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Maria Hunt Heeke Olsen

Maria Hunt Heeke Olsen, 87, passed away surrounded by her family in her Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania home on August 28, 2020.
Maria had a long and well-lived life, full of joys to celebrate and challenges to overcome. She was greatly loved, deeply cherished, and will be missed terribly by all lucky enough to be her family and friends.
She was born on September 9, 1932 to Anna and John Hunt in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Anna and John would come to have a family of 11 children, and Maria was one of their first six, born as three sets of twins during and shortly after the economic hardships of the Great Depression. She was preceded in death by her parents and her siblings Ann, Jack, her twin Jimmy, Tommy and Paula.
Maria graduated from West Philadelphia Catholic Girls High School during an era when, despite her academic achievements, she was unable to attend college because ensuring tuition for their sons was the higher priority for her parents. Maria nonetheless went on to create a rich family and professional life.
She married Gordon T. Heeke in 1956, with whom she had four children. Serving in the Pennsylvania Air National Guard after retiring as a pilot and Lieutenant from the U.S. Air Force, Gordon died in a plane crash in 1961. His shocking and untimely death left Maria a 28-year old widow with four small children. In time and through her then young children, she met her second husband, Thomas C. Olsen, with whom she had a son and daughter. Maria successfully raised her six children to view each other as true siblings even though they did not share the same father. Like Gordon, Tom also preceded his wife in death.
From her earliest days as a military wife through her final years as a sister, mother and grandmother, Maria was able to count approximately 30 American states and at least eight international destinations among her family travels. After raising her children, she was able to return to the workplace, ending her career as the Executive Assistant to the President of the L.F. Driscoll Company, one of Philadelphia’s pre-eminent construction management firms. She fondly recalled the role she played in helping expand Philadelphia’s iconic skyline to include Liberty Place and other landmarks during her years at Driscoll.
Beyond all the accomplishments and adventures Maria experienced in her lifetime, her greatest source of pride and joy came from being the loving and loved mother of six and grandmother of ten.
Maria is survived by her siblings Edward (and Bobbi Lewis) Hunt, Albert (and Ursula) Hunt, Kathleen Hunt, Cecilia (and John) Gregory, and Agnes Byrne. Her children and their spouses, Cheryl and Marc Giattini, David Heeke, twins John Heeke and Joanne Fell, Paul Olsen, and Katie and Brian Ford, mourn her passing. Affectionately known to them as “Mia”, she will be dearly missed by her grandchildren Tyler, Brooke and Heather Olsen, Maddy and Alec Fell, Jack and Emma Heeke, and Caleigh, Sarah and Brian Ford.
Because of social distancing requirements, Maria’s funeral service and burial will be private and limited to her siblings, children and grandchildren. After the pandemic is controlled, a celebration of her life will be held for extended family and friends. In lieu of flowers, her family suggests donations be made in Maria’s memory to the charity of your choice doing good works.

Phone: 215-543-9339