Cover photo for Betty Jeanne Heckert Willman's Obituary
Betty Jeanne Heckert Willman Profile Photo

Betty Jeanne Heckert Willman

October 20, 1928 — January 7, 2024


Betty Jeanne Heckert Willman

Betty Jeanne Willman, age 95, died at home surrounded by loving family. She was born near Bellevue, Idaho to Madeleine Beth Roller Heckert and George Alex Louie Heckert on an alfalfa farm. She spent her childhood playing in the surrounding hills, picking wildflowers and having tea parties there with her cousin and with her pet lamb. Mom was first introduced to Jesus as a small child at the Baptist church in Hailey, where she recalls receiving a card bearing the words “Jesus loves you”; those three words made an immediate and lifelong impression on her. She immediately knew she was loved and committed her life to following Jesus.

In 1935, her family moved to Boise for better economic opportunities and to give Betty a good education. In a 9th grade journalism class, Mom noticed a very handsome boy that she recognized also attended Baptist Youth Fellowship at First Baptist Church at 10th and Jefferson. David turned out to be The One.  

Mom was active in Boise High journalism as editor of High Lights, winning the top award from the Boise Junior Chamber of Commerce for an essay contest. She excelled on the debate team as well as with music at Boise High School, graduating in 1946. She spent one year at Linfield College and another year at Boise Junior College, where she studied voice and organ with C. Griffith Bratt. Life changed when she and Dad got engaged; she sewed a wedding dress and married in 12 whirlwind days! In 1948, their wedding was the very first ever to be conducted in the First Baptist Church building that still stands in downtown Boise. (Because the structure was under construction and the main floor was not finished, the nuptials took place in the basement.)

Mom’s education was put on hold. To support Dad’s education, Mom went to work at First Security Bank. Dad’s Air National Guard service took them to Colorado, California and Georgia before they returned to Boise. In 1953 Kathy came along, followed by Dale in 1955 and Chris in 1961. Mom taught Sunday School, was president of the PTA, and was a Cub Scout Den Mother in Boise. During a 10-year move to Bay Village, Ohio, she and Dad were leaders in the committee for Young Life. She was not only everything to our family, her skills and nurturing extended to the community. In later years, her heart extended to many refugees, who she regarded as precious family.

At age 55, Mom finally achieved her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology after attending seven colleges through the years, graduating from USC. But her greatest achievement was her unwavering support for all her family and friends, and the look of love for her in all of our eyes.

Betty was preceded in death by David, her parents and a young sister, Loretta Jane. She is survived by her children Kathy Willman Grover, David Dale Willman Jr. (Beverly), and Chris Willman; grandchildren Jenny (Roman), Julia (Garrett), Jon (Courtney), Mindy (Zach), Dave (Iryna), Christophe, Audrey, and Hadley; great-grandchildren Marlies, Erik, Toby, Heidi, Theo, and Edie; and all of David’s nieces and nephews that she loved as her own.  

Services are at True Hope Church (First Baptist) Downtown at 1:30 on Friday, January 12. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Betty Jeanne Heckert Willman, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Memorial Service

Friday, January 12, 2024

Starts at 1:30 pm (Mountain time)

True Hope Church - Downtown

607 N 13th St, Boise, ID 83702

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