A memorial service and celebration of life will be held on August 31 for Alex Heckman, a former Westerville City Councilman and Westerville City Schools Board of Education member who died unexpectedly in a pedestrian-vehicle accident on August 23.
An obituary published in the Aug. 27 Columbus Dispatch announced that the memorial service will be held at the Westerville Community United Church of Christ, 770 County Line Road, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., followed by a celebration of life from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Harry Buffalo Westerville, 6150 S. Sunbury Road.
Heckman, 49, lived a life of service, leadership and compassion, noting his obituary, adding, “Alex could have succeeded in any field, but he chose a career focused on improving the lives of all citizens.” to improve. As a professor and department head of public administration at Franklin University, Heckman guided future leaders in Ohio to positively impact their communities.”
After his death, social media was filled with tributes to Heckman, who graduated from Westerville South High School in 1991. He also received a bachelor’s degree in history and secondary education from Capital University in 1995 and a master’s degree in public finance from Ohio State University in 1998 and doctorate in public policy and management from Ohio State University in 2008.
On the Westerville Progressive Alliance Facebook page, Sarah Stanbro Ortman wrote, “There are no words. My heart aches for his family, colleagues and friends, of whom there are so many. Prayers for comfort and strength go out to his amazing daughters. Alex was a good neighbor, a longtime family friend, a great father, a staunch advocate for social justice, and an amazingly intelligent, multi-talented guy. He will be greatly missed.”
Becky Crance wrote: “I’m shocked! dr Heckman’s writing developed my passion for public administration. He was a wonderful person and we will miss him.”
His obituary noted that he was more than a long list of accomplishments, saying, “He was a voracious reader, an ’80s hair metal fanatic, and most importantly, a loving and devoted father to Alise, Ava and Arden. While the community will remember his leadership and activism, those who loved him most will remember his handstands, college kicks, quoting random song lyrics (all the time), chasing free coffee, keeping chilled leftovers, his love of Seinfeld and exploring random festivals and historical sites, collecting over 100 hats, cheering on the horse chestnuts and his habit of reading every page of every newspaper he touches, no matter the age.”
Heckman is survived by his children Alise, Ava, and Arden; former wife, Vanessa; parents, Melisande and Jeff Heckman; and three brothers, Jeffrey, Ben and AJ (Lauren).
Donations in his honor can be made to Equality Ohio and/or Women have Options–Ohio.