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Donald 'Don' Ray Heck, 80

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Donald “Don” Ray Heck, age 80 of New Hampton and formerly of Washington, passed away on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023, at the Crestview Specialty Care Center in West Branch.

Don was born on February 18, 1943, in Washington, the son of Fred Paul and Naomi Bernadine (Moran) Heck. He graduated from Washington High School in 1961.

Immediately after high school, he joined the United States Navy as a flight engineer and proudly served in the Vietnam War.  During his service, Don was deployed to every continent except Antarctica.  He retired from the Navy after 20 years of serving his country.

Don was united in marriage to Ruth Ann Ernest, from this union five children — Tina, Todd, Teresa, Trent and Tiffany — were born. The couple later divorced.

Following his retirement from the Navy, Don moved his family back home to Iowa and went on to become a police officer for the Washington Police Department. He later went to Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa and earned his degree in major air frame and power plant aircraft maintenance.

Don was an active member in the Iowa Patriot Guard Riders, the American Legion of New Hampton, the St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in New Hampton and the Knights of Columbus. He enjoyed his morning coffee with “the guys” at Klunder’s Kafe and riding his Gold Wing regardless of the time of year.  He recently took his final ride in September.

Don is survived by his children, Tina Krebs of Ainsworth, Todd (Eileen) Heck of Columbus Junction, Teresa (Becci) Heck of Hills, Trent (Ozge) Heck of Endicott, New York, and Tiffany (Ike) Heck Heister of Lowden; his grandchildren, Kali Krebs, Logan, Mason and Connor Heck, Devrim Heck and Cooper, Mazey and Ivey Heister; one great-granddaughter, Zara; his sister, Barb (Dale) Thompson of Riverside; and several nieces and a nephew.

He was preceded in death by his parents; one grandson, Luke Matthew Heck; and his brothers and sisters, Fran Heck, Beulah Pacha, Mary ‘Pat’ Beenblossom and Ron Heck.

A celebration of Don’s life will be held on Sunday, Nov. 12, 2023, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the American Legion in New Hampton.

Graveside services will be held on Monday, Nov. 13, 2023, at 12:30 p.m. at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery in Adel.

Memorials in Don’s name can be sent to Iowa Patriot Guard Riders PO Box 152 Cumming, IA 50061 or on their website.

Cremation has been entrusted to the care of Murphy Funeral Home of Mt. Pleasant.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Murphy Funeral Home of Mt. Pleasant, is caring for his arrangements.

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