OBITUARY

Leo Heiden

October 29, 1928November 10, 2021

Leo H. Heiden, aged 93, of Tinton Falls, NJ passed away on Wednesday November 10th surrounded by his family at Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune, NJ. Leo lived a long, rich, and productive life full of many blessings.

Leo was born on October 29th, 1928, in Carbondale, PA the son of Max and Sara Heiden, Jewish immigrants who arrived in the United States from Eastern Europe early in the 20th century. The family (now with sister Beverly), moved to Brooklyn, NY in search of better opportunities. Leo attended Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan and Brooklyn College in NY where he attained his bachelor’s degree in Biology there and then served in the US Army overseas in Korea. After returning to NY, he got his Electrical Engineering degree from the City College of NY and met his future wife, Ruth, who was a nurse at Beth Israel Hospital in Manhattan. They married and relocated to Neptune, NJ as Leo had landed a job at Fort Monmouth in Eatontown and Ruth started a job at Fitkin Hospital in Neptune, NJ (now Jersey Shore Medical Center). They raised their two boys, David and Peter, in the Jumping Brook section of Neptune during which time Leo went to night school to attain his Master’s in Electrical Engineering at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Leo had a productive 30-year career at Fort Monmouth where he specialized in Project Management of Automated Test Equipment for the US Army. After retiring and the addition of four beautiful grandchildren, Leo and Ruth moved to Manchester, NJ and enjoyed the adult community life at Renaissance. As Ruth developed early signs of Alzheimer’s, Leo made the decision to relocate to the Seabrook Village Continuing Care Community in Tinton Falls in 2013. After recovering from the loss of his wife, Ruth, in 2016, Leo went on to live out five more very fulfilling years at Seabrook.

Leo was not naturally gregarious and sometimes could come across as stoic. He wasn’t comfortable starting conversations, but he would engage deeply and thoughtfully once he got started. He had a deep intellect and was well-read. But he did have another side to him where he demonstrated his “Inner-extrovert”, his commanding presence, his professional-sounding bass tenor voice, and his flair for the dramatic: local theater productions. He got involved with the Seaview Players at the Jersey Shore in 1960 where he produced and performed various shows and then went on to leading roles in the theater groups at Temple Beth Torah in Ocean, NJ, the Renaissance community theater group and the Seabrook Village group as well. His last starring role at Seabrook was as “Tevye the Milkman” in 2019 from Fiddler on the Roof where he received a standing ovation every night. In addition to theater, he was a key member of the choral groups at Temple Beth Torah, the Renaissance “Ranconteurs”, and Seabrook Village. He was an asset to all of these groups and continued to be productive right up until his passing. He could often be found at his computer with his Finale music notation software helping the Seabrook music director distribute singing parts or loading up his extensive catalog of CD’s into his whole-home Sonos audio system.

He was deeply affected by the atrocities of the Holocaust as they began to be laid bare to the world in his teenage years and this had a deep influence on how he shaped his views and how he wanted to live his life. He found comfort and meaning in his Jewish faith and dedicated his life to the memory of the six million murdered which included many of his own Eastern European relatives that never escaped. Blessed with a booming bass tenor voice, he would fill the room at any Jewish service he attended with a deep sound full of emotion coming from the bottom of his soul as if he were chanting for those who no longer had the opportunity.

Leo was the true embodiment of living life to its fullest.

He was a loving father to Peter (1996) and loving husband to Ruth (2016). In addition, he is survived by his son David and daughter-in-law Randi (Scotch Plains, NJ), daughter-in-law Kerry Durels (Sun Valley, ID) and his four grandchildren who were the light of his life: Max Heiden, Sara Heiden, Thomas Heiden, and Paige Heiden.

A funeral service will be held at 11am on Sunday, November 14th, 2021 at Bloomfield-Cooper Jewish Chapels, Ocean. Interment will follow at Beth Israel Cemetery, Woodbridge.

Donations in Leo’s memory may be made to the Seabrook Village Jewish Community, 3000 Essex Road, Tinton Falls, NJ 07753 Attn: David Bowman.

Services

  • Funeral Service

    Sunday, November 14, 2021

    VIEW VIDEO

  • Funeral Service

    Sunday, November 14, 2021

  • Committal Service

    Sunday, November 14, 2021

  • Committal Service

    Sunday, November 14, 2021

Memories

Leo Heiden

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Jack Bleiberg

November 25, 2021

David, your Dad was a class act, a real mensch he was a wonderful friend to my Mother Marion. I also enjoyed talking with him when I had dinner with my Mom. David may his memory always be a blessing for you.

Jack Bleiberg

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY