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CPO Lawrence Melvin Heckler
Birth: Aug. 5, 1925
West Baden Springs
Orange County
Indiana, USA
Death: Jan. 8, 2005
Harrison County
Mississippi, USA

U.S. Navy Ret. CPO - Father of Jerry Lynn (1943 - 1944), Monty Lynn (1945 - 1980), and Chiquita Leilania Heckler (1947 - ).

Melvin was born in West Baden, IN on August 5, 1925 as an only child to Lawrence Eleazer (1903-1972) and Ruth Ellen (Underwood) (1904-1986) Heckler, and nicknamed "Buster" as a babe. Paternal grandparents were Albert Wesley (1875-1957) and Maggie (Mitchell) (1884-1964) Heckler, with maternal being Ed (1878-1960) and Ethel (Wilson) (1883-1973) Underwood.

Running off to Morganfield, Union, KY at the age of 17, Melvin married Ruth Evelyn (Bledsoe), a mere 15, on October 17, 1942, then enlisting in the US Navy and leaving to serve his country.

Over a year later, on November 1, 1943, Melvin and Ruth Evelyn were blessed with a son, Jerry Lynn, in French Lick. Upon losing him, their second son, Monty Lynn, was born in Paoli, IN (Clark Hospital) on October 6, 1945. Then their daughter, Chiquita Leilania, came along in French Lick at Dr. Sugarman's office, on January 24, 1947, the first girl in several of their Heckler generations.

Melvin and Ruth Evelyn each went through a few marriages and divorces, him claiming 7 and her claiming 6. They also rewed each other on October 12, 1951 in Charlton County, GA, divorcing again in December, 1959 in Putnam County, FL.

Tragedy struck their family several times as their baby, Jerry Lynn, died at 13 mos. and 13 days old on December 13, 1944 from a fall over the side of a toddler rocking chair in French Lick at the Bledsoe home, while Melvin was stationed away in Banana River, Florida. Their son and father of two (Monique and Erich), Monty Lynn, died from a gunshot suicide at 34 years on July 20, 1980 in his Ft. Myers, FL home. Ruth Evelyn, 72, was killed when her car was hit by woman driver, jetting her across 5 lanes of traffic into a commercial cement hauler, on May 12, 1999, also in Ft. Myers.

With being in transit, several ports of call and overseas, Melvin entrusted Monty and Chiquita to stay with Ruth and her parents, Albert "Plute" & Dessie (Mickler) Bledsoe in French Lick most of their formative years and up through their high school graduations in 1964.

"Melvin" served in the U.S. Navy from 1944 - 1965 as a Chief Petty Officer of Aircraft Mechanics. He was active during WW II, in the Korean War, and still active during the Vietnam War. After retirement and going into the USN Reserves, he settled down with his wife, Christine, and owned and operated his own shrimp boat in Key West and Stock Island, FL.

After Christine died from heart problems, "Larry" found it necessary to move to Biloxi, MS for treatment with his throat and lung cancer, as he had suffered a whole lifetime of smoking. Melvin died January 8, 2005 after being left at a Hope Hospice for 2 days in Biloxi. (His daughter, Chiquita, was not notified or informed until 2011.)

Four and a half months later, the U.S. Navy respectfully cremated Ret. Chief Heckler and gave him a full military service, honorably burying him in the Biloxi National Cemetery in Mississippi on May 13, 2005. In a formal military ceremony in Sarasota National Cemetery, FL in 2011, his daughter, Chiquita, was presented his memorial flag.

It's all come full circle and the Mission is Complete ... From the daughter of a father who fought for the Red, White and Blue.
Family links: 
  Lawrence Eleazer Heckler (1903 - 1972)
  Ruth Ellen Underwood Condra (1904 - 1986)
  Ruth Evelyn Bledsoe Heckler Mitchell (1927 - 1999)
  Jerry Lynn Heckler (1943 - 1944)*
  Monty Lynn Heckler (1945 - 1980)*
  Monty Lynn Heckler (1945 - 1980)*
  Chiquita Leilania Heckler Baker (1947 - ____)*
*Calculated relationship
Biloxi National Cemetery
Harrison County
Mississippi, USA
Plot: HH 282
Created by: Chiquita
Record added: Aug 11, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 74790356
CPO Lawrence Melvin Heckler
Added by: Chiquita
CPO Lawrence Melvin Heckler
Added by: Chiquita
CPO Lawrence Melvin Heckler
Added by: Chiquita
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I love you, Dad! Monty would have just turned 70 years old. Hope you're proud of the Navy Honors Memorial Orange County has done up for you. It was really hard for me putting it together, but Jerry Condra, USN CPO Ret. somehow kept his patience with me...(Read more)
- Chiquita
 Added: Oct. 10, 2015
Missing you today, Dad, on the 10th anniversary of you leaving us forever. You died the day after your 10th little grandchild was born, Cloe Jade (my 7th). You're all Up There now, except for me, and I've rounded the Bend.
- Chiquita
 Added: Jan. 8, 2015
From me and Monty as I attended our 50th Class Reunion this summer at French Lick - without him, and without all of you that loved us. Sis.
- Chiquita
 Added: Nov. 21, 2014
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