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Karen Heckelman

April 27, 1947 - April 2, 2017
Portage, MI

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Visitations


Friday, April 7, 2017
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Portage Free Methodist Church
1715 West Centre
Portage, MI 49002

Saturday, April 8, 2017
9:30 AM to 11:00 AM EDT
Portage Free Methodist Church
1715 West Centre
Portage, MI 49002
Web Site

Services


Saturday, April 8, 2017
11:00 AM to 12:00 PM EDT
Portage Free Methodist Church
1715 West Centre
Portage, MI 49002
Web Site

Contributions


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Portage Free Methodist Church
1715 West Centre
Portage, MI 49002
Web Site

Flowers


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Polderman's Florist & Garden Center
8710 Portage Road
Portage, MI 49002
(269) 327-3656
Driving Directions

Ambati
1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


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All who knew Karen Heckelman would agree that she was truly beautiful on the inside and out. She was warm and genuine, which made her the sort of person everyone seemed to know. A loving wife and mother, Karen’s devotion to her family was unmatched. She had an adventurous spirit and experienced so many of the best things that life has to offer, but what made these experiences truly extraordinary was sharing them with the ones she loved. Faithful and patient, she loved and accepted everyone. Although she will be deeply missed, Karen leaves behind a timeless legacy that her loved ones will proudly carry on in her footsteps.

During the first half of the 1940s, the eyes of the nation were focused overseas as WWII raged on. With the war’s end in August of 1945, there was dancing in the streets and much to celebrate around the world. It was while the nation was making a shift to being a nation at peace once again that William and Leila (Sovern) Millward were eagerly awaiting the birth of their new baby as the beauty of April unfolded in 1947. The big day finally arrived when the baby girl they named Karen Lee drew her first breath on April 27th in Battle Creek, Michigan. She was the oldest of six children to be born and raised in Southwest Michigan as she was joined in her family by her siblings, Gloria, Joann, Jim, Tom, and Bob.

In many ways Karen was a young girl of her generation. Her father worked at Upjohn while her mother was a busy wife, mother, and homemaker. While growing up she learned to play the accordion and attended local schools. After graduating from Portage High School in 1965, she went on to Western Michigan University where she took classes for a little over a year.

Not to be forgotten during this time was Karen’s introduction to the young man of her dreams. His name was Delton Heckelman, Jr., and he was one year her junior. They officially met in 1965 when she asked him to the Sadie Hawkins dance. He was more than happy to accept, and the rest is history as they say. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together, the sweethearts were married on September 10, 1966, at the Maple View Baptist Church in Portage. Together they welcomed two children including Delton III and Bobbi into their hearts and home. There was never anything of greater significance in Karen’s life than her family that later grew to include her grandchildren, Jason, Chauntelle, Alex, Mitchell, and Madison, and her two great-grandchildren, Tyson and Kelsey. Her favorite moments were spent with her family near.

Throughout her life Karen was a bustle of activity. She was game to try nearly anything, and she loved going anywhere. One of Karen’s favorite activities was to go off-roading in their Jeep, and they were in the Sundowners 4x4 Club. She also had her own Jeep as well. Together Karen and Delton went off-roading all over the country. Karen enjoyed going to Essenhaus, and as an avid Detroit Tigers fan she loved watching their games. With her own creative touch, she enjoyed making all kinds of cards whether for Christmas, birthdays, or other special days. Although caring for her family was Karen’s primary focus, she did spend 35 years working as a bookkeeper for Migala Carpets.

With a life that spanned times of great change in the world around her, Karen Heckelman lived a life of purpose while holding her loved ones near. She was caring and attentive with a deep love for her family that was such a blessing. Karen was a strong and faithful woman who faced whatever came her way head on. Deeply loved, she will be forever missed.

Karen L. Heckelman, of Portage, passed away on Sunday, April 2, 2017 with her family beside her. Karen’s family includes her husband, Delton Jr.; two children: Delton (Mary) Heckelman III, of Comstock; Bobbi (Charlie) Hall, of Greenville; five grandchildren: Jason (Laura) Heckelman, of Vicksburg; Chauntelle (Mike Field) Heckelman, of Comstock; Alex (Heidi Michael) Hall, of Greenville; Mitchell (Grace Phillips) Hall, of Greenville; Madison Hall, of Greenville; two great grandchildren: Tyson and Kelsey Heckelman; of Vicksburg; siblings: Gloria (Ed) Abnet, of Scotts; Joann Spinelli, of Vicksburg; Jim (Deb) Millward, of Gobles; Tom (Pat) Millward, of Portage; Bob (Sherrie) Millward, of Scotts; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. The family will receive friends on Friday from 4 -7 p.m. and Saturday 9:30-11AM both at the Portage Free Methodist Church, 1715 W. Centre Ave Portage, MI. The funeral service will be held on Saturday at 11 a.m. at the church. Burial Mount Ever-Rest Memorial Park North. Please visit Karen’s webpage at www.lifestorynet.com where you can sign the guestbook and share a memory and/or photo. Those who wish may make contributions to the Portage Free Methodist Church. The family is being assisted by the Life Story Funeral Home, 5975 Lovers Lane, Portage, MI 49002 (269-344-5600).

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