George Ray Hegeman, 82

George Ray Hegeman, 82

George Ray Hegeman, 82

PHOENIX — George R. Hegeman, 82, of Phoenix. Arizona, passed away after a brief illness.

George was born at home in Prospect, New York to Elnora Irene (Brown) Hegeman and Warren (Stub) Ray Hegeman. He was the oldest of four siblings, who include Charles (Chuck) Hegeman (deceased) of Hinkley, New York, Malcolm (Mike) Hegeman, of Remsen, New York, and Eleanor (Dolly) Ann Jordan of Pocomoke City, Maryland.

George is survived by his wife of 61 years, Connie L. (Worthen) Hegeman; his children, Christine (Miller), Shelly, Karen, and Michael; his granddaughters Nicole Pate (Joshua) Wilke and Marissa Pate (Bryon) Honea; and his seven great-grandchildren, Miriam, Luke, and Jacob Wilke, and Reece, Chace, Cael, and Ava Honea.

George attended Holland Patent Central High School, achieved an Associate of Arts degree in Electronics from Mohawk Valley Tech, and later obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from Regents College of New York. George worked as an engineer in computer science for Honeywell, GTE/Sylvania, and ILEX. His career took him from Massachusetts, to Vandenberg Air Force Base, Grand Forks Air Force Base, Kwajalein Missile Range (Marshall Islands) and to Ft. Huachuca in Arizona.

After his retirement, George taught computer science at Cochise Community College in Sierra Vista, Arizona. George was an active member of the Sierra Vista United Methodist Church for 40 years, where he taught adult Sunday School and served on many committees, also as a volunteer for the Desert Southwest Conference (UMC) in areas of finance. He was a leader in “Walk to Emmaus” programs and Kairos Prison Ministries. George became a lay-speaker for the Methodist Church and served rural congregations in southern Arizona. George was an avid nature photographer, and at times throughout his life he was a scout leader, an ESL tutor, and a mentor to young people and adults.

For the last decade of his life, George battled memory loss and dementia. He retained many memories of his time before dementia, still recognizing his immediate family until the end. His caregivers described him as having a heart-warming sense of humor up through his final days.

During this time of pandemic the family will have a private service of remembrance through Faith United Methodist Church of Phoenix, Arizona. Donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Foundation in George’s memory.

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