Gay Lynn Hecker, 63, of Waco, Texas and Egg Harbor, fell asleep in the loving arms of her family and awoke in the arms of the Lord on Tuesday, October 8, 2019.
She was born November 1, 1955 in Kenosha, daughter of the late Richard “Dick” and Barbara Lynn (Aaron) Ellefson. After graduating from Tremper High School in Kenosha in 1973, Gay went on to achieve her associate degree in Conference Reporting before going to Montessori training. She was certified by the Association of Montessori International as an instructor to teach the Montessori method worldwide and was internationally recognized. Gay’s heart and soul was in teaching children and was fortunate to educate students in Columbia, South Carolina, (Green Bay) Wisconsin, and (Venice) Florida before having her own school, Montessori Children’s House, in Englewood, Florida. Gay also taught second grade at Venice Christian School in Venice, Florida for two years.
She was united in marriage with Richard James Hecker at Bethel Ev. Free Church on Washington Island on October 6, 1984. Gay loved God with her whole heart. With her husband and her daughter, she had many missionary adventures after training with Youth with a Mission in 1990. They traveled to Mexico, Haiti, Romania, and even to Kenya, Africa, touching the children of the world.
Gay loved life. She loved the perfection of a rose and saw the beauty in everything. She was known to all by her smile, her laugh, and her deep love. Even to those she only knew for a short while experienced her love and infectious smile. Though it seems her life was cut short, she repeatedly said the summer of 2019 was the best of her life. She was so free and lived life to the fullest, doing what she loved – traveling, shopping, “Jeeping”, and spending time with her friends. Most importantly, spending precious moments with her husband, daughter, and brother.
Gay loved people and relationships. She was a devoted wife, mother, and sister. She was also passionate about her close friends. In her life, God brought six women to walk by her side. These women were: Suzy Corby, Sheila Withrow, Judy DuCharme, Carrie Gusmer, Kim Elkinns, Suzette Yañez.
Gay’s joy will live on in the hearts of her loving husband of 35 years, Richard; daughter, Grace Hecker; brother, Tully (Liz) Ellefson; and several nieces, nephews, and friends.
She was preceded in death by her daughter, Abby Jean; parents, Dick and Barbara Ellefson; and brother, Rick Ellefson.
A memorial service to honor Gay’s life will be celebrated at Door of Life Christian Church, where they are members, on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. with Pastor Ed House officiating. She will be laid to rest in the Washington Island Town Cemetery.