Virgil Hecker, 86, died Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020, at his home after a courageous battle with acute leukemia.

He was born March 21, 1933, in Park to Martin and Frances (Ziegler) Hecker. He was a 1951 graduate of Oakley High School and a 1958 graduate of Kansas State University.

He married Vonda Lee (Knapp) Hecker in 1957. She preceded him in death. He worked as a vocational agricultural teacher in Syracuse and worked on irrigation units in Dalhart, Texas. He then moved to Denver and retired as a mechanic at Swedish Medical Center. He later moved to Hays where he was a bus driver for USD 489 Transportation and Thomas More Prep-Marian High School. He was best known for giving many riddles to the students to solve during bus rides. He was known for his sense of humor and his love of Harley Davidsons, which began when he was only 14 years old. He was a U.S. Marine veteran, serving from 1951 to 1954 during the Korean War. He was a top sharp shooter at 1,000 yards, a tank driver and instructor.

Survivors include a daughter, Karla Umlauf and husband, Edward; two brothers, Alvin Hecker and wife, Betty, and Gilbert Hecker; and a sister, Val Devers; two brothers- in-law, Roland Knapp and Stanley Ostmeyer; and a sister-in-law, Kay Hughes.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a son, Ranny; a brother, Jimmy Hecker; and a sister, Darlene Kitendaugh.

Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 1 at the Buffalo Bill Cultural Center, Oakley

Memorials are suggested to Veterans Honoring Veterans, with Virgil Hecker in the memo line, in care of Adamson, 2000 47th Ave, Greeley, Colo. 80634.

Condolences can be sent to the family at