Yale University

In Memoriam

Robert E. Heeter, Jr.

Bob Heeter died on July 19, 2012. Below are his obituary and a remembrance by classmate Marc Blum '64.

Bob Heeter
1964 graduation


Minneapolis - St. Paul StarTribune
July 22, 2012

Heeter, Robert E., MD age 70, of Maple Plain, July 19, 2012.

Practiced medicine as an orthopaedic surgeon at Waconia Ridgeview Medical Center for 35 years and served on the Board of Directors for 9 years. Dr. Heeter performed over 20,000 medical procedures during his career. He enjoyed chess, geology, bridge, poker, skiing, gardening, and motorcycling.

Bob Heeter

Preceded in death by his father, Robert. He was a loving father of five children, Robert Heeter (Hui Chen) of Pleasanton, CA, Michael (Melissa) Heeter of Bloomington, MN, Jed (Janell) Schmieg of Virginia Beach, VA, Laura (Patrick) McCarthy, Russell Heeter of Mound, MN; grandchildren, Robert, James, Nathan, Sarah Grace, Jonathan and Samuel; mother, Nancy F. Heeter of Richfield, MN; sisters, Nancy (David) Bergerson of Wayzata, MN, Elizabeth (Joseph) Vigneri of Casper, WY; mothers of his children, Joyce K. Heeter of Tucson, AZ and Diane S. Heeter of Carver, MN.

A celebration of his life will be held Friday, July 27, 6 PM with visitation 1 hour prior at the Lake Waconia Event Center (Lakeside Ballroom), 8155 Paradise Lane, Waconia 55387. Private interment Fort Snelling National Cemetery. Memorials are preferred to the Ridgeview Foundation. www.Washburn-McReavy.com Eden Prairie Chapel 952-975-0400.

Remembrance by Marc Blum '64

August 9, 2013

Bob grew up on the south side of Minneapolis, the son of a talented father who had grown up in Duluth and could not attend college because of the Depression and his wonderful mother, Nancy, who worked at Fairview Hospital. The doctors there all knew Bob and his talented potential and urged him to apply to Yale.

Bob learned all-American tinkering from his Dad. They could take apart and put together any motor. They delighted in fixing up Simca automobiles, of which at times there were a half dozen hanging around their yard. Bob was a master of basic construction skills, with a truly inquiring mind and curiosity about everything and everyone. He majored in physics, taking all the toughest courses, including organic chemistry for chemistry majors (11 hours/week with lab), and became a truly outstanding orthopedic surgeon at Ridgeview Medical Center near where he lived in the area of Lake Minnetonka.

He was deeply caring and all-around competent as a physician. At his life celebration service in Minnesota a young woman tearfully recounted how at the end of the day Bob heard five doctors discussing her un-diagnosable, increasingly enervating illness (non-orthopedic), asked to see her that next morning and diagnosed it, cured her, and gave her a wonderful life with husband and children. Candy Almstead then said that she later found out that she had only one week left to live.

Bob delighted in his service as an Army Major, helping over 20,000 patients with his medical procedures, and in every one of his many hobbies: chess, geology, bridge, poker, skiing, gardening, motorcycling, and always reading about how the earth got to this point and how it could be doing better under better leadership.

Bob was a "can do" guy. Everyone always remarks upon his big smile.

Bob got me into skiing and told me during his final two years that I had to buy his home in Vail to keep the tradition going of our skiing with each other's children and friends. I offered to stand aside in favor of his children, but they insisted that I go ahead and so there are frequent toasts to Bob, looking out upon beautiful Vail Valley.