David R. Heckman, 74, of Indian River, passed away on May 3, 2023 in Petoskey with his family by his side.
He was born on November 11, 1948 to John and Margaret (Fletcher) Heckman in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Dave graduated from Dexter High School in 1966. Following high school, he earned his certification as an auto mechanic. He put those skills to use when he enlisted in the Navy in 1968 and served as a heavy equipment mechanic in the Seabees in Vietnam. He was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1969.
He married Jenise Fox on July 22, 1972 and they had three children, Christopher, and twins Daniel and Jennifer. Dave continued his career as a certified auto mechanic and worked in a variety of dealerships and body shops. He then expanded his knowledge by training as an electrician, which he worked as for a few years before returning to the automotive industry. In 1990, the family moved from Dexter to Indian River. Dave continued his career as a Parts Department Assistant with Krug Rivertown Motors in Cheboygan and retired from there in 2005.
Dave was an avid hunter and never missed an opening morning. He was very proud of his archery collection that included longbows, recurves, compound, and crossbows. He could often be found teaching his grandchildren to make arrows and target shooting with them in the backyard. He also enjoyed building and flying model rockets and airplanes and spent many weekends sharing this hobby with family. Dave thoroughly enjoyed everything in the great outdoors from water skiing and fishing at the lake they lived on in Dexter to touring the family property on his side by side, cutting firewood, and enjoying the annual family maple syrup fest. On most summer weekends, he spent his days following garage sale signs, always searching for a treasure, never knowing which town or part of the state he might end up in. He especially enjoyed looking at game camera pictures and preparing for deer season. Above all, Dave loved spending time with his family whether it was in the deer blind, around a campfire, or around the dining room table.
Dave is survived by his children Christopher Heckman of Petoskey, Daniel (Kerry) Heckman of Indian River, and Jennifer (Ryan) Hunt of Levering, grandchildren Drew (Lindsay Smeltzer), Kathryn, and Margaret Heckman and Raija Hunt. He was preceded in death by his wife Jenise, parents John and Margaret Heckman, and parents-in-law, Dale and Helen Fox.
A graveside service with military honors will be held at the Koehler Township Cemetery on Saturday, June 17 at 2PM. A celebration of life will immediately follow the service at the home of Daniel and Kerry Heckman.
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