Dr. Frederick George Heller, of Warner, NH and formerly of Quincy, MA, 72, died on July 28, 2014 after a long battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his children, his longtime partner, Elizabeth Griffey, and his beloved boxers, Dusty & Copper.
Fred was born in Newark, NJ on March 1, 1942, son of Irving and Sally (Freidman) Heller and spent his childhood years in Hillside, NJ. After Graduation from Lafayette College in 1964, and from New York Medical College in 1968, he served his country as a Captain in the United States Air Force at Griffiss AFB in Rome, NY, until his honorable discharge in 1972. Immediately following his service, he relocated to the Boston area and began practice as an orthopedic surgeon. Fred successfully practiced for nearly 40 years until his illness forced him to retire in 2012.
Fred is defined not by what he did for a living, but rather defined by the legacy he left behind with the people he served – his patients. His professional career was spent by immersing himself in the greater Quincy community and giving whatever help he could, medical or not, to whoever needed it the most, regardless of one’s resources. In a time when house-calls were a thing of the past, Dr. Heller was most comfortable providing personalized attentive and genuine care to his patients. His patients were his friends, and his friends were his patients. He approached his medical world with the same enthusiasm and energy that he approached his other passion – fixing stuff. Whether it was an engine, an old house, or some outdated piece of equipment, Fred tried to fix it. He spent his life researching the appropriate field, developing expertise, and then, tinkering to perfection. He was also deeply knowledgeable in the world of antiques and spent his lifetime researching and locating lost treasures.
In his earlier years, he was extremely well travelled; he spent three months camping and hunting in Uganda in the late 1960’s with his father, Irving, and then travelled Europe by motorcycle with a number of friends. His passion for his children is something he was very proud of. He did his best to pass along his interest in how and why things work to his children, and up until the end of his life, he assisted in many fix-it projects for his children. As a fixture at his children’s sporting events over the years, he developed lifetime friendships in the hockey and lacrosse worlds that continue today. He served on the Board of Trustees at St. Sebastian’s School where his three sons attended school at various times.
He adored his children, Philip and Alex (Evanovich) Heller, Benjamin and Amanda (Key) Heller, Joshua and Sarah (Daly) Heller, and Marisa Heller, his step-daughter Andrea Galligan, and his grandchildren, Thomas (deceased), Alexa, Jessie, Maxwell and Buster Heller. He is survived by his long-time partner, Elizabeth Griffey and by his former wife, Diane (Lafleur) Heller, his sister Ellen Goldberg, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
A celebration of Fred’s life will be held at The Tirrell Room, 254 Quarry Street, Quincy, MA on August 7, 2014 from 3-7 PM and is open to all. In lieu of flowers please send donations in Dr. Fred Heller’s name to the Kevin T. Mutch Scholarship Fund, c/o St. Sebastian’s School, 1191 Greendale Ave, Needham, MA 02492 (www.stsebs.org) .