman, 45, a permanent deacon of the Diocese of Peoria.

Deacon Heckman died on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014 at the University of Chicago Hospital in Chicago.

Ordained to the permanent diaconate on May 19, 2007, he served at St. Joseph, Roanoke, and St. John, Benson, and as a chaplain at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria. Deacon Heckman continued to serve others even when physical ailments limited his abilities.

He is a former director of worship and liturgy at St. John’s Catholic Newman Center at the University of Illinois, and had diaconate duties at St. Elizabeth Parish, Thomasboro.

Msgr. Charles Beebe, pastor of the parishes in Roanoke and Benson and former episcopal vicar for the permanent diaconate, will be principal celebrant of the funeral Mass and homilist. Among the concelebrants will be Msgr. Timothy Nolan, current episcopal vicar for the permanent diaconate, and Msgr. Michael Bliss, director of pastoral care at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center.

Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 10, at St. Joseph Church in Roanoke. A rosary service is planned at 3:30 p.m. Additional visitation will be from 9 to 10 a.m. on Tuesday at the church.

Born Sept. 13, 1968 at the Eglin Air Force Base in Walton Beach, Fla., to Danny and Suzzee Kallembach Heckman, he married Jennifer Shelton on Sept. 4, 1999, in Monticello, Ill. She survives.

Also surviving are his two daughters, Lottie and Frannie, at home; his parents, of White Heath; one sister, Jean (Paul) Harralson of Mount Vernon, Ind.; a niece, Madalyn Harralson; and his father and mother-in-law, Merle and Marcia Shelton of Bellflower.

Graveside burial services will be at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Bellflower Township Cemetery, and the family will receive friends following the burial at the Bellflower Community Center.

Memorial contributions may be made to a fund to assist the family that has been established at the Roanoke-Benson Community Bank in Roanoke. Online condolences may be made to the family at

Editor’s Note: An expanded obituary will appear in the Feb. 16 print edition of The Catholic Post.

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