Mary Lou (Gorton) Heck

Oct. 3, 1942 - Dec. 11, 2005

Mary Lou (Gorton) Heck, 63, of Waukesha, died suddenly in her sleep Sunday morning, Dec. 11, 2005.

Mrs. Heck was born in Olean, N.Y., on Oct. 3, 1942. She was raised in nearby Bradford, Pa. She graduated from Lock Haven State University with a degree in education and pursued graduate work at the University of Pittsburgh.

She was married to Edward Timmel Heck Jr. on June 4, 1966, in Bradford. In 1976 they moved, along with their four young children, to Waukesha. Mary Lou became a vibrant addition to the Waukesha community. She was actively involved with her parish, the Irish community, child development and many other worthy causes.

Mrs. Heck found a calling in the education of all children. She was a teacher with Cloverleaf Preschool for 24 years. She helped develop Project Graduation at Waukesha North High School, serving multiple times as chairman. She was a troop leader for the Girl Scouts and a scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts, and she went on to serve as service unit chairman for the Girl Scouts. She served as president of St. Williamís Home and School and she taught Christian formation classes at St. William for 21 years. She nurtured many children through tough times and great accomplishments, and loved all children as if they were her own.

For the past 21 years, Mrs. Heck worked with Milwaukee Irish Fest as a volunteer and a coordinator, and helped to organize several community outreach programs at the Irish Fest Center. She never tired in her work with the Irish Fest summer school and with the Irish Cultural and Heritage Center.

Mrs. Heck spent many days, even up to the time of her death, as a minister to the sick at Waukesha Memorial Hospital and as a minister of encouragement through St. William parish. She volunteered countless hours to ministries of all people great and small, every day of her life. "I have always tried to treat people as I would like to be treated."

Mrs. Heck formed friendships wherever she went that lasted throughout her lifetime. She reveled in the family that was her blood and in the family that was her heart, especially the Whitstones, Delaneys and Keanes. She was a friend to all and mother to thousands. She was a teacher in all fashions of her life, by example and thoughts. She was truly defined by those who loved her, and there are hundreds.

She is survived by her husband, Ed; her beloved brother, Richard Gorton; her sisters, Patricia (Jim) Dolak, Kathy (Jim) Webster and Frances (Dave) Paul; her three daughters, Liz (Tom) Sanders, Jenn (Jason) Binger and Erin (Paul) Picard; and her son, Timm (Maura) Heck. She is also survived by her seven grandchildren, her greatest loves, Ted, Patrick and Kathryn Sanders, Elise and Natalie Picard, Mary Binger and Jeremy Heck.

She was preceded in death by her mother and father, Richard and Kathryn (McCloskey) Gorton. She was also preceded in death by many cousins, aunts and uncles, friends and extended family.

Visitation will be held from 4 p.m. until the 7 p.m. funeral service Friday, Dec. 16, at St. William Catholic Church, 440 N. Moreland Blvd., Waukesha. Mrs. Heck will be cremated.

In lieu of flowers, memorials would be appreciated.

Church and Chapel Funeral Home is serving the family. For more information, call 549-0659 or visit www.churchandchapel.com to view the online obituary, leave condolences or receive directions.