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Rural-Sunset

Betty D. Hegner

February 12, 1932 ~ October 6, 2019 (age 87)

Betty D. Hegner of Bradenton, Florida, passed away on October 6, 2019, in the presence of her loving family. She was 87. Betty is survived by her children, Chehalis (Arthur Ganson) Hegner and John (Rebecca) Hegner; step-grandchildren, Cat Ganson, Shawna Roberts, Maggie (Jason Funk) Roberts; her great-grandchild, Macey Jean; and brother, Raymond (Jeanne) Suiter.

Born in 1932 in Billings, Montana, Betty was a true leader. In 4-H she was a regional reporter and award-winning seamstress.  In high school, she was editor of the newspaper and yearbook, sang in the choir, played leading roles and served as a crew member for many theatre productions. She graduated second in her class and won multiple scholarships to attend Northwestern University where she earned her degree in Journalism.

Betty worked as a writer and editor for Institutions, a Chicago-based publication for which Richard Hegner’s company provided commercial art content. Through that connection the couple met and they married in 1960. In 1965 they moved from Chicago to their beloved farm in Harvard, Illinois.

Betty and Richard started Hegner Real Estate in a remodeled chicken coop on their farm in 1972. They saw a keen opportunity with the RE/MAX concept and purchased the master franchise for Northern Illinois in 1977. Together, they built RE/MAX into the leading real estate brand in the region. Avid conservationists, Richard and Betty planted over 300,000 trees on their land and in 2009, they received the award for "Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year" from the Illinois Tree Farm System. The Hegner Theatre Wing at Florida Studio Theatre in Sarasota, Florida, is a testament to their commitment to the arts. 

Betty served on the boards of directors for the Soil & Water Conservation District of McHenry County, Woodstock Fine Arts Association, and Raue Center for the Arts. She and Richard started the CARES Foundation and the Hegner Family Foundation. She belonged to the Natural Organic Farmers Association, League of Women Voters, Parent-Teacher Organization, and the National Organization for Women.

All are welcome to join in celebrating Betty’s life! A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00am on October 19, 2019, at Heritage House: 21225 US-14, Harvard, IL 60033. Visitation to follow from 12-3 pm. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to one of Betty’s favorite charities:  Turning Point of McHenry County www.turnpt.org/donate.

Do you have a memory of Betty you’d like to share? The family requests that you call (815) 306-4552 and leave a message telling how she touched your life.

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