Estate of Quincy woman makes gifts of nearly $100,000 apiece to Camp Callahan, Quincy Humane Society

Connie Heck

Connie Heck with Ollie, Gloria Wilson's dog, on her lap | Photo courtesy of Gloria Wilson

QUINCY — Two Quincy organizations recently received gifts of nearly $100,000 apiece from the estate of a Quincy woman.

Connie Sue Heck died at age 80 on Oct. 18, 2021, in Good Samaritan Home. Before she died, Heck gave Gloria Wilson, a neighbor of Heck’s for 13 years, power of attorney and named her the executor of her estate.

Wilson met last week with representatives of the Quincy Humane Society and Camp Callahan to present each organization with a check for $99,282. 

“Connie always felt like her husband (John, who died in March 2003) had maybe a little bit of special needs,” Wilson said. “He was trained to work for the railroad. Connie had a passion for Camp Callahan and what they do for the kids and the adults in our community who maybe need a little extra help or have some special circumstances.

“The reason for the Humane Society is because she was passionate about her animals and, in particular, her three-legged dog named Annie. When she moved here in my neighborhood, Connie came here as a widow. It was just her and her dog. That’s where the Humane Society came in.”

From left are Randy Callahan and Anita Callahan with Camp Callahan, Camp Director Brandy Schlieper, and Gloria Wilson and Ray Wilson on behalf of the estate of Connie Sue Heck. | Photo courtesy of Gloria Wilson

Camp Callahan has been in operation since 1953, serving people with special needs. It is dedicated to serving youths with wide-ranging disabilities in an environment that is physically and socially adapted to the needs of the youths. It has a specialized environment, equipment, activities, accessible buildings and a trained staff to overcome barriers a person with disabilities would encounter at ordinary summer camps.

Bill Callahan operates the camp with his wife, Anita. He is a third-generation family member to operate the camp each July. He said most of the money from Heck, who they never met, will go to general operations.

“Every year the community just gives us enough just to keep it going,” Anita Callahan said. “This is definitely going to help us continue.”

From left are Ray Wilson and Gloria Wilson on behalf of the estate of Connie Sue Heck and Pilar Brumbaugh, executive director of the Quincy Humane Society. | Photo courtesy of Gloria Wilson

The Quincy Humane Society is a privately funded no-kill shelter, receiving no money from city, state or federal governments. It only takes in animals it has space for and focuses on reducing pet populations through proactive adoption programs. It offers a spay and neuter clinic and a vaccination clinic. 

Executive Director Pilar Brumbaugh also said Heck’s gift will go toward the general operation of the shelter.

“We are so grateful,” Brumbaugh said. “Obviously the circumstances leading up to this are not ideal. I’ve come to find out Connie had a three-legged dog that was just kind of her world. Any animal lover out there who has a dog on that pedestal, they’re going to understand that when (an animal) means the world to you and you have the ability, you can really make a difference in the lives of countless other animals. That’s a lasting legacy that goes a long way.

“We’re really grateful that we’re going to be able to continue our mission of providing the best quality care and helping the pets and people of our community for years.”

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