Shirlee M. Hecker, 80, of Billings, passed away peacefully in her sleep on March 27, 2014, at Billings Health and Rehabilitation. Shirlee was born on her uncle’s ranch near Luther, on June 30, 1933, to Carl and Elizabeth (Harvey) Umland. Shirlee was raised in Billings, and graduated from Senior High School there in 1952.
Shirlee worked at Deaconess Hospital and, along with her best friend, was invited by a doctor to become the one of the first trained X-Ray technicians there. Following a six-week courtship with a handsome man from Laurel, Shirlee married Roger Hecker on Aug. 18, 1956. Together, they moved to California for several years. After raising her children and living in Fremont, Calif., she went to work for Cal State University-Hayward as an executive secretary. Shirlee and Roger moved back to Billings in 1996, where they have resided since.
Over the years, she enjoyed painting, cross-stitching, beading and various craft projects, too numerous to mention. Shirlee was an avid reader and loved to bake. She and Roger cherished their cat KC for 17 years until she “went over the rainbow bridge” in 2007. In Billings, they were members of Central Christian Church. In later years, the effects of Alzheimer’s disease made it difficult for her to do the things she once loved.
Shirlee is survived by her husband of 57 years, Roger Hecker of Billings; son, David (Melanie) Hecker of Omaha, Neb., and their children John, Patrick and Katie; and daughter, Steffanie (Paul) Recanzone of Sandy, Utah, and their children Erin, Ryan and Sera. She is also survived by her brothers, Charles (Joy) Umland and Ron Umland.
Funeral Services will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, March 31, at Central Christian Church. Burial will follow in Yellowstone Valley Memorial Park. The casket will be closed.
Memorials in Shirlee’s name may be made to Central Christian Church, to Alzheimer’s research or Rocky Mountain Hospice.