Fred J. Hefner, 91, of Olympia Fields, IL (formerly of Medaryville, IN) passed away Sunday, January 10, 2021 at Palos Heights Rehab Center in Crestwood, IL. He was born on January 23, 1929 in Pontiac, MI to the late Fred G. and Lily [Finney] Hefner. Fred served in the US Army during the Korean War. He was a member of the Medaryville American Legion Post #96. Fred was a member of St. Henry’s Catholic Church in Medaryville and the Winamac Knights of Columbus Council #1561. Fred retired from the Ford Stamping Plant in Chicago Heights, IL and was a member of the UAW Local #588.
When he was young, Fred’s parents died from Tuberculosis. He and his siblings were raised by family in Galacia, IL. When he was a teenager in the 1940’s, he started hitchhiking to Alaska from southern Illinois. He made it as far as the Black Hills, SD where he got a job for Mrs. Duhamel. The Duhamel’s owned several businesses, including Sitting Bull Crystal Caverns. Fred lived on the grounds by himself in a cabin and had various jobs. He proudly fostered positive relationships with local Native Americans. It was during this time, he met his future wife, Darlene Hassing. Needless to say, Fred had a very adventurous life with no regrets. In 1989, Fred finally made it to Alaska…on a vacation with his family.
Fred was the loving father of 13 children and 12 foster children. He was the cherished grandfather, great grandfather, and great great grandfather of 155 blessings. Fred will be remembered as a good friend to many. Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him, Amen.
He is survived by:
Gail Morgan, Olympia Fields, IL Special Friend & Companion
Fred James (Joanne) Hefner, Bureau, IL Son
Steve (Debbie) Hefner, Steger, IL Son
Linda (Tom) Castle, Tyler, MN Daughter
Teresa (Richard) Gaston, Burbank, IL Daughter
Carol (Mike) Muehe, Steger, IL Daughter
Tom Hefner, Bradenton, FL Son
Dennis (fiancée: Nickie) Hefner, Bradenton, FL Son
Daniel Hefner, Beaverville, IL Son
Lauretta (Ron) Graska, Park Forest, IL Daughter
David (Kimberly) Hefner, Monticello, IN Son
Darren (Shannon) Hefner, Yeoman, IN Son
79 Great Grandchildren
10 Great Great Grandchildren
Phyllis Hefner, Sister-in-law
Many Nieces and Nephews
Darlene [Hassing] Hefner, Former Spouse
Preceded in death by:
Fred G. and Lily [Finney] Hefner, Parents
Tim Hefner, Son
Bill Hefner, Son
Diana Hefner, Daughter-in-law
Angie Hefner, Daughter-in-law
Mildred Trujillo, Sister
Gene Hefner, Brother
Wilma Sinagra, Sister
Betty Roberts, Sister
Arlene Hefner, Sister-in-law
John Trujillo, Brother-in-law
Norma Jean Warren, Special Friend and Companion
Visitation will be from 10-11 AM EST Friday, January 22, 2021 at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Winamac, IN.
A Funeral Mass will be held at 11 AM EST Friday, January 22, 2021 at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Winamac, IN with Rev. Daniel Shine officiating.
Burial will take place at St. Henry Cemetery in Medaryville, IN. The American Legion and VFW will conduct Military Graveside Services.
Memorial Contributions may be made to St. Joseph’s Indian School (PO Box 326 Chamberlain, SD 57326), Boys Town (PO Box 8000 Boys Town, NE 68010), or Covenant House (PO Box 731 New York, NY 10108-0900). Donations may be made online or by mail. The funeral home will have envelopes available the day of services.
Online Tributes may be offered at www.frainmortuary.com.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Frain Mortuary in Winamac, IN.