Deborah Mary Heinecker

April 15, 1949 ~ June 23, 2021 (age 72)





Deborah Mary Heinecker died peacefully at home on Wednesday, June 23, 2021 after a brief illness.  She was born April 15, 1949 in Baltimore, Maryland to Lorraine and Calvin Heinecker, both deceased, and was their only child.  An excellent student, she graduated from the University of Maryland with concentrations in both English and Accounting.  She also studied literature at Cambridge College in England and became an expert on Arthurian Legend.  From that time on, always the Anglophile, Deborah liked nothing better than reading a good book—preferably Dickens or Hardy—or curling up with a cup of tea to watch a favorite show on British TV. After college Deborah entered the business world, working first as a stockbroker and, later, as a liaison between programmer analysts and end users at both Random House and USF&G Insurance Company offices in Baltimore.  Based on knowledge gained there, she later founded her own consulting business, writing user manuals for computer applications and helping bridge the gap between technical development staff and those expected to use their final products.  Always seeking knowledge of new things, she also obtained her real estate license and, later, worked for several years as a children’s librarian in a small, community-based library in the Maryland/Pennsylvania mountains. A lifelong lover of animals, Deborah and her husband aided or rescued dozens of cats, dogs, birds, turtles, and everything else from rodents to raptors while living in Maryland.  That love, coupled with her innate ability to always find missing objects for friends, led her to her most satisfying endeavor.  When a prized police canine went missing after a training exercise at a suburban Maryland police department and their efforts couldn’t locate it, Deborah offered to “tune in” if they wanted her help.  They did, and she found their missing dog in a matter of hours.  While she had asked to remain anonymous, word got out that a “psychic” had found their dog and, after an article appeared in the Washington Post and stories aired on local TV, the department was flooded with calls seeking her help.  So began a long and fruitful career as a psychic investigator where she helped dozens of police agencies and families obtain information to clear cold cases, solve homicides, and find missing persons or remains.  Eventually revealing her identity, she was the subject of a week long series on WUSA TV in Washington and subsequently appeared on many programs, often being interviewed about her work.  She then teamed up with her friend, Athena Varounis, a retired FBI agent, to form an investigative consulting business where they worked jointly to help police agencies and families nationwide.  These experiences led Deborah to fictionalize one of those cases as she drafted a semi-autobiographical novel, The Reluctant Psychic, that begins with her finding of the police K-9 and follows her as she works with a family on Maryland’s Eastern Shore to resolve a puzzling case inaccurately dubbed as a missing person. Having led a full and satisfying life, she died at peace and claimed she was “ready to pass”. Survived by her husband, Bob Wickless, and her dear friends and companions Athena Varounis and Ellen Campbell, all of Reidsville, they will honor her request for no viewing or public funeral. Citty Funeral Home is helping with necessary arrangements and thanks also go to Hospice of Rockingham County for their help.  Remembrances, if desired, may be made in Deborah’s name to your favorite animal shelter or animal help, rights, or rescue organization.  A celebration of her life will be held at a later date. Condolences may be sent to:



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Family to do services at later date

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