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Richard C. Heckel, 67, Fort Pierce, Florida, formerly of Beaver Dam, died Friday, March 8, 2019, at UW Hospital in Madison following a hard-fought battle with MDS.

Everyone is invited to a casual celebration of life service and a meal beginning promptly at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 13, at Old Hickory Golf Club in Beaver Dam. There will also be a time to visit with the family from 6-7 p.m.

Dick was born May 12, 1951, in St. Louis, Missouri, to Clarence “Gene” and Elizabeth “Jean” (nee: Hadfield) Heckel. On July 24, 1970, he was united in marriage with Sharon Jenkins in Cambria, Illinois. Dick and Sharon moved to Beaver Dam, where he worked as a driver’s education instructor and a health teacher at Beaver Dam High School for more than 30 years. He also taught a summer course for many years called Wilderness Wellness in which he led a trip with his students to the Boundary Waters.

Dick looked forward to his annual trip to the Boundary Waters with his buddies, as well.

Dick loved golf and was a high school golf coach in Beaver Dam and later Watertown. In retirement, he gave golf lessons and worked in the pro shop at Old Hickory Golf Club. He and Sharon loved spending winters at their condo in Fort Pierce, Florida, where Dick volunteered at a local course in exchange for golf privileges. It also gave him the opportunity to follow his favorite baseball team, the St. Louis Cardinals, at spring training.

He also loved to volunteer at the PGA Honda Classic Golf Tournament, which he did for seven years. He loved spending time with his grandchildren and loved the name “Poppy” that they called him.

Dick is survived by his two daughters, Brooke (Craig) Ruesch of Kathleen, Georgia, and Heather (Aaron) Lautenschlager of Negaunee, Michigan; four grandchildren, Elaina and Addison Ruesch, and Jacob and Mason Lautenschlager; his mother-in-law, Nettie Jenkins of Johnson City, Illinois; and his brother-in-law, Robert (Jackie) Jenkins of Colp, Illinois; other relatives and many friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Sharon on May 6, 2018; his father-in-law, Gerald Jenkins; and his brother-in-law, James Jenkins.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Beaver Dam Scholarship Foundation or Restoring Hope Transplant House in Middleton.

Koepsell-Murray Funeral Home in Beaver Dam is caring for the family. To leave online condolences, or for directions and other information, please visit our website at

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