Joan Marie Lakey was born in Sutherland, Nebraska on August 27, 1945. She was one of five children born to Arthur Fay “Hap” and Hazel Marie (McMahon) Lakey. Growing up along the Pacific in Bandon, Oregon, Joan had a lifelong love affair with the ocean.
At the age of 17, she met Joseph Baxter “J.B.” Heck and soon after would marry on November 30, 1963. The young couple would move to Michigan purchasing a tract of land on Gruber Road to build a home and start a family. There, Joan had a green thumb and loved tending to her garden and admiring her big yard.
She was a loving mother and cared for her family as a homemaker. Joan was a woman of great faith, and as a longtime member of St. Mary Parish serving in the choir for twenty years. Joan was well-known for her independent nature and her ability to be headstrong. At the age of 62, she proudly earned her Associate of Applied Science Degree in Massage Therapy from Baker College in Jackson, and was a member of Phi Theta Kappa Sorority.
Joan was an avid athlete and enjoyed the outdoors and a plethora of activities including: softball, racquetball, golf, cross country skiing, horseback riding, motorcycles, camping, and trapshooting, for many years, frequenting the Monroe County Rod and Gun Club with her husband. She also enjoyed playing poker, travel, and the theatre. At times, Joan had an overly energetic personality, loving nature and cataloging her journeys with photography.
Joan, age 70 of Monroe passed peacefully from this life onto her heavenly journey on Saturday, June 11, 2016. She was surrounded by her loving family. Upon her death she shared the gift of organ donation through Gift of Life, Michigan. Her passing was preceded by her parents.
To cherish her memory she leaves two children: Kimberly (James) Murray of Monroe and Duane (Connie) Heck of Erie; four siblings: Kathy (Bill) Phillips, Carol (John) Cochran, Debbie (Lee) Brokaw, and Tom Lakey all of Oregon; four grandchildren: Cassidy, Jeffrey, Emily, and Joey; and two great grandchildren: Jaden and Julian.
Friends may gather from 2:00pm until a Celebration of Her Life to follow at 7:00pm on Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at Merkle Funeral Service, 2442 North Monroe Street (734) 384-5185. The Reverend Chris Pittman of Elevate Church will officiate.
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