A tree dedication ceremony to honor the memory of Teri Heckert will take place Sept.12. Heckert, a Truman State psychology professor who passed away during February 2014, would have celebrated her 46th birthday the day of the ceremony.
The tree dedication will take place at Red Barn Park from 3:30 – 5 p.m. and is hosted by Truman’s Office of Advancement, Foundation Scholarship Manager Becky Pike says. Two of Heckert’s brothers built the memorial tree ring.
“With the memorial tree, we know that we have a place to go to remember her and to feel like we have time with her,” Mandy Wiedeman, pastor of adult ministries at First United Methodist Church where Heckert attended, says.
Remarks from Heckert’s friends and family will follow the tree dedication. Speakers include Wiedeman, two former Truman psychology students, and Ken Kruger, Heckert’s brother. Michael Schwend, President and Chief Executive Officer of Preferred Family Healthcare will also be speaking. Heckert and Schwend worked closely on projects improving the psychology department. The rest of the afternoon will be spent celebrating Heckert’s life and her achievements, Pike says.
Anyone is welcome to attend the memorial ceremony. The Office of Advancement asks that guests RSVP to the event by Sept. 9, but it is not mandatory.
Teri Heckert’s legacy
Heckert actively participated in many organizations during her 20 years at Truman, including:
- Serving as president of Faculty Senate
- Involvement with the Office of Advancement
- Fundraising for the Truman’s psychology program
- Establishing the Dr. Tichenor honorary classroom and scholarship
- Organizing alumni events for psychology students in St. Louis and Kansas City
- Serving as chair of the Northeast Missouri Regional Bright Minds Bright Futures campaign effort
She also was involved in the Kirksville community, including:
- Volunteering at First United Methodist Church
- Involvement in a local Girl Scout troop
- Serving as Kiwanis’s President
- Serving as PTA President
Whether through her students, her fellow professors, or community members, Pike says Heckert left behind a legacy of dedication worthy of celebration.
“There are so many with fond memories of Teri,” Pike says. “It’s a fitting memorial for her.”