Homer R. Heacock; Montebello Council, School Board Leader


Homer R. Heacock, water distribution manager, real estate businessman and for 24 years a Montebello school board leader known for quiet diplomacy, has died. He was 93.

Heacock, who also served on the Montebello City Council, died Friday in his Montebello home, said his son, Darrell.

After a term on the City Council, Heacock was persuaded by the Montebello Unified School District superintendent to run for the Board of Education in 1951. He served until 1975. He was president for five terms, never arrived late and missed only one meeting--because his plane was delayed in leaving Hawaii.


Heacock was known for doing his homework, for listening, for cool reasoning and for practicing diplomacy and teamwork.

“Teamwork matters. A person should be able to express his concern, and the others should listen,” he told The Times in 1975, citing open warfare among board members as a reason for his retirement after 24 years. “You can be hostile and not accomplish anything,” he said. “Half your battle is done if you know what the other guy wants. Sometimes you’re talking when you should be listening.”

That same year his town named him Citizen of the Year.

A third-generation Californian born in Lompoc and brought up near Stockton, Heacock moved to Montebello in 1929 to become superintendent of the Rio Hondo Mutual Water Co. He continued to manage the distribution of water for irrigation while moving into real estate and farming.

In the late 1940s, Heacock established Homer R. Heacock Realty, selling farmland for commercial development.

In addition to his son, Heacock is survived by his wife of 69 years, Neva; a daughter, Kathy Nighswonger; five grandchildren; and five great-grandsons.

Services are scheduled for 3 p.m. Wednesday at Rose Hills Memorial Chapel.