on March 15, 2014 - 6:11 PM
Feb. 27, 1920 – March 8, 2014
Jay William Heckman, a World War II veteran and longtime insurance agent who was active in the community, died March 8 in Hyder Family Hospice House, Dover, N.H. He was 94.
Born in Reading, Pa., Mr. Heckman moved with his family to Detroit during the Depression, then lived in Buffalo for more than 70 years before moving to Durham, N.H., in 2012.
Mr. Heckman attended School 56 and was president of his graduating class at Lafayette High School. He was a member of Troop 11, Boy Scouts of America and Lafayette Presbyterian Church, where he served as deacon and elder.
An Army Air Forces veteran of World War II, Mr. Heckman was a chief warrant officer, serving four years in the South Pacific as an administrative officer and co-pilot in the 54th and 374th Troop Carrier Wings, transporting troops and cargo to forward operating positions. He was decorated with the Air Medal, Distinguished Unit Citation, Asiatic-Pacific Theater Ribbon with seven Battle Stars and Philippine Liberation Ribbon.
For most of his career, Mr. Heckman worked in the insurance business, initially with Richard L. Wood & Co., then operating independently. He was instrumental in the founding of Carlton House nursing home in the late 1960s and ended his career in 2010, with Realty USA.
Mr. Heckman was director of Greater Buffalo Insurance Association, board chairman of the New York Heart Association and a member of Buffalo Rotary Club for more than 40 years.
Survivors include two daughters, Nancy H. Blasberg and Pamela; a son, Jeffrey C.; a sister, Natalie Noonan; and four grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held later this year.