Cover photo for William "Bill" Heckmann's Obituary
1939 William "Bill" 2024

William "Bill" Heckmann

March 26, 1939 — January 18, 2024


William “Bill” Martin Heckmann, age 84, passed away on Thursday, January 18, 2024 at Rib Lake Health Service & under the care of Hope Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc.  He was born in Merrill, WI, Lincoln County on March 26, 1939.  He was the son of the late Martin and Gladys (Richmond) Heckmann.

He graduated from Merrill Senior High School and then enlisted in the Army National Guard, Company A, 32nd infantry, Red Arrow Division and served a tour of active duty at Fort Lewis, Washington, during the Berlin Crisis 1961 to 1962.  He was then honorably discharged.

On October 22, 1966, William married Judith Pregler at St. John’s Catholic Church in Antigo, WI.

William was a lifelong member at Trinity Lutheran Church in Merrill, WI, where he was an usher, belonged to the church bowling team and attended Bible classes.

William worked at various places over the years, including North Central Leasing in Wausau, WI, Northern Specialty, Quality Wood Products and Wire Products Manufacturing, all of Merrill, WI.  He was an outdoors person, he liked to relax by going fishing, making firewood and hunting.  He enjoyed sitting by the kitchen window watching the birds and squirrels at his many bird feeders.  Deer would also pass through the backyard.  

William enjoyed spending time with his family and grandchildren.  He would also spend many hours working on his hobby railroad layout.  He liked to travel to different towns to attend railroad shows, getting ideas on how to make the layouts bigger and buy various trains and accessories.  He also enjoyed square dancing and was a former member of the Lincoln Squares square dance club.  

William will be dearly missed, but never forgotten.

William is survived by his wife: Judy Heckmann, son: David Heckmann, daughter: Kathleen (Tim) David, grandchildren: Faith David (Adam Jones) and Miranda David (Donovan McCann), brother-in-laws: Ronald Fischer and Dan, Richard and Steve Pregler, sister-in-laws: Christina (Gordon) Wurtinger, Betty (Douglas) Hitt, and many nieces, nephews and cousins.  He was preceded in death by his parents, sister: Joanne (Ronald) Fischer, half-brothers: Howard, Wesley, Lawrence, Herbert (Lillian), Carl (Ann) and Harold Prosser and half-sister: Ethel (Frank) Mientke. 

The funeral service for William will be held on Thursday, January 25, 2024 at 11:00 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Merrill.  Pastor Scott Gustafson will officiate.  The visitation will be held on Wednesday, January 24, 2024 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Waid Funeral Home in Merrill, and again on Thursday, January 25, 2024 from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the service, at the church.  Burial at Merrill Memorial Park Cemetery will immediately follow the service.  Military honors will be performed at the cemetery.

The service will be live streamed and available for viewing on Thursday, January 25, 2024 at 11:00 a.m.  It can be found under his obituary on the funeral home website.  It will then be posted as a recording for future viewing.

In lieu of flowers, family asks that memorials be given in William’s name to Trinity Lutheran church, school, or daycare center, or a charity of your choice.

Waid Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Merrill is assisting the family with arrangements.  Online condolences are encouraged and may be made at



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Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, January 24, 2024

4:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

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Thursday, January 25, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Thursday, January 25, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

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