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Loretta Jo (Cooley) Heck

Loretta Jo (Cooley) Heck

Loretta Jo Heck

- May 30, 2019

Loretta Jo (Cooley) Heck, 70 of Spearfish, SD, passed with grace on May 21, 2019.

Jo was born September 22, 1948 in Spearfish to Clyde “Bunck” and Carmen Cooley. Jo grew up in Spearfish where she discovered her love for music, exceling at the piano. Jo graduated Spearfish High School in 1966. She was an honor roll student and participated in Declamation, Student Council, Pep Club Officer, Thespian Society, French Club President, Student Receptionist, and even a Pom-pom Girl.

Jo attended Black Hills State in the Fall of 1966. She continued her love for drama, participating in several play productions and worked in many offices including the Presidents. March of 1967 changed her life forever as she caught John Heck’s eye and they never looked back.

John and Jo married August 26, 1967. John accepted a teaching position and they moved to Selby, SD in August 1968. Jo coached the Selby Declamation team, making it to Pierre and winning State. Fall of 1969 they moved to Herreid, SD where Jo was very active in the Jaycee’s and Firemen’s Auxiliary.

John and Jo moved back to Spearfish in 1976 where Jo finished her college education, graduating Black Hills State as a Business Major with Minors in French and Theatre. She started her 20-year career with the local newspaper, The Prospector, eventually retiring as the Production Manager.

Jo was a founding member of The Heck Trio, which included her husband, John (Ugly John), guitar and vocals, Bill Robinson (Average Bill) on drums, and Jo (Good Looking Jo) played the bass guitar, keyboards and back-up vocals. They played in many bars and lounges, most notably The Rancher in St. Onge. The Heck Trio’s final performance was in December of 1984.

Upon retiring from the newspaper, Jo went to work with John in the family business at Black Hills Painting, taking care of the bookkeeping. John and Jo started a new business venture with Clair Donovan opening up the Stadium Sports Grill. Black Hills Painting was sold, and Jo became the full-time bookkeeper for The Stadium and Scoreboard Lounge.

John and Jo had many traveling adventures and loved to go on cruises and see the kids and grandkids. Jo lived a fulfilled life; she was a wonderful wife, mother, sister, grandma, aunt and friend. Through all her life experiences, Jo exemplified a quick wit, hard work, kindness, sweetness and most of all strength. Jo will be in our hearts forever.

Jo is survived by her husband, John Heck; daughter, Jaci (GJ) Koehler; son, Joel (Tempe Malena) Heck; sister, Rita (Keith) Dennis; six grandchildren, many nieces and nephews. Jo is preceded in death by her parents, Clyde “Bunck” & Carmen Cooley; son, Jared John Heck.

A Graveside dedication will be held Friday, May 31, at 2pm, Rose Hill Cemetery, Spearfish. A Celebration of Life will follow from 3pm to 6pm at the Stadium Sports Grill, Spearfish. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to The Louise Smock Scholarship at BHSU.

Arrangements are under the care of Fidler-Isburg Funeral Chapels and Isburg Crematory of Spearfish. Online condolences may be written at www.fidler-isburgfuneralchapels.com


Phone number: 605-347-4455
E-mail: [email protected]
Address: 1612 Junction Avenue, Suite #1
Sturgis, SD 57785