HECKENDORN, Colleen - Peacefully at University Hospital on Wednesday, August 5, 2020, Colleen Anne Heckendorn, nee Brock, of London age 83. Beloved wife of the late Howard R. Heckendorn. Loving mother of Kim (Dale Van Allen), Kevin (Lotus Why), Duane (Lynda), Brock, and Shaun (Vicki Chetcuti). Dear grandmother of Dana (Jeremy), Nicholas (Rachel), Graham, Erika, Katya (Jon), Randy, and great-grandmother of Greta, Gillian and Maggie. Dear sister of Gordon R. Brock Jr. of Port McNicoll and Thomas L. Brock of Waterloo.
Colleen Anne (Brock) Heckendorn has been a much-loved mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, great-grandmother, wife, and friend. Once her family grew up, she was called ‘Momma Colleen’ by two dozen or so young people who spent their early childhood in her home while their parents worked. Colleen loved taking care of these children and many have remained in contact with her over the years.
She was born and raised in Kitchener although she attended Havergal College in Toronto for high school. She was the eldest of three children born to the late Antoinette (Holle) Brock and the late Gordon R. Brock Sr. QC of Kitchener. Colleen ensured her children visited their grandparents, great-aunts and uncles regularly. Sunday afternoons with cousins at Nanny and Grandpa Brock’s home were a regular feature of family life with Uncle Tom often assigned to take the older children to the movies at Fairview Plaza.
Colleen was clever, loved math and science. She chose to raise a family rather than working beyond the home. She was athletic participating in many sports during her high school years. She loved music and played the piano as a young person. As an adult she sang in her church choir (former Church of St. Alban the Martyr, London) and more recently she sang in the choir at Richmond Woods Retirement Home. Music was often playing throughout the day in Colleen’s home.
Colleen married Howard Heckendorn of Kitchener having met him at Honey Harbour one summer. They both worked hard but also enjoyed summer vacations at Killbear Provincial Park and in Muskoka. Swimming and water skiing were family summer-time priorities! Hockey for the boys and figure skating for Kim were winter activities encouraged by both Colleen and Howard.
Colleen was a steadfast support for Howard’s landscaping business often the ‘front-line worker’ when clients called the family home. It is never easy to raise a large family, but Colleen knew how to stretch a dollar travelling to three grocery stores every week to catch all the specials. Her children know she often used her Christmas or birthday money to purchase whatever her children needed. She was frugal but very generous to those she loved.
Since Howard’s death in 2004, Colleen ceased baby-sitting and spent her time caring for her dogs ~ Chance then Chips. Both were large pets who loved the hours she spent walking them around Northridge’s many crescents. Yes, they became her four-legged children!
Colleen loved ‘her parties’, her name for our family gatherings. She was hoping for at least one more this year, but the pandemic and hospitalization made that impossible. She did smile on the day she died when lovingly reminded that we could not have a party together, but we are all with her today.
Colleen had been at University Hospital, (London Health Sciences Centre), since late March. Surgery was successful but her well-being weakened as time went on throughout the pandemic lock down. We are grateful that one family member was allowed to visit throughout July and 8 could be with her on her last day.
We give thanks to her nurses, doctors, chaplain, and all staff who so patiently cared for Mom during this difficult time as patients are separated from their family and support network.
Colleen was a woman of faith, a life-long Anglican. She did not preach her beliefs but prayed each night before bed. She will be greatly missed, but we give thanks for the love she has given and the opportunity to love her. Rest in peace, loving Mother. May joy be yours.
Private graveside service at St. John’s Cemetery, Arva. Memorial contributions to The Church of St. Jude’s Choir and Music program (1537 Adelaide St. North, London, ON N5X 1K6) or to Richmond Wood’s Choir and Music program (200 North Centre Rd., London, ON) would be appreciated.
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