Donald Joe Heche is the father of the late multiple Emmy-Award-winning actress Anne Heche. He was married to Nancy Heche, an author. They had five children together.
Donald was the church organist and the choir director. He died in 1983 due to AIDS.
He Was Living A Secret Life Of Gay Outside His Marriage
Donald was married to his wife, Nancy Heche, a psychotherapist, author, and speaker.
Their marriage union gave birth to their five children. Both Donald and Nancy were fundamentalist Christians and raised their children in a deeply religious environment.
Donald was inclined to get rich schemes although he was a choir director and organist of the church, and because of that, he led an unstable life that affected him and his family, having to move numerous times.
Eventually, it led to the foreclosure of a home that he owned, and he was later evicted from their rental home, also due to which his wife asked him to leave the household.
His wife and children were bound to work to support his family.
Besides that, he was hiding a big secret from his family, which no one knew. He was living a double life as a gay man in New York.
One Statement From The Doctor Outed His Secret Of Living A Double Life
Donald was diagnosed with AIDS at the last stage but didn't let his family know about the disease.
He claimed it to be cancer until 1983, but the doctor told his wife Nancy that he was dying of AIDS.
Nancy, during a sit-down interview with Everlastinglovetv, Nancy said they had no clue until that time because she believed they were a perfect Christian family.
At the time, no one knew about AIDS, even the doctors, and that one statement outed her husband's double life and betrayed the twenty-five-year-old secret, she said.
When her husband died, she believed she was the only person that ever happened to her and was embarrassed, humiliated, and betrayed at the same time.
Nancy also said that she thinks her husband struggled with his sexuality even before they were married, but they never talked about it.
Nancy didn't tell anybody the cause of her husband's death until 1998, when she finally decided to tell out loud while giving testimony at Moody Church in Chicago.
When asked about the reason behind hiding her husband's death, she said she didn't even know how to talk about it, and if she had said that he died of AIDS, most people didn't know what AIDS was at the time and to say that he was homosexual at the same time was awful.
She believed it to be the worst sin in the world.
His Youngest Daughter Anne Came Out As Homosexual
Homosexuality hit twice in the Heche family—first, Donald himself, and second, his youngest daughter, Anne.
Fourteen years after his identity as homosexual, his daughter came out as homosexual.
During an interview, Nancy recalled the conversation with her daughter Anne in 1997 when she first told her that she had fallen in love with a woman.
She wanted her to know right away because it would be very public.
For Nancy, it was hard to believe as it was happening to her for the second time.
She was angry with Anne for two reasons: one because she betrayed an unspoken vow, which Nancy assumed after knowing all that they had experienced and gone through because of her husband abandoning the family, deserting them, and living a secret life that her family would never have anything to do with homosexuality again.
Secondly, she was angry and hurt because she seemed to be walking away from the commitment that she had made to follow the lord in her younger life.
It took her a long time to process.
Anne Died After A Horrible Car Crash
His youngest daughter, Anne, died after a horrible car crash in August 2022.
On the 5th of August, she was involved in three motor vehicle collisions in the Mar Vista neighborhood of Los Angeles.
The final collision, where she crashed her Mini Cooper into a home that was destroyed in the fire that ensued, caused her serious injuries.
She was declared brain-dead on the 11th of July.
The Los Angeles Police Department stated that there was a presence of cocaine and narcotics, including fentanyl, in her system as per the preliminary blood analysis.
Still, after the final autopsy result, it was confirmed that there were no active drugs found on her body, so she wasn't under the influence of drugs or alcohol when she crashed.
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