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Lewis Heicklen, 101, Philanthropist, Community Leader

August 24, 2006
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Lewis Heicklen, 101, a retired executive who supported many charities, died Aug. 6. He was a resident of Philadelphia.

Raised in Berwick, Pa., Heicklen attended the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. While a student there, he was first violinist of the university orchestra.

He began his business career at the Payes Shoe Company in Philadelphia, followed by the establishment of the Lewis Heicklen Sales Company in New York. He commuted daily from Philadelphia for 35 years.

His company became part of the G.R. Kinney Corporation, where he was later elected vice president. He was a member of the executive board of the Kinney-Woolworth Company.

After Heicklen's retirement from the G.R. Kinney Corporation, he established several importing companies. He was among the first to bring footwear from Brazil and China to the U.S. market.

During World War II, he was a consultant to the Norwegian government assisting in designing army boots for their soldiers. He was a leader in the production of footwear for the U.S. armed forces.

Heicklen was president of Beth Sholom Congregation from 1956 to 1962, and was a member of the board of overseers of the Jewish Theological Seminary and its Patron Society.

He raised millions of dollars for Hadassah's medical work in Israel and supported many charities, including Federation Allied Jewish Appeal, Fordham University, Technion, Miami Jewish Home for the Aged and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. He was honored by both State of Israel Bonds and Hadassah.

Heicklen is survived by daughters Jane Zolot, Natalie Bogash and Sandy Kohn; nine grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; a great-great-grandchild; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his wife of 63 years, Betty Heicklen.

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