American Veteran 04

Francis M. Heckethorn

October 8, 1941 ~ June 28, 2019 (age 77)


Francis M. “Bill” Heckethorn Jr., 77, of Emlenton, passed away Friday, June 28, 2019 at UPMC Mercy Hospital while surrounded by his family.

Born in Eau Claire on October 8, 1941, Bill was the son of the late Francis M. and Velma Greenawalt Heckethorn.  After the untimely passing of his mother at age 4, Bill was raised by his aunt and uncle, Don and Glenna Kohlmeyer.

Bill was a 1960 graduate of Moniteau High School.  He then served six years in the U.S. Army National Guard.  He attended New Zion E.C. Church in Emlenton.  Bill was an avid outdoorsman, spending much time gardening, cutting wood, turkey hunting and groundhog hunting, and fishing, especially in Canada.  Bill was an avid NASCAR fan and a loyal “Ford Man”.  Bill had a well-known passion for the “big boy toys” and occasionally pushing their limits.  He owned and flew an ultralight airplane, several motorcycles and snowmobiles, and antique Jubilee and Ferguson tractors.  Above all else, Bill enjoyed spending time with his grandson, Joshua.

Bill had been employed by Central Electric Cooperative for 38 years, retiring in 2009.

Surviving is his wife, Paula J. Renfrew Heckethorn, whom he married at the Nickleville Presbyterian Church on November 5, 1966.  Also surviving is a son, Jay B. Heckethorn and his wife, Sarah, of Seneca; a grandson, Joshua David Heckethorn; three sisters, Jean Carlson of Findley, OH, Nancy Weeter of Emlenton, and Kay Courson of Sligo, as well as a number of nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law.

In addition to his parents and aunt and uncle, Bill was preceded in death by several brothers-in-law.

Friends will be received at the Hile Funeral Home Inc., 1204 Kerr Ave., Emlenton, from 6 – 9 p.m. Tuesday and from 11:00 a.m. – 12 Noon Wednesday.  A funeral service will be held from the funeral home at 12:00 Noon Wednesday with the Rev. Lewis Bennett, pastor of New Zion E.C. Church, officiating.  Military honors accorded by the V.E.T.S. Honor Guard will follow at the funeral home.  Interment will be in Salem Lutheran Cemetery.  Memorial contributions may be made to Christian Life Academy, 3973 SR 257, Seneca, PA 16346.  For additional information or to send a condolence, please visit

To send flowers to Francis' family, please visit our floral section.


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