Gary J. Heckel, 70, of Marinette, succumbed to his illness surrounded by his family on Saturday, March 16, 2013. Gary was born October 11, 1942, to Ferd "Bud" and Muriel (LeSage) Heckel.
Gary graduated from Menominee High School in 1960. He started his career as a linotype operator at The Oconto Reporter. He later worked for the Wisconsin Rapids Tribune until they automated. He then began his career for the State of Wisconsin at Kettle Moraine Correctional Institute in Plymouth and then retired from Green Bay Correctional Institute. Gary enjoyed the outdoors, hunting, fishing, camping and bird watching. He also enjoyed gardening and canning. He took great joy in his backyard wildlife. Gary was an avid storyteller, often telling family members of his escapades of youth. He enjoyed pushing everyone's buttons and the exchange of humorous banter. Gary's family was a source of warm fuzzy's and entertainment. He enjoyed watching the Green Bay Packers and celebrating each score with an astounding boom. Together, he and his wife, Shirley, provided much support to his grandchildren that served their country and several of their fellow service members by providing a never ending supply of care packages. The homemade baked goods and snacks were savored by many.
Gary is survived by his wife of 25 years, Shirley (Thorsen) of Stonington, Mich.; his children: Lea Heckel of Marinette, Michele (Scott) Peterson of Manitowoc, Wis., Melanie (Kenny) Fuchs of Marinette and Michael (Tracy Zimanek) Heckel of Menominee; step-sons: Bill (Tammy) Wiles of Escanaba and Matt (Michele) Wiles of Gladstone; his grandchildren: Karen Wilhelm, Aaron (Aly) Heckel, Kayla Gleisner, Shirleylea Hollsten, Daniel Zimanek, Ryan Zimanek, Lauren Carlson, Kim Keller, Zachary Wiles, Caden Wiles, Toni Rae Cochran and Gracie Wiles; his sister, Patty Heckel; nephew, Andy Reno and niece, Katie Reno. He was preceded in death by his parents.
Visitation will be from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 20, 2013, at Hansen-Onion-Martell funeral home in Marinette. Funeral services will follow at 5 p.m. on Wednesday with the Rev. Lee Goodwin officiating.
The family would like to thank the dedicated nursing staff at both Bay Area Medical Center in Marinette and Aurora BayCare Hospital in Green Bay for their treatment of Gary and his entire family.