WARREN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Dr. Robert Heckel, 90, formerly of Warren, passed away on Friday, September 1, 2023.
Dr. Heckel was born on October 11, 1932 in Painesville, Ohio and grew up in Madison, Ohio, the only child of Edward and Ann Heckel.
He attended Ohio State University.
In 1955, he married Margaret Mavko with whom he had four children.
In 1957, Dr. Heckel received a DMD from Case Western Reserve University.
From 1957-1962, he also served the United States Navy Submarine Force, stationed at Norfolk, Virginia and Jacksonville, Florida during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He achieved the rank of Lt. Commander.
Dr. Heckel’s specialty training included the Univ. of Pennsylvania School of Graduate Medicine and residencies in oral and maxillofacial surgery at Grady Memorial Hospital, VA hospitals and Emory University in Atlanta, and Charity Hospital, Tulane and LSU in New Orleans. He returned to Case Western Reserve and University Hospital to complete a residency in anesthesiology.
Dr. Heckel entered private practice in oral and maxillofacial surgery in Warren, Ohio in 1965, residing in Howland Township. Practicing until 2002, he could count thousands as patients that he served in the region, both in his office and the hospital, often well after hours in emergencies. His children remember him regularly returning late to dinner or rushing out in the middle of it! Among his surgical patients were Earnie Shavers and other boxers represented by Don King. He took great pride in advancing his specialty and bringing those skills to his practice.
Dr. Heckel was a Diplomat of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and served as an Examiner for the American Board of Maxillofacial Surgery for six years. He also served as Chairman of the Department of Surgery at St. Joseph Hospital, President of Medical Staff at St Joseph Hospital, a Member of the Board of Humility of Mary Corporation, President of the Great Lakes Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, and Site visitor for accreditation for The Council on Dental Accreditation.
After retiring from practice, in 2005, Dr. Heckel was asked to serve as a Clinical Associate Professor of Maxillofacial Surgery at his alma mater Case Western Reserve University’s University Hospitals. There he worked until earlier this year, and he was proud to have been the oldest person ever to have held the position. He cherished and enjoyed this position, and in recognition of his teaching dedication, each year the outstanding oral maxillofacial surgery resident at CWRU/University Hospital is presented with The Robert D Heckel Award.
Preceding him in death were his parents and first wife.
He is survived by his wife Linda of 33 years; four children, Robert Heckel, Laurie Heckel, John (Nena) Heckel and Katherine (Melek) Kayser and his grandchildren of whom he was very proud, Theodore (Lauren), Elizabeth, Audrey, Evelyn and John. Additionally, he will be missed by his beloved Golden Retriever, Shadow.
Family and friends may visit and pay tribute to Dr. Heckel on Saturday, September 9, 2023 from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. at Blessed Sacrament Roman Catholic Church, 3020 Reeves Road NE Warren, Ohio, where a Funeral Mass will follow at 11:00 a.m. with Rev. Christopher Cicero presiding.
Burial will be in All Souls Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made to Hospice of the Valley, 979 Tibbetts Wick Road, Suite A, Girard, OH 44420; BestFriends.org OR a charity of the giver’s choice.
Arrangements are being handled by the Peter Rossi & Son Memorial Chapel.
A television tribute will air Wednesday, September 6 at the following approximate times: 7:10 a.m. on FOX, 12:22 p.m. on WKBN, 5:08 p.m. on MyYTV and 7:27 p.m. on WYTV. Video will be posted here the day of airing.