1941 – 2019
Elizabeth Heckler, 78 of Bradford Corner Road, Woodstock Valley, died on March 19 at home. She was born in New York City, on January 19th, 1941 to Lucy (Gorlewski) Kodym and Cashmir Kodym. She is survived by her husband of 57 years, Norman Heckler and her 3 sons, Norman, Jr. of Woodstock, Matthew of New York City, Jason of Philadelphia, her sister Celine and her many grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
Lizzie, as she was known to her many friends, was a kind, gentle and thoughtful person. She loved her life and the path that it took. As a teacher for 40 years at Woodstock and Eastford Elementary Schools, she was focused on her students. She saw each one as an individual as was her way with everyone whom she happened to know. Although a city girl by birth, she took to life on Bradford Corner Road in West Woodstock with the same focus she showered on all aspects of her life. She and Norman restored their 18th century home with attention to historic details and a hearty dose of warmth and welcome for family and friends. The giant hearth in the center of the house emitted warmth and charm for decades as a gathering spot, but the kitchen where Liz held sway, was even more engaging. Liz cooked with locally grown foods long before the movement gained popularity.
As Norman C. Heckler & Company gained a national reputation as a premier auction and appraisal house for American antique glass, Liz did her part to build friendships and connections among the many people she met.
She was unflappable and resilient in her professional and personal affairs and, despite a deep aversion to following a recipe, managed to wow visitors to Heckler Auctions as well as at the family table with memorable meals.
In a household full of men, she kept everyone on an even keel by quietly managing with diplomacy and humor. Adored by her husband, who often liked to stop a conversation and say, “Isn’t she beautiful…”, Liz was also much loved by her three sons. Grandchildren gave her an additional focus for love and affection. She was loyal beyond measure to her in-laws, Pearl and Charlie Heckler, whose long lives were enhanced by Liz’s countless acts of kindness.
Liz had a good eye for a bargain and was known to have cases of random items always at the ready as gifts for any occasion. She never visited anyone without a token that was carefully wrapped and appropriate to the interests of the recipient. She had an equally good eye for items of beauty and proportion and along with Norm created a tasteful home, landscape and lifestyle.
Liz was devoted to Roseland Park and took service as a board member seriously. She was most involved in the restoration of the park lands and the transformation of the barn into an event venue.
Most of all, Liz loved her family and her friends. From her husband and sons, her daughter-in-law, her sister, niece and nephews, her adored grandchildren, her god children, and her friends from teaching, the hundreds of students she lovingly taught, her Bradford Corner Road neighbors and long years of sharing and laughter, she created a network of love and affection that will remain in the hearts of all who knew her.
A memorial service for Liz will be held at the Church of the Good Shepard, 12 Bradford Corner Rd., West Woodstock, CT this Saturday, March 23rd at 11am.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, P.O. Box 5028, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5028. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Gilman Funeral Home & Crematory, 104 Church St., Putnam, CT 06260. For memorial guestbook please visit www.GilmanAndValade.com.