Leon Morse Hecht Jr. died on December 13, 2018 in his home in Madison Wisconsin, just a few days after his 99th birthday. He is survived by his wife, Jeanne, of 69 years and their children Elizabeth and Leon. He will be buried in Temple Cemetery in Nashville, TN.
Born December 9, 1919, in Nashville Tennessee, Leon earned a masters degree in chemical engineering from Vanderbilt University. His love for travel began after graduation, when he explored and toured the U.S. in a Model-T with hometown friends. Leon served as a naval engineer in the Philippines during 1940-1944, repairing ships coming in for servicing. After the war, Leon began working as a chemical engineer for Seagram's in Lexington, Kentucky and then Godchaux Sugar in Reserve, La. He met and married Jeanne Fogel in New Orleans in 1950. Leon and Jeanne moved to Stamford CT where he worked for Pitney Bowes for the next 35 years, becoming an expert in inks and plastics for postage stamp machines. Leon's passion for sailing began when his children were young and he purchased his first boat, a wooden 19' Lightning, and would take his young family out for day sails and flounder fishing for dinner. Eventually Leon bought a 1975 Sabre 28 sailboat that he sailed for the next 30 years, enjoying cruising and racing in Long Island Sound. Leon and Jeanne travelled extensively after his retirement, exploring Southeast Asia, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East, often decorating their home with artistic finds.
Leon was a distinguished southern gentleman in the best sense of the words, and a progressive thinker. Like his father, he was endlessly curious, wondering how things worked, why people would do and think as they did, and tried to keep up with the digital age (he had a laptop computer and cell phone!). He read extensively on current events, politics, new inventions and medical innovation. He stated that if he had known he was going to live for 36 years after retirement he would have studied geology. The one regret he expressed in his last few days was that he would not outlive Jeanne, not be able to stay and care for her.
We will take good care of her Dad! We miss you!