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West Plains, MO Location (417) 256-4141

Thayer, MO Location (417) 264-7242


Thomas ‘Tom’ Michael Heddy joined his beloved wife of 49 years, Joyce Elizabeth Heddy in Heaven, with the Lord on January 25, 2023, at the age of 72.

He is survived by three children, Raven Perry and her husband, Chester; Robyn Heddy and her husband Jim Borland; and Caleb Heddy; sister Allison Heddy; niece and nephew Ashley and Austin Unterreiner; uncle-in-law Ken Zesch; and several cousins.

Tom was born on May 11, 1950 in St. Louis, Missouri to William A. Heddy and Dorothy F. Heddy, both of whom preceded him in death.

He graduated from Normandy high school, in St. Louis and later from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice.

After marrying Joyce on December 1, 1972, they moved to Independence, Missouri, before settling in West Plains, Missouri. In 1973 he began his career with the State of Missouri, working in the Department of Corrections, Probation and Parole Division, as well as for Social Services. His hard work and dedication paid off, and he retired in 2003 as a Regional Administrator for the Department of Corrections, Probation and Parole Division.

Tom was stoic in nature, as was required for his job, but behind that he was a kind, warm soul that would go above and beyond to help anyone who asked him. Many people that Tom worked with, including his probationers and parolees, have taken the time to express their gratitude over the years.

Tom worked continuously on their home and “hobby farm” as he liked to call it. He did much of the work himself and developed a love and talent for woodworking and farming. He made many fine pieces of cabinetry and furniture. He shared his talent with friends and family and many still enjoy his pieces.

He had a keen appreciation of music and was also a talented fisherman, who loved the river. He could often be heard saying, “paddle me back one more time,” because the fish were still biting.

He coached many soccer and basketball teams, as Caleb was growing up. Participating in community was a priority and he never missed the “Shop with a COP” charity at Christmas time; it really made his holiday. He sponsored a child through Child Fund International and kept in contact with him for years; he genuinely loved him, though they would never meet.

After retirement he enjoyed helping Joyce around the community garden with various projects. He particularly enjoyed meeting and getting to know the young AmeriCorps members that volunteered their time in the area, so much so that he invited the whole crew over for Thanksgiving one year.

Tom had a great smile, that shone through his eyes. He made friends easily and had many lifelong friends.

He will be greatly missed by his children, sister, and constant companion, Shorty. He already is.

Visitation time will be held Saturday, February 4, 2023 from 2:00 p.m. to 500 p.m. at Carter Funeral Home Chapel, West Plains, Missouri.



  1. Gail Rickard
    January 31, 2023 @ 6:33 pm

    Deepest sympathies to all the children, friends, and relatives of Tom.

  2. Darrin Reed
    January 31, 2023 @ 7:35 pm

    Tom was the best, gonna miss him. My prayers are with his family and friends

  3. Sandy Rosengren
    February 1, 2023 @ 6:56 am

    Tom and Joyce were such caring friends and neighbors to my parents. And after my Dad passed they looked in on my Mother so often. And always bringing Shorty along, too, to visit. Great neighbors.
    We are very sorry for your loss. Tom was a wonderful man.

  4. John & Mary Morak
    February 1, 2023 @ 6:23 pm

    Tom was always a fun loving person who we will always remember fondly. Prayers for his family.
    We attended Normandy High School with Tom.

  5. Mark Inman
    February 1, 2023 @ 6:37 pm

    Always enjoyed working with Tom. He was an awesome guy.

  6. Deborah Gilbertson Shannon
    February 2, 2023 @ 10:00 am

    I grew up in Bel-Nor and lived about 5 houses down from Tom. He was a nice guy from a nice family. I baby sat for his sister a few times when she was a baby. I’m sad to hear of Tom’s passing.

  7. Lionel Daugherty
    February 2, 2023 @ 10:34 am

    Always enjoyed Tom. Great to work with and fun to around. Will miss Tom.
    Lionel Daugherty, retired MSHP.

  8. Jim Holmes
    February 2, 2023 @ 4:33 pm

    Tom held the rushing yards from scrimmage largest average for the Normandy HS football team ‘68 varsity. Some really great memories of Tom, he was small in stature but a big heart and great smile. Good guy, wishing we had gotten together for a few more laughs

  9. tom mudd
    February 3, 2023 @ 9:04 am

    My family had many good memories with Tom and Joyce floating ozark streams in Missouri.

  10. Tom and Jane Mudd
    February 3, 2023 @ 9:27 am

    My family and I had fond memories with Tom and Joyce on the many Ozark streams in Missouri.

  11. Rebecca Bevel-Smith
    February 4, 2023 @ 10:27 am

    I was extremely blessed to grow up with Tom & Joyce as my next door neighbors. Our families shared so many great times together. Even chores, like hauling hay or moving cattle didn’t seem so bad when we were all in it together. Joyce hemmed my prom dress and kept me from flunking home economics class. In college, when I needed a part time job, they hired me to clean their house. Tom told me I looked beautiful on my wedding day. They were some of the best people anyone could be lucky enough to know.

  12. Carolyn Honeycutt
    February 4, 2023 @ 12:48 pm

    You cannot work with someone for 20 years and not become family. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to work with Tom and know Joyce. They were such a talented couple. I have a flower bed they helped me start and always think of them when it blooms. Rest In Peace.