Ken Heffley

August 14, 1945February 20, 2018

Noel Kenney “Ken” Heffley died unexpectedly at the age of 72, on February 20, 2018, in his home in Port Orange, Florida.

Ken was born in Richmond, Virginia, on August 14, 1945, to Paul and Pauline Heffley. Ken grew up in Foosland Illinois, and graduated from Gibson City High School in 1963. Graduated from Eastern Illinois University, Summa Cum Laude, with a Master’s in Fine Arts, in1971.

Ken married Mary Elizabeth Swanson in 1966, who together they had two children, Renee Ness of Daytona Beach Shores and Eric Heffley of Sarasota, Florida.

He taught sculpture, ceramics, design, and art, full time at Triton College in River Grove, Illinois, for nearly 30 years. Ken was an accomplished football player and excelled in discus and shot put, breaking many school and state records. He went on to play football at Eastern Illinois University.

Ken was a dare devil with an unlimited sense of adventure, a huge heart, and was a big practical joker! He was generous to a fault and extended his home to whomever in need, including family, friends, and three different foster children. On his summers off from teaching, he took his family traveling and exploring all across the country, in cars loaded with camping gear first, then pulling trailers, and on to his own customized vans and motor homes… “Heffley Happy Daises” according to his custom-made spare tire cover. In the winter time, he took his family snow skiing and ended up designing and building a ski chalet at Ski Brule, Michigan.

He loved God, his large extended family, traveling, rock climbing, cave exploring and snorkeling – pretty much anything off the beaten path. He had boundless creativity and energy for both his work and family.

He was an accomplished Sculptor and commissioned to create a larger than life statue commemorating astronaut Eugene Cernan. He created another free-form sculpture for the Gibson City Women’s club.

He loved to write poetry honoring God and express love for his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He loved to cook, and prepared army-sized meals for homeless shelters through the Port Orange Christian Church.

Ken had a Green thumb, and loved working in the yard and keeping it beautiful.

He had multiple back surgeries and experienced years of chronic pain. He is in a much better place now, with a new body, and finally free from pain.

Ken is survived by his wife Mary Swanson Heffley, who was faithful to him for over 50 years and together they loved to cruise and explore the world.

Also survived by brothers and sisters: Connie Heffley Haruch, (John); Laura Heffley Henry, Terry); Sharon Heffley Lund; Paul Vernon Heffley Jr. (Carolyn); William D Heffley. Also by his four grandchildren: RJ Ness; Joey Ness; Quentin Heffley; Bekai Heffley. Preceding him in death, his parents Paul Vernon Heffley and Letha Pauline Heffley, his sister Paullan Heffley, his brother Richard M Heffley.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations in memory of Ken Heffley be made to the Port Orange Christian Church at 904 Taylor Branch Rd, Port Orange FL, 32127.


  • Celebration of Life Sunday, February 25, 2018

Ken Heffley

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Roger Gibbens

March 7, 2018

I am saddened to learn of Kenny Heffley's untimely passing. I was one of the "Foosland kids" who went to school with Ken at Foosland Grade School, then to Gibson City for Junior High and High School. I remember him as a gifted athlete for both the football team and the track and field team while at Gibson City. After graduation, all our lives headed in separate directions, mine to ISU for four years and then on to Pekin Community High School to teach; his to EIU and then on to Triton College to teach. I heard of him from time to time via mutual acquaintences, but unfortunately, our paths did not cross again. My condolences to Mary and his family. His was a life well-lived.

Den/Dar Heffley

February 25, 2018

Our hearts were overcome with tears when the news of KEN passing reached us,,,Many memories of family reunion get togethers flooded our thoughts ,,,,those were fun times,,,,Franfort T P A Park and camping out at the original HEFFLEY farm home on Prince William Road were a blast ,and the Shank family farm home topped off many a summer with dozens of aunt's, uncles and cousins,,,,,looking forward to KENS smile and laughter was a part of all this,,,,AND now HAPPINESS Floods our soul to know that KEN is now FACE TO FACE with his REDEEMER,,and the shear JOY of this puts SOLACE in the hearts of WE who BELIEVE that grieving tears turn into TEARS OF EXPECTATION that this next reunion will be in HEAVEN,,GLORY TO GOD. R I P KEN (RECIEVED INTO PARADISE) ,,,DENNIS / DARLENE HEFFLEY

Derek Demas

February 24, 2018

Mrs. Heffley, Eric & Renee- I am so sorry for you loss. Some of my best childhood memories were made at your house. Mr. Heffley always made me feel welcome and I will miss him. Please know we are thinking of you guys. Derek & Michele Demas

Janice Gibbens Poole

February 23, 2018

Dear Mary, Renee, Eric, and all the Heffley Family,

From a Foosland kid who remembers Ken from years ago...I am so very sorry for your loss. What a creative, talented and fun guy he was. Many fond memories of the days and nights I spent in the Heffley home in Foos with Sharon. Ken always enjoyed trying (and most times succeeding) to scare us kids. What a special guy and special family. So comforting to know he is reunited with Dick, Paul and Pauline. My prayers are with you all.

February 23, 2018

Mary, our prayers and hugs are with you and Family!! Ed & Jackie Sanford

Sharon Kumler seaton

February 23, 2018

With wonderful memories, smiles and admiration. God continue to bless the families -Sharon K.

February 23, 2018

Ken was always a joy to be with and included all in his love. Above all, Ken honored the Lord with his life and in his family and was not ashamed to proclaim the name of Jesus. He will be sadly missed. Our prayers are for comfort for the family and friends he left behind. One day Dick and I will see him again in glory. Our love to you, Mary and kids. In Christ's love and grace, Dick and Helen

Sherri Kelting

February 23, 2018

I would like to extend my sympathy to Mary and the entire family. May your memories sustain you.

February 23, 2018

From a childhood friend and fellow Foosland ite you have my deepest sympathy. Ken was a specal guy. and you a special person for seeing that.
Again my deepest sympathy.

Tua Nyberg

February 23, 2018

Dear Mary and family. My deepest condolences in your great loss. It was a privilege to know Ken, he had such a wonderful personality.