Charles Michael Hecker
October 30, 1953 – August 13, 2020
The family of Charles Michael “Mike” Hecker of Lakeland, FL is saddened to announce his passing on Thursday, August 13, 2020 at the age of 66 years.
Mike was born in Long Beach, CA on October 30, 1953. He was the second of three sons to Richard and Olga (Knox) Hecker. Survived by his wife, Pamala (Lakeland, FL); daughter, Barbara (Paul) Saunders (Collierville, TN); brother Richard (Kathleen) Hecker (Yonkers, NY). He graduated Millikan High School in 1972. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps and served for 22 years retiring as a Master Sergeant. He then moved to Tucson in 1994 and worked for AOL for 5 years before retiring. He relocated to Florida in 2018. He had a passion for travel, riding his Harley, driving his Corvette, and family genealogy. He was known for always being easy going, funny and positive guy who was good at giving advice.
A Memorial Service will be held 1:30 pm on September 18, 2020 at East Lawn Palms Mortuary, 5801 E. Grant Rd, Tucson, AZ 85712.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the American Cancer Society on behalf of Charles Hecker.
Friday, September 18, 2020
Charles Michael Hecker
September 16, 2020
When I was a child visiting my Dad there was a rule, do not knock on his bedroom door when him and Sharon were in there with the door closed, unless you were bleeding or dying. Nicole was leaving with some friends and I was going to ride the scooter outside. I road down the driveway not paying attention. I was waving good bye to Nicole and her friends and I hit the curb, badly scraping my knee. Nicole and her friends helped me up and helped me back in the house. I asked Nicole"Can you please go get Dad?". She said "I can't I am not the one bleeding." So I hobbled down the hall and knocked on the door. Dad said, "Who is it?" I said, "It is me Barbie". He replied, "You better be bleeding!" I said, "I am". Many years later Sharon told me, "I have never seen him move so fast across the room." The funny part is they had to use a diaper as a bandage because they didn't have a bandage big enough.
September 16, 2020
Here's a funny story of what happen to Mike when he first arrived to his air squadron at Kaneohe Marine Corps Air Station in Hawaii in January 1977. When Mike arrived the men in his unit lured him to the hanger. The men surrounded him, picked him up, walked him across the air field and tossed him into Kaneohe Bay. Once he was in the Bay, they yelled to him “Kaneohe Bay is the mating ground for the Hammerhead sharks!". Mike couldn’t get out of the bay fast enough. (No one has ever received a shark bite during the execution of this time honored tradition.)
Harry Bowen, Jr
September 15, 2020
I met Mike on 5/8/95, my first day at Aol, in Tucson. Admittedly, I was shy and very reserved, given I was jumping in with both feet to work at a Tech firm, leaving my comfort zone entirely. I knew I was probably not yet ready, but I went to school for this so, hell be damned, I was doing it. A month after training, Mike became my coach (Manager). He guided me to do more, be more, and grow way out of my comfort zone. 25 years later, I’m still at it, working in Tech, now testing software and enjoying the heck out of it. His sense of humor was easy, his conviction of what he saw in me was steady, including when he called me to make sure I was going to the company party (‘96). I was sick so I told him I wasn’t. He called my wife to convince me to go anyway. Turned out, I was to receive three awards and he wanted me there. I was happy to live in the shadows and he thrust me into the limelight. It didn’t hurt so I came to embrace it and gained a lot of confidence, most due to his guidance. Thank you Mr Hecker for your guidance. You will be missed.
September 14, 2020
I didn’t have a chance to know Mike very long, but I do know how much he meant to his daughter, my wife Barbara. The best memory I have of him is actually from the day I became his son-in-law. While Mike wasn’t very “outspoken”, he was very animated. He met my boys for the first time that day as well, and though he was limited with speech, he found a way to share some laughs with them. Not understanding his “condition”, my boys were intrigued by his use of a tablet to communicate. After keying in some funny phrases, my sons had grins on their faces that went from ear to ear. That was later shared by all who attended the wedding when his tablet went “off script” in the middle of the ceremony...
September 14, 2020
I met Mike in 1969, 10th gd Social Studies class. I found him to be funny & tall. He & I became good friends & then boy/girlfriend later that spring. We dated only 6 mo or so, but still remained great friends. He joined a fraternity, Beta Chi. I was introduced to many of the "Gang" from Vernon St neighborhood & many friendships bloomed. Mike was always funny & loved to joke around, as we all did. I then started to date his best friend, Walt, eventually we married. Mike was in touch w/ us with all 3 kids. During one of his transfers, Mike was in LB, he wanted a big party before going East. Walt & I had huge party to see the old gang. That party blew the roof off the Vernon St home; music, pool & fun (& still talked about). Shortly after that party, Walt passed away & Mike was right there by my side, making sure that we were OK almost everyday. Mike even made a special trip back for Walt's funeral for me. Even when I lost my son, Stevie in 2007 Mike called me a lot to make sure I was OK. Thru out the yrs Mike & I had many talks about our families & filling each other in. Mike you will be sorely missed. Know that Walt was there along w/ others in our gang that has left us & met you at the pearly gates. Please give them all Hugs from me - especially two - Walt & Stevie Graham. You will always be special to me & always in my heart. Luv ya Mike ! Keep everyone laughing as you did. I can see the gang playing pool now, what a party that will be.