Mabel I. Heck, 89, of Tempe, Ariz., formerly of Cambridge, died Friday, Oct. 12, 2012, at the Health Care Center of Friendship Village. A memorial service celebrating her life will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28 in the Skirm Auditorium at Friendship Village, Tempe. Cremation rites have been accorded. A celebration of Mabel's life also will beheld at First United Methodist Church, Cambridge at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 1 and inurnment of her ashes will be at a graveside service at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 2 at Bardolph Cemetery (outside of Macomb). Vandemore Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Geneseo assisted the family with arrangements. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, memorials be directed to Elim Fellowship, 1703 Dalton Road, Lima, NY 14485 with a memo stating "Preferred for Roger Clark Project, in memory of Mabel Heck. Roger is a family member missionary in Haiti.
She was born on Dec. 9, 1922, in Sycamore, the daughter of Clarence D. and Laura L. (Drake) Rote. She graduated from Sycamore High School and earned her bachelor's degree in music from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1945. In 1944, she met Bill Heck, a Navy officer's candidate attending Illinois State, when her Delta Omicron sorority held a dance for the military students. They married on June 8, 1946, in Sycamore.
In 1950, they moved to Cambridge and for the next 60 years Mabel was the organist at the United Methodist Church. In addition, she played for weddings at many other churches in the area, providing music for hundreds of couples. From 1963 to 1968, Mabel was a caseworker for the Illinois Department of Public Aid and from 1968 to 1980 she was administrator of the Henry County Office of Public Aid. She served as an officer for the United Methodist Women, her church Circle, and the Henry County Homemakers Association for many years. Mabel was an accomplished seamstress and sewed for her family throughout her lifetime. In 1974, Bill and Mabel spent five weeks in Europe and they also traveled all over the USA. They spent 15 winters in Arizona before relocating to Friendship Village in Tempe in August 2010.
Survivors include her husband, William "Bill" Heck of Tempe; three daughters and spouses, Laurel Selin of Laguna Beach, Calif., Anne and Walt Ahland of Mesa, Ariz., and Eileen and Cory Atwell of New Lenox; daughter-in-law, Beckie (Fred) Heck of Holland, Ohio. She greatly enjoyed her five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her son, Fred C. Heck.