With quick wit and a twinkle in his eye, Charles (Charley) Heckelsmiller Jr. was a true servant of God.
Charley passed away Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018. He was born April 4, 1934 on a farm north of Pollock, SD. He was the third of four children.
Growing up he loved working with his dad, the planting season, hunting, and fishing. In high school, he played snare drums in band, sang tenor in choir, served as sports editor for the school newspaper, and played Mr. Web in Our Town. He also ran hurdles and the 100-yard dash in track and played baseball and basketball.
Charley graduated from Pollock High School and earned a B.A from Northern State University in Aberdeen, SD, in Industrial Arts. He served 14 years under the Eisenhower Military Reserve Act in the National Guard. In 1959, he married Mary in Redfield, SD, and was devoted to his beloved wife. They had three children. In 1966, he accepted a position with the Bureau of Reclamation and moved his family to Idaho. They made their home in Caldwell where they became life-long members of Faith Lutheran Church.
He served as an educator beginning in McGlughin and Huron, SD, then Marsing, Idaho Job Corp, Pierpont High School in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, and at YACC in Boise. He trained students in industrial arts including woodworking, metal work, welding, drafting, masonry, carpentry, electrical, and plumbing. He also designed and directed many projects. Upon retirement, Charley devoted 25 years volunteering at Canyon County’s Habitat for Humanity. He helped develop the program while serving in leadership roles and was pivotal in opening the county’s first Re-Store. During his tenure as president from 2002 and 2008, 13 houses were dedicated. In 2005, he was named Volunteer of the Year by the organization.
His family will remember traveling together, working in his shop, harmonica music, rock and fossil hunting, camping, playing ambush and monster hunting, root beer floats on New Year’s Eve, birthdays and summers together, and his gift of unconditional love and support. He was an example of integrity and his source of strength came from an unfaltering belief in God.
Those who knew him will remember he treated all people with kindness, honesty, and reliability — values he cherished.
Charley is survived by his wife of 59 years and three children, John (Tisha) (Meridian, ID), David (Shannon) (Kent, WA), Karyl (Tim Michel) (Overland Park, KS) nine grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren.
A Celebration of Life was held at Faith Lutheran Church, 2915 S. Montana Ave., Caldwell, on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019. A reception followed in the Fellowship Hall. Memorial contributions can be made directly to Faith Lutheran Church. Condolences may be shared with the family at www.dakanfuneralchapel.com
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