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Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Charles Heller, 87

Charles Heller of Westport, a former department store executive, died Aug. 30 at home after battling lung cancer.  He was 87.

He was born in Beckley, West Virginia, son of the late Joseph and Sadie Heller. He earned his B.A. at Ohio State University and his MBA at Columbia University.

A self-made man, he enlisted in the U.S. Army as a private and rose to the rank of first lieutenant before completing his tour of duty. He went on to a career in retailing, working for Macy’s in New York and Higbee’s in Cleveland before moving to Westport to become president of Howlands, a New York-based junior department store with branches located throughout New England and the Tri-State area.

In 1975, he went on to be named president of the Baltimore-based Stewart & Company, where he worked closely with then-Mayor William Donald Schaefer to spearhead the renewal of downtown Baltimore as he completely remade Stewart’s downtown Howard Street location.

He left Baltimore in 1980 to return to his adopted home of Westport and become president of Seal, a Naugatuck-based manufacturing firm, where he led the company to record profits before facilitating the sale of the company.

Heller and his wife of 54 years, Betty Heller, traveled the world together until the onset of Parkinson’s Disease made travel all but impossible.

He is survived by his wife Betty and his children: David Heller and wife June of Miami, Florida; Emily Heller of Washington, D.C.; and Carter Heller and wife Anjanette of San Carlos, California. He is also survived by grandchildren Madeline Heller, Maxwell Heller, Curtis Heller, Drew Bixel, Hayley Powers, Michael Powers, Dylan Heller and Cade Heller, as well as his niece and nephew, Jill and Mark Rubin. He was predeceased by his sister Shirley Cantor.

Services were held on Wednesday, Sept. 2 at Temple Israel in Westport, with internment at the Temple Israel Cemetery in Norwalk.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions may be made to the American Parkinson Disease Association, Inc. http://www.apdaparkinson.org.

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Posted 09/02/15 at 01:54 PM  Permalink



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