Butler County Sheriff Mark Hecker
Photo credit: Courtesy Photo
The sheriff of Butler County, Neb. suffered a massive heart attack following a struggle with a man and died several days later.
Sheriff Mark Hecker fell ill during the struggle with a mental subject he was attempting to take into emergency protective custody on Aug. 8 and died four days later on Aug. 12.
More than 1,500 people attended the 53 year old's funeral at Aquinas Catholic High School on Aug. 16. Dozens of law enforcement members turned out at the service and formed a nearly mile-long procession that went past the Butler County Courthouse Square, according to The Journal Star.
Sheriff Hecker had served with the Butler County Sheriff's Office for 26 years and had previously served with the Humphrey Police Department and David City Police Department for nine years.
Former Platte County Sheriff Jon Zavodil, who had hired the Hecker as a 19-year-old in the Humphrey Police Department in 1981, addressed the service.
"He was one of the youngest, if not the youngest police officer in the state," he said. "It placed an additional pressure on him to prove himself not only to the citizens of Humphrey, but to himself.
"Knowing Mark, he would not want you to grieve long, but instead carry on with your lives and live your life to your fullest and appreciate every day."
He is survived by his mother, Betty Hecker; five daughters, Tiffany(Dustin) Heins, Staci (Shane) Anderson, Kirby Hecker, Rebecca Hecker and Melanie Hecker; a son, Michael Beck; a sister, Peggy (Mike) Reese; two brothers, Steve Hecker, Mike (Jeanie) Hecker; and his five granddaughters, Bella and Harlow Heins, Kenley and Kambree Anderson, and Haelyn Holcomb; and his nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his father; one son, Jason Alexander; and his grandparents, George and Ethel Louis and Fred and Lena Hecker.