Amherst Magazine

Edmond H. Heisler '42

Deceased June 21, 2014

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50th Reunion book entry


In Memory

Ted Heisler died unexpectedly June 21, 2014, at his home in The Villages in Florida. He was 94 and our indefatigable and indispensable writer of class notes since 2007.

Ted came to Amherst from the Penn Charter School. At Amherst he joined Psi Upsilon and made his mark in athletics—squash, tennis and soccer teams, all four years. He was the goalie for the unbeaten soccer team of 1941.

In World War II, Ted served for 28 months in the Pacific as a radar officer in the Army Air Corps. Then, after getting an M.A. in history from Columbia and an L.L.B. from Penn, Ted returned to the military in 1951 as a judge advocate officer in the Air Force, with two tours of duty in Europe, four years at the Pentagon and one year in Vietnam. He retired in 1971 with 21 years of active service.

Between 1972 and 1986 he was an assistant district attorney in Philadelphia, an instructor at Temple University and, finally, an instructor-tennis coach at Harcum College in Bryn Mawr, Pa. Ted always kept his skills alive in squash and tennis. He was the National 70-plus squash doubles champion in 1992 and 1993 and was nationally ranked in senior tennis since 1986. In 2011, at the age of 91, he competed in a tennis tournament in California.

His wife of 50 years, Elisabet Tornquist Heisler, died in 2001. Ted retired to The Villages, living with his sister, Mary Allison. He leaves three children and five grandchildren. Macular degeneration curtailed his tennis, but Ted kept on being his cheerful active self. He said, “It is what it is.” In June he had a fall while out in his neighborhood collecting cans for recycling. He sent in his last class notes shortly before his death.

Richard Ward ’42

50th Reunion

42 Ted Heisler.jpgImmediately after graduation, I was drafted into the Anny Air Camps and spent most of the next year being trained (basic training, G.I., radio school, Communications Cadet School and Radar Officers School). Then I served 28 months in the Pacific as a communications and radar officer with a transport plane group (New Guinea, Dutch East Indies, Philippines, Okinawa and Japan).

After my release from active duty in December 1945, I obtained an M.A. in history at Columbia University (January '47), and then taught American History and coached assorted sports at Philadelphia area secondary school with an assist from the G.I. Bill, I then switched to the legal field, spending '48 to '51 at Penn Law School. ·

In August of 1950, I met Elisabeth Tornquist from Stockholm, Sweden, who was on an extended visit in the U.S. This was great for my social life, but nearly fatal to my third year law school grades. We were married in July of 1951 and are still going strong­ three children: Charlie, Dave and Patricia, and four grandchildren.

The Air National Guard Fighter Wing I had joined in '49 was activated in '51 because of the Korean War, so we spent 21 months at Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, Washington. During this time, I managed to switch from communications officer to judge advocate.

Back in civilian life in '53, I was an associate with a Philadelphia law firm for a year and in  the legal department of a drug manufacturer for two and a half years. However, I enjoyed my part-time work as staff judge advocate of the Air National Guard Wing so much that I returned to active duty in the Air Force as a judge advocate in late '56.

During the next 15 years, we enjoyed Air Force life, with interesting legal assignments in France, Ger­ many, Washington State, the Pentagon and Florida. Fortunately, I was separated from my family for only one year, while in Vietnam in 1968-69. I retired from the Air Force as a colonel in July 1972.

I wasn't ready to retire completely, so I worked as an assistant district attorney in Philadelphia ('72-'74} and Assistant University Counsel at Temple University until 1978. Then I taught legal subjects and coached tennis at Harcum Junior College, Bryn Mawr, PA until 1987.

Since retiring completely, I've been keeping busy. We've done a 42 Ted Heisler 2.jpglot of travelling, with some very enjoyable cruises and numerous time share exchanges to resorts in and out of the U.S. I'm an avid competitor in senior tennis and squash tournaments, and that involves a good bit of travel. I've also been active in the Philadelphia literacy program and am serving as class agent for my Penn Charter School class.

 

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