Former UDC editor dies at age 59


Cheryl Heckler, managing editor of the Urbana Daily Citizen 1987-88, died on Feb. 18 in her native Celina area, according to of Oxford and Miami University.

Heckler authored two books and co-authored another in the years after leaving the Daily Citizen. She also worked as an associate professor in the Department of Media, Journalism & Film at Miami University, where she had earned her Bachelor’s degree in 1981. Heckler taught at Miami for nearly two decades after earning an advanced degree later in life.

Heckler had battled breast cancer over the years and was on medical leave this semester when she died at age 59 at St. Charles Center, Carthagena, a retirement community for Catholic priests and with apartments for religious and lay people.

Heckler started her career at the Celina Daily Standard, then worked for Florida Today before becoming managing editor at the Urbana Daily Citizen. She received a master’s in Christian Education from United Theological Seminary in Dayton. She was the author of two books, “An Accidental Journalist: The Adventures of Edmund Stevens, 1934-45” and “Heart and Soul of the Nation: How the Spirituality of Our First Ladies Changed America.” She co-authored “The Carpenter’s Apprentice: The Spiritual Biography of Jimmy Carter.” She also taught and published works in Florence, Italy.

She established the Reid-Heckler-Gambrell Scholarship for International Journalism at Miami.

Mass will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 24, at Immaculate Conception Church in Celina. Friends may call from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday at the Hogenkamp Funeral Home, Coldwater. Memorials may be made to the Cancer Association of Mercer County. Condolences may be left at

Staff report

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