Linda Heckaman Swank, 78, Syracuse, previously of Nappanee, passed away, Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020, at Goshen Hospital.
Linda had a simple fall in late July that caused a small fracture of her femur. Due to the pain and not being mobile, she went to Waterford Crossings for physical therapy and rehabilitation. Over this past weekend, Linda became disoriented, her vitals dropped, she caught an infection (not COVID-19) and her organs went into failure.
Her body gave out the morning of Sept. 1, with her son Larry and brother Kim at her bedside.
She was born April 23, 1942, in Nappanee on her parents kitchen table on Van Buren Street, to Ivo “Pete” and Mona Lou “Motz” (Slabaugh) Heckaman. Linda has lived in the Syracuse and Nappanee area her entire life. Linda was a Class of 1960 graduate of Nappanee High School – Go Bulldogs! She also attended Vogue Beauty School for Cosmetology.
She was a hairdresser, entrepreneur and mother. Linda loved her boys and her family; she was an amazing mother, dedicating her life’s energy towards them. As a teenager, she would lay a quilt out on the end of her parents dock, unwind an extension cord, and make curtains for her father’s travel trailer company, Phoenix Trailers, when she wasn’t cheering on her home team, the Bulldogs, as she loved being a cheerleader during her youth.
After a brief time at Ball State College, studying art, Linda opened a beauty shop in Nappanee, “The Artistic Hairdresser” and created one of the first fitness centers in Indiana, where national women’s golf champions would come to train during their off-season, which she sold after the birth of her first son. She enjoyed her co-workers and participated in and won the Fourth of July Flotilla for the “Artistic Hairdresser” boat float, while enjoying a few pee-picker cocktails along the way. Linda was married twice, to Bob Seward briefly and then to Larry Swank, whom she had her two boys with.
Linda loved to travel and enjoyed visiting Antigua, Newport and Boulder amongst her journeys. Along the way, Linda amassed an amazing and diverse group of friends from around the world, each of which would bring a smile to her face and a fascinating story that she would be happy to recount over a glass of cabernet.
Surviving are her sons, Josh Swank, Peoria, Ill. and Larry Swank II, South Bend, their wives Danette (Hagenbuch) and Kristin (Schultz); two grandchildren, Taylor (9) and Larry “Trip” III (6); brother, Kim and Melinda Heckaman; sister-in-law, Janet Heckaman; and nieces and nephews, Kami Heckaman, Kent Heckaman, Kevin Heckaman, Danyi Beldavs, Micki (Heckaman) Beer, Nichole (Heckaman) Bellman, Jami (Heckaman) Barbara, Brook (Heckaman) Spohn, Lisa (Heckaman) Covey, Adam Heckaman and Alexandra (Heckaman) Clark; three step children, Lance Swank, Tiffani Swank, and Saige Wooldridge. Preceding her in death are her parents, her daughter, Polly; and two of her brothers, Gene Heckaman and Larry Heckaman.
Family and friends may call from 2-5 p.m. and 6-8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 11, at Thompson-Lengacher & Yoder Funeral Home, Nappanee. Graveside funeral with procession starting from the Thompson-Lengacher & Yoder Funeral Home at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 12.
Linda was raised First Brethren, attended the Nappanee United Methodist Church and enjoyed Boat-in-Worship on the shores of Lake Wawasee every summer.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation (WACF) or the Syracuse Lakeside Community Center, two causes that were near and dear to Linda’s heart.
Due to COVID-19, the family is requesting everyone wear a mask and to limit 50 people at a time in the fune