Jack Heeger, Former Jewelry Editor, Dies

Jack J. Heeger, 78, of Napa, Calif., who was affiliated with the California Jewelers Association for more than 35 years as its public relations consultant, died Friday, July 3, 2009, at his home, following a battle with cancer.

Heeger also served as West Coast editor for Professional Jeweler magazine and as a contributing editor for JCK, and for several years was a member of the North American team that represented the World Watch and Jewellery Show in Basel. 

Some of Heeger’s work for JCK can be read here.

Heeger, a longtime Southern California public relations executive and journalism professor, spent nearly 40 years in public relations, serving with several Los Angeles agencies and later as vice president of public affairs for Sunkist Growers Inc. After achieving an MBA degree at age 55, he embarked on an academic career, teaching public relations and journalism at California State University, Long Beach. He retired in 1992 and was elevated to emeritus status.

Heeger was born Oct. 18, 1930, in Sioux City, Iowa, He worked briefly for the Sioux City Journal, moved to Los Angeles in 1954, and worked for UPI before entering the public relations field. He served in the U. S. Marine Corps from 1951 through 1953.

He retired to Napa, Calif., where he edited copy and wrote a weekly column about wine and feature stories for the Napa Valley Register, and also wrote for several wine publications.

He is survived by his wife, Heddy; three children: Lloyd (Leah), Dallas; Marshall (Oksana), Fairfax, Va.; and Laurie Averitt (Darren), Monrovia, Calif.; three step-children: Ymke Swierstra, Santa Maria, Calif., Andrew Swierstra (Charlyene), San Ramon, Calif., and Lynda Puerling (Thomas), Santa Maria, Calif.; a sister, Maita Sadoff, Sioux City; and 10 grandchildren and step-grandchildren. 

He was predeceased by his first wife, Fern, who died in 1987.