Monday, August 12, 2013

Robert E. 'Bob' Hecht

Robert Edwin "Bob" Hecht, age 93, passed away at home on Monday, August 12, 2013. Born in Racine, he was the son of Max and Edna (nee Stilb) Hecht.

He graduated from St. Catherine’s High School in 1938 and attended the University of Notre Dame, where he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business. Bob enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force in July 1942 as a WWII glider pilot student and won his wings in October 1943. He was promoted to Second Lieutenant while serving with the 375th Troop Carrier Group. He served in the Pacific Theater from October 1944 to November 1945 and was honorably discharged in January 1946.

After returning from the war, Bob joined the family business (Hecht’s Market) and later partnered with his brother, Vernon, to run the business until 1968 when they closed the store. Bob returned to college in 1969 and earned a Master’s degree in Business Education and a teaching certification at the secondary and technical school level in 1971. In July of that year, he was hired by Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) and taught there for 15 years, first at the South Milwaukee Campus and later at the newly-completed South Campus in Oak Creek. In addition to teaching business-related courses, Bob also created the meat cutting program. He retired in June 1986.

Bob married Mary Helen Duren on January 2, 1956, at St. Anthony’s Church in Cazenovia, Wisconsin; they had four children: Lisa Ann, William Robert, John Robert (Mary Jeanne) and Tom Robert (Ann) Hecht. Robert was preceded in death by his parents, brother, Vernon; sister-in-law, Peggy (nee Ruenzel) Hecht; and infant daughter, Julie Mary Hecht.

His family will remember him as kind, patient, even-tempered and cheerful through every kind of adversity. He was always quick with a good one-liner, even in his nineties! We enjoyed joining his popcorn parties at night where he always had a good book or magazine to read. He was an avid sportsman and member of the Racine County Conservation League. He intrigued his children with challenging puzzles to spark problem-solving skills. Bob was devoted to his wife, Mary, and his children, attending all of their significant events and activities.

He is survived by his wife, Mary; daughter Lisa Ann Hecht; sons, William Robert, John Robert (Mary Jeanne) and Thomas Robert (Ann) Hecht; and five grandchildren: Sara and Jennifer Chu, Dr. Benjamin and Julie Hecht and Hannah Hecht. He is further survived by nieces, Gretchen Bolman and Patti Strini; as well as nieces, nephews, cousins and relatives in Germany.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, August 17, 2013, at 10:30 a.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 2201 Northwestern Ave., with Rev. Ricardo Martin officiating. Interment with full military honors will follow at Calvary Cemetery. Relatives and friends may meet with the family Friday at the funeral home from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. and Saturday at the church from 10 a.m. until time of Mass at 10:30 a.m. Memorial contributions can be directed to St. Catherine’s High School and Sacred Heart Catholic Church or the Alzheimer’s Association. A special thanks to staff and volunteers at Wheaton Franciscan Home Health Care and Hospice for their wonderful and compassionate care.

803 Main St., Racine    (262) 634-7888

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