Oscar J. Heck better known as “Jay” or “OJ” was born on the family farm in Cory, Indiana, a small farming community near Terre Haute (IN) on November 9, 1925. Jay was the sixth of eight children born to Fred & Verna Heck. He passed to his place in heaven on September 12, 2021.
His mom passed when he was young so Jay & his four brothers grew up working the farm while his three sisters took care of household chores. Of that family, only brother Loyd survived Jay.
Jay was drafted right after high school and soon a farm boy who had barely traveled was a squad leader in WWII’s German Theater. Before his 20th birthday he was awarded 2 Bronze Stars with Valor device for heroism and was a Staff Sergeant leading a platoon in combat.
He returned to Indiana and married Betty Lou Wey. They moved to The Daytona Beach area and were blessed with three daughters. Jay had various careers locally and in Tennessee, but he would tell you his greatest joy was returning to help daughter Kathy in 2004 with her farm in Oak Hill where he worked daily until only a few months ago.
He is survived by daughters Kathy McCloud (Russell), Terry Stearns (Bob), and Debbie Pearsall (Jimmy), grandchildren Daniel, Jonathan, Kelly, Kristin, & Ashley, their families , and 8 great grandchildren.
Until recently when asked about his service in WWII, Jay would only say, “It was a big one”. But he did give an interview with the New Smyrna Beach Museum of History and their veterans project. You can watch that interview on YouTube.com, “Veterans History Project with WWII Army Vet Oscar Jay Heck” on youtube.com. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cp7v49sdZjk
Graveside service with military honors will be 2:30 p.m. Wednesday September 22, 2021 at Cape Canaveral National Cemetery, with Pastor Larry Wilson, First United Methodist Church, officiating. Burial will immediately follow the service. Family and friends will be received on Monday September 20, 2021 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Settle-Wilder Chapel.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations in his memory made to First United Methodist Church, 310 Douglas Street, New Smyrna Beach, Florida 32168.
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