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Judson H. Heck Sr., IRS agent and community volunteer <br> Aug. 16, 1916 -- Feb. 15, 2009

Working as an IRS agent for 30 years often limited Judson H. Heck Sr.'s social life, with folks sometimes getting cold feet upon making his acquaintance.

That changed when he retired in 1973. Mr. Heck took up a second career as a community volunteer that lasted longer than his first career.

With relish, Mr. Heck became a tireless promoter of his adopted home of Newfane with a special interest in the town's history and memberships in the Newfane Town Historical Society and the Niagara County Federation of Historical Societies.

Mr. Heck, a World War II Army Air Forces veteran stationed at Pearl Harbor following the 1941 attack, died Feb. 15 in Lockport. He was 92.

He and the former Irene Trowbridge were married for 61 years. They moved from Wellsville to Newfane in 1956 after Mr. Heck landed a job working as an accountant for the IRS.

"It was a job he took seriously, but one that also omitted him from a lot of social things because people did not look favorably on IRS agents," said his grandson, Judson H. Heck III. "Before he retired, he was active in his church."

After leaving the IRS, his activities were diverse. Besides serving as Newfane town historian, his memberships included the Order of the Eastern Star and Masons, Niagara County Tourism Committee and the Rotary Club.

Mr. Heck was a local expert on Norman Rockwell and St. Nicholas, and he put on hundreds of slide shows at various organizations and schools on those two subjects, in addition to the history of Newfane and its hamlet of Olcott.

His community service for Newfane was recognized with a Town Board resolution declaring Aug. 16, 1996, Judson Heck Sr. Day. The honor was duplicated in November 2000.

Through his service, Mr. Heck made a name for himself and was asked many years ago to consider running for town supervisor, according to his grandson.

"He probably could have won in a landslide," his grandson said. "When I asked why he didn't pursue this option, he responded simply, 'There's just too much lying in politics.' "

A 1939 graduate of Grove City (Pa.) College, Mr. Heck attributed his long marriage to a willingness to work things out, the grandson said in recalling insights his grandfather shared on his 50th wedding anniversary.

In addition to his wife and grandson, survivors include two sons, Judson H. Heck Jr. of Burt and Thomas Heck of Lyndonville.

His funeral was held in Newfane United Methodist Church.

-- Lou Michel

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