Gerald graduated from the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, OH. He was ordained a priest on June 1, 1996. He served as an associate pastor at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Olney, IL, St. Edward Catholic Church, Fairfield, IL, St. Sebastian Catholic Church, Mount Carmel, IL, Holy Family Catholic Church, Cahokia, IL, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Dupo, IL, St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Smithton, IL, and the sister parishes of Holy Childhood, Mascoutah, St. Pancratius, Fayetteville, IL, and St. Liborius Catholic Church, St. Libory, IL. Gerald was loved by his family, friends, and parishoners. He will be greatly missed.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Shannon, nee Fenoughty, Hechenberger; a brother, Richard A. Hechenberger; and a nephew, Josiah Swope.
Surviving are two sisters, Mary Ann Swope and Nancy (Steven) Rueter, both of Belleville, IL;
a brother, Steve (Debby) Hechenberger of Melbourne, FL;
a sister-in-law, Barbara Hechenberger of Belleville, IL;
nieces and nephews;
and great-nieces and great-nephews.
A thank you is extended to sister-cousin Tracy Christ for helping Jerry as much as you did.
Memorials may be made to the Karla Smith Foundation or in the form of Masses. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.rennerfh.com.
When I must leave you for a little while please do not grieve and shed wild tears
And hug your sorrow to you through the years.
But start out bravely with a gallant smile; And for my sake and in my name,
Live on and do all things the same, Feed not your loneliness on empty days,
But fill each waking hour in useful ways, Reach out your hand in comfort and in cheer
And I in turn will comfort you and hold you near;
And never, never be afraid to die, For I am waiting for you in the sky!
Visitation: Friends may visit from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 12, 2020 at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Belleville, IL, and from 9 to 10 a.m. Friday, March 13, 2020, at St. Luke Catholic Church, Belleville, IL.
Funeral: A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Friday, March 13, 2020, at St. Luke Catholic Church, Belleville, IL, with Msgr. David Darin officiating.