February 2, 1925 – January 29, 2020
Born in Reading, PA
Resided in Lincoln, NE
Philip ‘Phil’ Richard Heckman
Philip Richard Heckman was born February 2, 1925 in Reading, Pennsylvania to Sarah and Lewis Heckman. Educator, philanthropist, actor and international worker, he is remembered for his boundless energy, authenticity, and sense of humor. Phil became engaged to his wife Barbara after knowing her for only one week and they have been by each other’s side for nearly 70 years.
Phil served in the Seabees in the South Pacific 1942 – 1946. He worked for the YMCA and the United Fund from 1950 – 1965, was Vice President of Yankton College, South Dakota, 1965 – 1967, and was President of Doane College 1967 – 1987. He was also President of the Lincoln Community Foundation 1987 – 1994, and a Volunteer Executive with the International Executive Service Corps (12 overseas assignments) 1989 – 1999.
Phil was a popular and well-respected actor in amateur and semi-professional theatre including 26 roles in the Lincoln Community Playhouse among many other venues. He was active on local, state and national boards and foundations including Nebraska Educational Telecommunications and Lincoln Downtown Rotary. He served as Interim Executive Director of both the Lincoln Community Playhouse and the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra. He traveled around the state as a lay minister with the United Church of Christ. His hobbies included reading, athletics, singing and acting.
Phil is survived by his wife Barbara, his children Peter, Matthew, Susan and Rebecca, their spouses Pamela Thompson, Geoffrey Edney, Angie Heckman and Ron Wendelin, his grandson Dan Lawler, and step-grandchildren Max Edney, Thomas Roh, Kaitlin Roh, Jenna Roh and Matt Roh.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 15, 2020 at 2:00 p.m., at First Plymouth Church, 2000 D Street with Pastor Jim Keck officiating.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests making a contribution to the Philip R. Heckman scholarship at Doane University.
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