Joseph P. Hecker

PALM HARBOR, Fla. – Joseph P. Hecker, born on Sept. 2, 1949, passed away peacefully on Feb. 16, 2021 at Suncoast Hospice in Palm Harbor, Fla. His family mourns the loss of the exceptional human being and pays respect to the memory of their amazing brother and friend. What an incredible difference his life has made to so many.

Joe was born in Lewiston, the son of Herbert Carl Hecker Sr. and Denise Marie Hecker. He was the youngest of 10 children and is survived by siblings Rose Marie Hinkle, Ronald Hecker, Anthony Hecker, and Gloria Donovan, as well as many nieces and nephews.

Joe was predeceased by his parents; his brothers, Herbert Carl Jr., Gerard, Francis, and Michael, along with Sister Mona of the Sisters of Mercy.

After completing college and obtaining his master’s degree, Joe remained in Boston for many years employed as chief financial officer at a number of law firms. Joe’s working life was successful and noteworthy but it was not the main motivation of his ambition.

In 1999, Joe relocated to Clearwater, Fla., and although his profession remained in finance, he turned his focus to working for non-profit organizations in his quest for assisting the less fortunate, particularly those with disabilities. This was easily possible utilizing his incredible mental gymnastics. His persistence, patience and upbeat personality gained him much success in his selfless goals. A bright light has surely gone out but the afterglow will continue to shine for a long long time.

In his retirement Joe was fortunate enough to spend countless hours enjoying his many avocations of hiking his favorite picturesque parks, attending baseball games with friends, lolling at the beach with his sister, or simply adding to the endless list of books he read. (One of his punny remarks – – “Outside of a dog, man’s best friend is a book. Inside of a dog, it is too dark to read.”)

Joe also found much pleasure and enjoyment from his creative pursuits of woodworking, gardening, and was an avid naturalist photographer.

After hearing the news he had been transferred to hospice, his room filled with many dear friends bringing with them some of their favorite affectionate stories and memories which were gladly and warmly welcomed.

Endearing examples of his many stellar traits – his immeasurable generosity with everyone, his playfulness, unwavering love, and his exceptional, joyful, sunny spirit.

Joe will be missed, but more so, he will be remembered for his unwavering love of family and the lessons of pure grace he passed on to all he touched. His contagious, fun loving personality and energetic spirit will always bring a smile to all those who were fortunate enough to be part of his life.

All were powered by his sunny sense of humor and spark that ignited joy, laughter, and merriment. Everyone who knew Joe became familiar with the “Hecker sense of humor” as he shared his unique puns and jokes with all. (Whether they liked it or not!) Joe’s bright light will continue to shine on all who delighted in his life journey. He has left the world with countless gifts to soften our hearts and so many extraordinary memories to help ebb the emptiness of his passing.

The family is grateful to the Suncoast Hospice of Palm Harbor and thanks them for their warm, compassionate care.

A service for Joe will be announced at a later date.

Sleep in Heavenly Peace is a volunteer organization that Joe worked with in his last years. They provide beds and mattresses to children in need nationwide. Joe worked with the Clearwater group in Pinellas County. Here is a link to their website:

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked donations be considered to

Sleep in Heavenly Peace,

PO Box 713,

Tarpon Springs, FL 34688.

Joseph P. Hecker

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