Fred Hefner
Fred Hefner

Obituary of Fred J. Hefner

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

53 Grandchildren

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


Arrangements have been entrusted to Frain Mortuary in Winamac, IN.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Fred Hefner, please visit Tribute Store


10:00 am - 11:00 am
Friday, January 22, 2021
St. Peter's Catholic Church
401 N. Monticello St
Winamac, Indiana, United States

Funeral Mass

11:00 am
Friday, January 22, 2021
St Peter's Catholic Church
402 North Market Street
Winamac, Indiana, United States


St. Henry Cemetery
1973 N 1550 W
Medaryville, Indiana, United States
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