Retired West New York Police Chief

A funeral mass was offered June 30 at St. Mary’s Church in West New York for Donald A. Heck, 89, retired West New York Police Chief. A lifelong resident of West New York, he passed away peacefully on June 26. Born to the late Lemuel and Lillian Heck, Donald worked at Robert Reiner Inc. in Weehawken as a Press Operator before enlisting in the United States Marine Corps. He served his country as a Radio Operator in the Korean War, receiving numerous medals of honor for his service, and rose to the rank of Sergeant before being honorably discharged in 1953. He then worked as an upholsterer for the late Pat Rizzo in West New York. In 1960, he joined the West New York Police Department as a patrolman and rose the ranks to chief, serving his community for 35 years. After retiring in 1995, his greatest joy was spending time with his grandchildren. Donald was a talented craftsman and loved watching old Western movies, collecting antiques, and gardening. He also enjoyed playing trivia and spending time with family and friends. He was husband to the late Elizabeth “Betty” Heck. Devoted brother to the late Albert, Warren (and his wife Rosalie) and Gerald. Treasured father to Donna Gherardi and her husband Dan of Oradell, and his dog Jazz. Adored grandfather to Danielle and Donny Gherardi, and long-time friend to John Herb.