Longtime Loomis residents celebrate 67 years of marriage

By: Brody Fernandez Of Gold Country Media
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Jon and Diane Heckman will celebrate 67 years of marriage this Saturday. They are longtime Loomis residents.

Jon and Diane, born and raised in California in the 1930s during the Great Depression, attended McClatchy High School in Sacramento. The high school sweethearts met at an after-school party in the late 1940s and married in 1951.

Celebrating his 86th birthday Nov. 11, Jon Heckman “feels pretty good.”

After serving in the Navy, he had a long career dealing with franchise tax for the state of California.  

Diane Heckman 86, also had a long and successful career with the state, working in the unemployment office.

Soon after marrying, the couple moved from Sacramento to Loomis.

“We wanted to move to Loomis because the school systems were much better out here,” Jon Heckman said.

The Heckmans have a big family, raised in Loomis, that includes four children, six grandchildren and three great grandchildren with two more on the way.

“We are just so darn lucky,” Diane Heckman said.  

The Loomis News asked the Heckmans what the secret is to a long and healthy marriage of almost 70 years.

“You have to be kind of deaf,” Diane Heckman jokingly said quickly, smiling afterward and looking at her husband. “You just have to be family centered.”

Jon Heckman explained that annual summer trips with their children and grandchildren kept them young in mind and in spirit.

“Every summer, we would take the kids on trips across the country,” Jon Heckman said. “That was one of our favorite things my wife and I did together.”

Most of the trips were educational in nature, he said, and the children learned something new. The Heckmans talked about how different Loomis is now than it was in 1971.

“Well, we certainly didn't see the wildfires this bad in terms of the distance and severity of the damage,” (Jon) Heckman said.

Diane Heckman said that the commute to and from home has become more problematic.

“I just think of how much more traffic we have in Loomis,” she said. “My commute if I travel to Sacramento is a lot different back then as it is now.”

With the changes they’ve seen, the couple is glad that they chose Loomis as their home early in their marriage.

“We are still very happy and confident in our decision to move here,” Diane Heckman said. “We love Loomis as our home and it was a great place to raise our family.”

Besides staying active, taking care of their family and a glass of red wine for dinner each night, the couple’s guide to a healthy long life and marriage is to center on loving your family.