John Murray "Jack" Heidt passed away peacefully on November 22, 2023 in Santa Monica, California. In his final days and weeks, Jack was surrounded by his loving wife of 70 years, Mary Ann, along with their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Jack's love of life was evident to all who knew him, and he was forever grateful for all that he and Mary Ann built together. Among their many blessings, he most cherished his time spent with loved ones. Living by the motto, "family who are friends and friends who are family," Jack nurtured lasting relationships with a fierce loyalty. More than a devoted family man, Jack was also a mentor whose guidance influenced many. He was a man of faith and long-time Episcopalian.
Jack possessed a magnetic charm and an insatiable curiosity, paired with remarkable resilience and shrewdness. His ability to assess character was unparalleled. His zest remained undiminished even in his later years, evident in his two post-retirement careers and his unwavering support of family and friends. Jack's demeanor was the epitome of courtesy, and he had a natural gift for uplifting people from all backgrounds. He found joy in light-hearted banter, often accompanied by a mischievous twinkle in his eye. His ability to touch hearts was his greatest strength, and the thought of him brings a smile to many faces. In short, he will be missed dearly.
Jack and his twin brother Jerry were born to Adaline and George Slaughter in Oceanside, New York, on Christmas Day, 1931. Upon the marriage of Adaline and Horace Heidt in 1939, Jack and Jerry moved to Southern California, where they attended Harvard School. It was during this time that Jack met his future wife, Mary Ann Kerans, an early encounter memorably happening over a game of ping pong. He later attended Culver Academies in Culver, Indiana, where he graduated in 1950.
Jack earned his B.A. in Economics from Stanford University in 1954. He later graduated with honors from Pacific Coast Banking School and earned his M.B.A. from USC. It was at Stanford that Jack reconnected with Mary Ann and won her heart. She was beautiful and athletic, but Jack also saw her judgment, intelligence, and equally engaging way with people. Jack and Mary Ann married on June 18, 1953. Post-Stanford, Jack served in the Air Force, and afterward, he and Mary Ann managed the Lone Palm Hotel in Palm Springs.
Jack’s distinguished 25-year banking career began in 1959 when he joined Union Bank. He rose through the ranks and served as President of the bank for 12 years. In 1979, following the acquisition of Union Bank by Standard Chartered Bank, Jack was elected President of Standard Chartered Bank, USA. He traveled worldwide with special emphasis on Asia, acting as a liaison and fostering business between Union Bank and Standard Chartered. After retiring from Union Bank, Jack joined Bankers Trust as a Managing Director. Later, he started Heidt Capital, a fund of funds that capitalized on his knack for both evaluating fund managers and investing across a variety of asset classes.
Beyond his banking career, Jack was always active on boards and in the community. He served as President of the Van Nuys Charities Foundation, as well as on the Board of Trustees of both Saint John’s Health Center Foundation and Marlborough School. In 1978, he was honored to receive the Man of Hope Award from the City of Hope. He also enjoyed lecturing occasionally at the graduate schools of business at Stanford, UCLA, USC, and the University of Washington. He and Mary Ann were longtime supporters of the Hoover Institute and active Stanford alumni, sports fans, and volunteers.
Jack’s personal interests were as rich and varied as his professional life. An avid golfer, he was an active member of both the Los Angeles Country Club and The Vintage Club, where he formed some of his closest friendships. He was also a member of the Bohemian Club, and enjoyed many meaningful weekends at club events with family and friends. Malibu held a special place in his heart, where he loved to swim, sail, take strolls along the beach, and simply watch the pelicans fly past. Music was another lifelong passion, with evenings often spent at LA Philharmonic concerts alongside Mary Ann. He was known to break into spontaneous singing performances of his own, which were a delight to all who heard them.
Jack's legacy lives on through his loving family. He is survived by his devoted wife, Mary Ann; his twin Jerry and younger siblings Horace and Hilde Heidt; his son John K. Heidt and his wife Donna; and his daughter Ann Sebastian and her husband Steve. His cherished grandchildren include Gregory Heidt and his wife Emily, Rachel (Heidt) Crowley and her husband Ryan, Jonathan Sebastian, Julie (Heidt) Lee and her husband Eric, Katherine (Sebastian) Flacks and her husband Brian, and Christopher Sebastian and his wife Sarah. Jack also leaves behind great-grandchildren who brought him immense joy: Isabel and George Heidt; and Lauren, Anthony and Ava Crowley.
A celebration of life will be held at Westwood United Methodist Church at 1:00 p.m. on January 23, 2024, with reception to follow at the Los Angeles Country Club. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations are welcome at the St. John’s Health Center Foundation, 2121 Santa Monica Blvd. Santa Monica, CA 90404.
St. John's Health Center Foundation