Obituaries » Mary Amelia Basten Heppner

Mary Amelia Basten Heppner

September 4, 1957 - February 11, 2023

Mary Amelia (Amy) Basten Heppner, age 65, died on February 11, 2023, in Lynchburg, VA. Her long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease that created a world of fear, confusion and frustration is over and she is now at peace. Amy was born September 4th, 1957, in Lynchburg, VA, the daughter of the late Louis Bevier Basten II and Ruth Wilson Sale Basten. Amy graduated from Seven Hills School, attended her beloved St. Mary’s College and graduated from Sweet Briar College with a B.A. in Studio Arts.  Amy’s first and favorite job was Sheltered Industries where she helped intellectually disabled adults find a safe place to work and become part of the community. After earning a Master’s in Personnel Development from Lynchburg College she enjoyed a successful career at Virginia Commonwealth University and Genworth Financial in Human Resources as a trainer and manager guiding others to their full potential.

Amy was a generous spirit. She volunteered at each school her son attended, was an avid soccer mom, and hosted legendary birthday and holiday celebrations for family and friends. Amy was a life-long member of and dedicated to the First Presbyterian Church, serving as Deacon, Elder, and Sunday School teacher.

Amy was an avid runner and veteran of the Virginia 10-miler. As the disease progressed, she delighted in walks and visits with her “walking” friends. Her abilities as a deft caricaturist were complemented by her sly and ready wit. She was active in several volunteer organizations and especially enjoyed the social aspects of the Boxwood Garden Club. Amy rode horses in her youth and in recent years found joy again in riding at Brook Hill Farm in Forest, VA. In an effort to help and educate others on the struggles of this dreadful disease, Amy joined the Virginia Alzheimer’s Advisory Group and shared her story in a candid interview in Lynchburg Magazine.

Amy’s warm and happy smile reflected her inner beauty, her kindness and her ability to see the best in everyone. She was a loving and patient wife, a devoted mother and a true and loyal friend. She especially treasured boating, beachcombing and fishing with her family at Pawleys Island, SC.

Amy is predeceased by her sister, Sarah Ruth Basten Whitney, sister-in-law Laura Heppner Aiello, and brother-in-law Prescott Hamner Gay Sr.  She is survived by her husband, Christopher Lynch Heppner Sr.; son, Christopher Lynch Heppner Jr.; mother-in-law Nathalie Ward Heppner, brother-in-law Gray  Heppner and wife Mary; sister-in-law Virginia Heppner Gay;  brother-in-law David Heppner and his wife Pruden, eight nieces and nephews, two great nephews.

The family gratefully thanks the staff of Heritage Green Memory Care and Gentle Shepherd Hospice for their compassionate care of Amy and our family.

A memorial service will be held Friday, February 17, 2023  at 1:00 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Lynchburg, followed by a reception for family and friends  at 4135 Peakland Place.  Please consider a memorial gift to Brook Hill Farm, 7289 Bellevue Rd., Forest, VA or the Alzheimer’s Association of America.

Tharp Funeral Home, Lynchburg is assisting the family.  To send condolences, please visit






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I was so sorry to hear of Amy's long struggle and recent passing. I have fond memories of her from Seven Hills and of her kindness giving me an "escape" ride home from an unhappy date. She was so quiet and sweet. I wish I had known we shared a love of art and horses. I hope she is in a wonderful place. My condolences to her family.

Posted by Suzanne Taurman on March 3, 2023

Chris and Lynch - I am so very sorry to hear of your great loss. I have such fond memories of Amy over the many years our children were in school together and for the most delicious months she worked in tandem with me at Genworth, where we ping-supported each other daily. Amy was always a joy. You both will be in my thoughts. Andrea Singy along with Alex and Sam

Posted by Andrea Singy on February 14, 2023

I am saddened to hear this news. I worked with Amy at First Colony, now Genworth. She was a beautiful person

Posted by Carol Thompson on February 13, 2023

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