Arthur Benedict Hechmer Jr.
August 31, 1931 – August 10, 2019
Arthur Benedict Hechmer, Jr., 87, passed away August 10, 2019 at his home. Born August 31, 1931 in New York, New York, he was the son of Arthur Benedict Hechmer, Sr. and Helen (Rush) Hechmer. Arthur was an Army veteran of the Korean Conflict. After his military service he worked for many years as an electrical engineer for the U. S. Navy. He loved being outdoors, playing tennis, kayaking, swimming, and bicycling. Arthur was musically talented, playing both the piano and the accordion. Preceding him in death were his parents, Arthur and Helen Hechmer, his wives, Mary and Helen, and several siblings. Survivors include three children, son, Arthur Benedict Hechmer, III of Nicoma Park, Oklahoma, two daughters, Bernadette and her husband Chesley Caddell of Nicoma Park, Oklahoma, and Ellen and her husband Darrel Stewart of Healdsburg, California, 4 grandchildren, William, Danica, Kyle, and Daniel, and 1 sister, Claire Appleton of Rainbow Lake, New York. A Funeral Mass was held at 10:30AM Friday, August 16, 2019 at St. Philip Neri Catholic Church, 1107 E. Felix Place, Midwest City, Oklahoma with Reverend Robert T. Wood as the Celebrant. Inurnment will be at Good Shepherd Memorial Gardens in Ocala, Florida at a later date.
- Funeral Mass Friday, August 16, 2019
- In State for Viewing Thursday, August 15, 2019
Arthur Benedict Hechmer Jr.
August 18, 2019
My brother Ben was the first of five children born to Arthur Benedict Hechmer, Sr. and Helen Rush Hechmer. Although he was a Junior he was never referred to that way, but his aunts & uncles called him “little Ben.” He was followed soon after his birth by (Mary) Carmen and then John. There was an eight year gap before (Anne) Clare was born and another two years before me, Michael. We all grew up in a house in Queens Village, NYC.
Ben was a good student at Ss. Joachim & Ann elementary school, where he won a competitive scholarship to Bishop Laughlin H.S. In high school, despite being blind in one eye, Ben was part of the city doubles championship team in tennis. Ben was an excellent skater, both ice & roller skating. Ben taught me how to ice skate and tried, unsuccessfully, to make me a figure & dance skater. Although we sometimes skated on the ponds in Jamaica Park, most often we went to a rink, in Flushing Meadows, which was built as part of the 1932 Worlds Fair. Sometimes the rink was only open to dancers and then I could plainly see that he was always the best skater on the ice. I got to see him roller dance a few times. It was through that activity that he met his first wife, Mary.
Ben was an avid Boy Scout and served as assistant scoutmaster in the troop I belonged to. He helped me with many merit badge projects, including, I remember, teaching me Morse Code, which was still a popular merit badge in the early 50’s.
Ben’s love of all sorts of music began at an early age and lasted throughout his life. If I close my eyes I can still see him sitting at our upright piano out in the sunroom and I can hear him playing Chopin’s Polonaise in A major.
Ben excelled at Bridge and played almost every day, at least for as long as we lived in NY. He played both socially and competitively and was more successful at teaching me to play bridge.
None of us are perfect, but Ben was generous, giving and forgiving and that is what I will always remember him for.