Dennis Ray Heck was born on July 26, 1948 in Perryville, MO. He was the son of Ruth (nee Yeager) and John A. Heck, Jr. He passed peacefully on June 1, 2022 surrounded by his closet friends and sisters in Christ, Carla Schlueter and Winnie Ellegood in the De Soto home of his friends, Winnie and Doc Ellegood at the age of 73.
Dennis is survived by two brothers, Darrell (Cheryl) Heck of Perryville, MO. and Kerry Heck of Perryville, MO. In addition to his siblings, friends and extended family, Dennis leaves to mourn his passing his much loved dog, Lexi. He was preceded in death by his parents, and a sister, Denise Heck.
Dennis answered the Lord’s call to go into the ministry and upon graduation from Seminary he began serving as an associate pastor in a Methodist church in Iowa. In 1985 Dennis accepted the position of full-time hospital chaplain at Jefferson Memorial Hospital, now known as Mercy Hospital-Jefferson, in Crystal City where he served for nearly 30 years touching countless lives of patients and their families and friends. During his tenure at Jefferson Memorial Dennis started a grief support group that met twice monthly at the hospital. In addition to the grief group, Dennis formed the volunteer Chaplain’s group comprised of local pastors to be on call during off hours when he was not immediately available to respond to crisis situations. He also served as chairperson of an annual fundraiser auction to raise money for the Chaplain’s Fund that provided assistance to families of hospital patients in need of emergency help with meals, money for prescriptions, and other urgent needs associated with unexpected hospital and Emergency Room admissions. Dennis also filled pulpit vacancies at local churches when pastors were unable to fill the pulpit of their church due to illness, vacation or other absence. Dennis was also responsible for organizing “A Day at the Ballpark” for hospital employees and their families.
Following his retirement from the hospital, the grief support group moved to a new location at Heart of the Apostles Fellowship in Herculaneum and became know as “Community Grief Group.” Dennis continued to mentor and minister to those in need of support and counseling in the years to following his retirement and was a beloved friend to all who new him. In his free time Dennis also enjoyed time with the Lord, playing tennis, time with friends and family and enjoyed traveling to Colorado, Florida, Lake of the Ozarks, and Tennessee .
In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to: Good News Community Church, 2793 Hwy 61, Festus, MO 63028 or Mercy Health Foundation, 1400 US 61, Festus, MO 63028.