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1927 Herb 2024

Zindel Herbert Heller, Ph.D.

January 3, 1927 — April 6, 2024


On April 6, 2024, Zindel Herbert “Herb” Heller, age 97, passed away peacefully. Born on January 3, 1927, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY to Harry and Sadie Heller. He had two sisters, Shirley, born in 1917, and Martha, born in 1919. Many of his most vivid childhood memories were growing up during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Herb attended Boy’s High in Brooklyn, where he received high marks for academic excellence.  It was clear that he had a gift for learning, especially science. He attended Brooklyn College, but his studies were interrupted by a stint in the Navy, which he had enlisted on his 18th birthday, January 3, 1945. After the service, he returned to complete his studies and received a Bachelor of Science degree.

In August 1947, Herb married Elaine Gladstone and the newlyweds moved to West Lafayette, Indiana, where Herb entered the graduate program in Physics at Purdue University. Their daughter Wendy was born in October 1950. Herb became a teaching fellow and eventually received a Master’s degree, before moving back to New York City in 1952. Upon their return, Herb worked in industry for a succession of companies, including Radio Receptor and Sperry Gyroscope, as it was then called. The young family lived in Queens. His son Daniel was born in July 1954 and the family moved out to Plainview, Long Island in December 1954.

To be closer to home, Herb took a position with Airborne Instruments Laboratory (a division of Cutler Hammer) in Melville, New York where he worked for many years. To further his career, he enrolled at Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn (Brooklyn Poly) where he matriculated in the Physics Department, receiving his Ph.D. in 1965.

During this time, Herb and Elaine involved themselves with their children’s education and extracurricular activities, such as bowling, attending Little League games and piano lessons, as well as visits to the grandparents.

In 1970, Herb accepted a job with Technicon in Tarrytown, NY, in the emerging field of Biomedical Technology. It was a long drive to Westchester, which he did every morning carpool-fashion. Then, at the beginning of 1972, he moved on to Perkin-Elmer Corp. in Norwalk, Connecticut. He would work in Norwalk all week and drive back to Long Island on the weekends. In the spring of 1972, he received an offer from American Hospital Supply’s Dade Division as Director of Research and Development, so the family moved to Miami in July of that year.

In addition to his work-related accomplishments, Herb became an adjunct Professor at the University of Miami, where he gave lectures and workshops.

Herb had many interests besides science, including classical music, sailing, travel, reading history and biography, and visiting museums. He took memberships in the Miami Philharmonic and the Chamber Music Society, whose concerts he attended faithfully for many years.

In 1986, Elaine passed away suddenly. Four years later, Herb met Melba (Brammer) Hicks. They married in November 1990. In January 1991, they moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, where he went to work for Behringer Mannheim, where he continued to work until his retirement in 1993. He received many awards and patents for his work.

Herb and Melba led an active life together, including family events, synagogue (Herb) and church (Melba) attendance, annual trips to Florida and then semi-annual trips to New York and vacations overseas. Herb and Melba were married for 33 years.

Herb was preceded in death by his parents; sisters; wives, Elaine Gladstone and Melba Brammer Hicks; and grandson, Brandon Johnson. He is survived by his two children, Wendy Heller of Croton Falls, NY and Daniel Heller of Medellin, Columbia; three stepchildren, Sharon Blair (Scott) of Indianapolis, Darren Hicks of Indianapolis, and Glenn Hicks (Sherry) of English, IN; grandson, Ryan Johnson of Indianapolis; and great-granddaughter, Lily Johnson of St. Paul, Indiana.

Visitation will be held from 1 - 2 PM on Wednesday, April 10th at Aaron-Ruben-Nelson Mortuary, 11411 North Michigan Road with a funeral service to follow at 2 PM. Herb will then be laid to rest in Congregation Beth-El Zedeck North Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to Congregation Beth-El Zedeck.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Zindel Herbert Heller, Ph.D., please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

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