Heiler, Dr. James L.
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86, of Paradise Valley, AZ, passed away May 1, 2013, after a 10-day hospitalization for infection, acute high blood sugar, and other complications. He was predeceased by his eldest daughter Linda, and is survived by her husband, Dennis Vaughn. He is also survived by four other children and three of their spouses: Sherry and Matthew McCarville, Marla Heiler, Jay and Carol Heiler and Bob Heiler and Tina Wyant, as well as his friend of 60 years, Howard Hatoff of Boca Raton, FL. Jim is lovingly remembered for his strength of character, his dedication to family, his keen intelligence, his generosity, his quick wit and his courage in death. Born in 1926 in Bellevue, Ohio, in the midst of WW II, he was appointed to the United States Military Academy at West Point, from which he resigned before enlisting in the United States Navy. Following his military service he attended college and dental school at The Ohio State University, where he would meet, and after a three-week courtship, marry Sharlene Field (d.2006). He established a dental practice in Cincinnati, OH, where he donated dental services to numerous patients in the Catholic priesthood and sisterhood, law enforcement personnel, and people in difficult financial circumstances. He would later serve for a time with the federal health service practicing among Native Americans on an Arizona reservation. Other than his family, the driving passion of his life was the breeding, raising and racing of Thoroughbred horses. He was also an accomplished autodidact on topics as diverse as nutrition, history and hypnotism. He is also survived by 14 loving grandchildren: Craig and Catie Vaughn, Patrick, Andrew, Luke, Clare and Maggie McCarville, Joseph, Samuel, Teresa, George and Ben Heiler, and Jillian and Garrett Heiler. A memorial service will be held Friday, May 10 at 2 p.m. at St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church in Gilbert, AZ. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to
, whose tender care for Jim is deeply appreciated.
Published in The Arizona Republic on May 8, 2013