Melvin Heck

Nov. 3, 1928 – Oct. 10, 2021

Melvin William Heck, 92, of Kerrville, TX died Oct, 10, 2021 following a short illness. A funeral Mass will be held Nov. 13 at 10 a.m. at the Notre Dame Catholic Church in Kerrville. 

Melvin (Mel) was born Nov. 3, 1928, in Harold, South Dakota, to Pauline (Kursave) and William Heck. Melvin’s formal education began in a one-room country school-house outside Gettysburg, South Dakota.

He married JoAnn Joyce Schneider Feb. 21, 1950.

Mel worked odd jobs which included farm work and road construction, and he hauled gravel for new road construction leading to the newly completed Mount Rushmore Monument near Rapid City. At 17 he enlisted in the United States Navy near the end of World War II.

Following his time in the Pacific, Mel returned to Gettysburg, where he served a short time as a local police officer, then as a police officer at the Black Hills Ordnance Depot, Igloo, South Dakota, and eventually with the United States Border Patrol. His career with the Immigration and Naturalization Service stretched from 1953 until his retirement in November of 1983 where he worked on the border in Texas, in Grand Forks, ND, and in Havre, Montana, then returning to Texas. His assignments included the Hungarian Refugee Resettlement Program – 1956; Wounded Knee uprising in Pine Ridge, South Dakota – 1973; Vietnamese Refugee Resettlement Program – 1975, and Chula Vista Sector (San Diego Sector) border operations – 1970s.

Melvin was preceded in death by his wife JoAnn, his parents, his siblings and his eldest child, Michael. He is survived by his daughter Renée Cornett Gray of San Antonio, Texas (Glen); sons Timothy (Jackie) of Kerrville, Texas, and Larry (Gaye Nell) of Atlanta, Georgia, nine grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.

Grimes Funeral Chapels handled arrangements. Memorials may be made to your local chapter of ALS (, the Freeman-Fritts Animal Shelter of Kerrville, Texas ( or any organization of one’s choice.

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