OBITUARY

Shirley Zaleski Heckert

August 3, 1944August 4, 2019
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Shirley Zaleski Heckert passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on Sunday, August 4, 2019. Shirley Barbara Zaleski was born on August 3, 1944, in St. Petersburg, Florida.

She graduated from Boca Ciega High School and the University of Florida with a degree in History. After graduation, Shirley taught briefly in Plant City, Florida, which led her to become a social worker. She worked for the State of Florida’s Department of Social Services, eventually becoming a Supervisor in Tallahassee. In 1984, Shirley became one of the owners of Les Partners Lounge, Island Estates Liquors, and later, Mayfair Gifts, in Clearwater, Florida, where she was a greatly admired business woman for over 30 years. In 1990, she married John D. “Jack” Heckert. Shirley and Jack shared a love of cooking and entertaining and were generous hosts in their home to family and friends. Shirley was a longtime member of the Island Estates Women’s Club and served on the Board as Treasurer and Membership Chair. She also was a member of the Island Estates Yacht Club, the Island Estates Civic Association, and a Life Member of the University of Florida Alumni Association. Her love of the Gator Nation was complemented with a lifelong loyalty to the Boston Red Sox.

Every project Shirley took on was completed to perfection. She expressed beauty through plants, with a special gift for cultivating orchids, and creativity through needlework, with patterns she designed. A crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or book was never far from her side. An avid conservationist and naturalist, she often combined birding with her daily walks. A wonderful conversationalist, Shirley loved hearing people’s stories. The social worker in her never left and she will be gratefully remembered by family and friends for the advice and assistance she gave to help them better their lives. Known simply as “Auntie” by her nieces and nephews, above all Shirley loved her family who will miss her terribly and remember her for being a friend as well the best sister and Auntie anyone could hope for.

Shirley is preceded in death by her husband, John D. Heckert, and her parents, Joseph J. and Rosemary A. Zaleski. She is survived by her two sisters, Pamela Z. Cressman of Seminole and Linda Z. Winikoff (Stuart) of Winston-Salem, North Carolina; two nieces, Katherine M. Brand (Michael) of Medford, Oregon, and Jennifer J. Mazzola (Blaise) of Seminole; two nephews, Peter J. Cressman (Kelly) of Seminole and Benjamin P. Winikoff (Holley) of Winston-Salem, North Carolina; four great-nieces, Samantha G. Cressman, Madison T. and Sloan S. Mazzola, and Lindley Rose Winikoff; three stepchildren, John D. Heckert Jr. (Melanie)of Cascade, Montana, Leslie L. Heckert (David) of Shawnee, Kansas, and Cynthia H. Shott (Andrew)of Missoula, Montana; four step-grandchildren, Samuel H. McCrillis of Shawnee, Kansas, Zachary D. McCrillis of Leawood, Kansas, Jennifer (Corey) C. Shott of Boulder, Colorado, and Jessica E. Shott of San Diego, California; one step- granddaughter, Elisa L. McCrillis; and many dear cousins.

Shirley’s life will be honored and celebrated on Saturday, August 17, 2019, at Serenity Funeral Home, 13401 Indian Rocks Road, Largo. Visitation will be from 3:00-5:00 pm, with Words of Remembrance at 4:00 pm. Interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in her memory to The Sierra Club https://www.sierraclub.org/giving/commemorative-gifts , Habitat for Humanity https://www.habitat.org/support, or a charity of the donor’s choice.

  • FAMILY

  • Joseph J. Zaleski, Father (deceased)
  • Rosemary A. Zaleski, Mother (deceased)
  • John D. Heckert, Husband (deceased)
  • Two sisters, Pamela Z. Cressman and Linda Z. Winikoff (Stuart);
    Two nieces, Katherine M. Brand (Michael) and Jennifer J. Mazzola (Blaise)
    Two nephews, Peter J. Cressman (Kelly) and Benjamin P. Winikoff (Holley)
    Four great-nieces, Samantha G. Cressman, Madison T. and Sloan S. Mazzola, and Lindley Rose Winikoff;
    Three stepchildren, John D. Heckert Jr. (Melanie), Leslie L. Heckert (David), and Cynthia H. Shott (Andrew);
    Four step-grandchildren, Samuel H. McCrillis, Zachary D. McCrillis , Jennifer (Corey) C. Shott and Jessica E. Shott
    One step- granddaughter, Elisa L. McCrillis; and many dear cousins.

Services

  • Gathering of Family & Friends Saturday, August 17, 2019

Memories

Shirley Zaleski Heckert

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De & Richard Stonum

August 12, 2019

We will miss you Shirley..
May you rest in Peace with mother Mary & Jack.

Our heart goes out to you & your family
God Bless.

Cathy McCarthy

August 9, 2019

She loved with her heart, she gave with generosity, she appreciated all things beautiful in this world and she brightened the lives of so many. My “bench buddy,” I will miss you dearly. Your fight was strong, your faith was remarkable and your love will shine on us forever. May God grace you with open arms. You are now home.

Cathy

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Biography

Shirley Zaleski Heckert passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on Sunday, August 4, 2019. Shirley Barbara Zaleski was born on August 3, 1944, in St. Petersburg, Florida.

She graduated from Boca Ciega High School and the University of Florida with a degree in History. After graduation, Shirley taught briefly in Plant City, Florida, which led her to become a social worker. She worked for the State of Florida’s Department of Social Services, eventually becoming a Supervisor in Tallahassee. In 1984, Shirley became one of the owners of Les Partners Lounge, Island Estates Liquors, and later, Mayfair Gifts, in Clearwater, Florida, where she was a greatly admired business woman for over 30 years. In 1990, she married John D. “Jack” Heckert. Shirley and Jack shared a love of cooking and entertaining and were generous hosts in their home to family and friends. Shirley was a longtime member of the Island Estates Women’s Club and served on the Board as Treasurer and Membership Chair. She also was a member of the Island Estates Yacht Club, the Island Estates Civic Association, and a Life Member of the University of Florida Alumni Association. Her love of the Gator Nation was complemented with a lifelong loyalty to the Boston Red Sox.

Every project Shirley took on was completed to perfection. She expressed beauty through plants, with a special gift for cultivating orchids, and creativity through needlework, with patterns she designed. A crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or book was never far from her side. An avid conservationist and naturalist, she often combined birding with her daily walks. A wonderful conversationalist, Shirley loved hearing people’s stories. The social worker in her never left and she will be gratefully remembered by family and friends for the advice and assistance she gave to help them better their lives. Known simply as “Auntie” by her nieces and nephews, above all Shirley loved her family who will miss her terribly and remember her for being a friend as well the best sister and Auntie anyone could hope for.

Shirley is preceded in death by her husband, John D. Heckert, and her parents, Joseph J. and Rosemary A. Zaleski. She is survived by her two sisters, Pamela Z. Cressman of Seminole and Linda Z. Winikoff (Stuart) of Winston-Salem, North Carolina; two nieces, Katherine M. Brand (Michael) of Medford, Oregon, and Jennifer J. Mazzola (Blaise) of Seminole; two nephews, Peter J. Cressman (Kelly) of Seminole and Benjamin P. Winikoff (Holley) of Winston-Salem, North Carolina; four great-nieces, Samantha G. Cressman, Madison T. and Sloan S. Mazzola, and Lindley Rose Winikoff; three stepchildren, John D. Heckert Jr. (Melanie)of Cascade, Montana, Leslie L. Heckert (David) of Shawnee, Kansas, and Cynthia H. Shott (Andrew)of Missoula, Montana; four step-grandchildren, Samuel H. McCrillis of Shawnee, Kansas, Zachary D. McCrillis of Leawood, Kansas, Jennifer (Corey) C. Shott of Boulder, Colorado, and Jessica E. Shott of San Diego, California; one step- granddaughter, Elisa L. McCrillis; and many dear cousins.

Shirley’s life will be honored and celebrated on Saturday, August 17, 2019, at Serenity Funeral Home, 13401 Indian Rocks Road, Largo. Visitation will be from 3:00-5:00 pm, with Words of Remembrance at 4:00 pm. Interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in her memory to The Sierra Club https://www.sierraclub.org/giving/commemorative-gifts , Habitat for Humanity https://www.habitat.org/support, or a charity of the donor’s choice.