Cover photo for Josephine K. (Keeney)  Heckert's Obituary
Josephine K. (Keeney)  Heckert Profile Photo
1918 Josephine 2015

Josephine K. (Keeney) Heckert

July 10, 1918 — November 14, 2015

Josephine K. Heckert, 97, Steelton, passed away Saturday, November 14, 2015 at her home.

Born July 10, 1918 in Norfolk, she was the daughter of the late Joseph and Maria (Houck) Keeney, and was a graduate of John Harris High School.  She received her Bachelor’s degree in Art and English Education from Penn State University, class of 1940, where she was class secretary.  She was a proud Penn Stater and following graduation was an active member of the Alumni Association.

She retired as a secretary for Hershey Medical Center; helped her husband with his printing business, Heckert Printery in Steelton; and until the age of 88, was a secretary for Dr. Robert Hamilton in Hershey.  Her aptitude for knowing medical terms (and how to spell them) made her invaluable to the doctors for whom she worked.  During WWII, she worked for the government in Richmond, Virginia while her husband was serving his country in the Army.

A member of the Harrisburg Choral Society, music was her passion.  She played the piano, viola, violin, French horn and the pipe organ in her church.  An artist in many disciplines, she also enjoyed wood carving and painting, especially pastels and watercolors.

Josephine was conservative and intelligent; staying humble and always giving more to others than she expected herself.  A role model for all, she taught by her own behavior to be positive and smiling, frugal but not cheap, and to learn how to live and how to die.  Right to the end, she never had an unkind or bitter thought towards anyone.

She loved nature; gardening was an enjoyable pastime, and caring for her own cats and the semi-tame cats in the neighborhood was of utmost importance to her.

She was a true Christian and a member of the former Memorial Lutheran Church in Harrisburg, where she was active as a Sunday School Teacher, substitute organist and choir member.

Her beloved husband, Wayne Lebo Heckert, passed away in 1971 after almost 30 years of marriage.  In addition, she was preceded in death by an infant daughter: Adele Marie Heckert and her sister:  Dr. Pauline Keeney.

Surviving are her sons:  J. Wayne (and his wife, Judy) Heckert, Harrisburg and John R. (and his wife, Karen) Heckert, Millersburg; 3 grandchildren:  Jessica Marie (and her husband, Scott) Dalesso, Alexandria, VA, Jason Mark (and his wife, Lacey) Heckert, Philadelphia and J. Vincent Heckert; Millersburg; and her caregiver and "adopted" daughter:  Grace Wiredu.

Graveside services will be held 11:00 a.m. Saturday, November 21, 2015 at Harrisburg Cemetery, 13th and State Streets, Harrisburg with Rev. Hobart Utter, Jr. officiating.

Because of her deep love for and commitment to protecting all cats, contributions may be made in her memory to Steelton Community Cats, 123 N. Front Street, Steelton, 17113.

Kimmel Funeral Home, Harrisburg, is handling arrangements.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Josephine K. (Keeney) Heckert, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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