Leroy Roman Hieger, 87, passed away on June 18th at Trinity Care Center in Round Rock, Texas. He was born on August 20th,1931 in Andale, Kansas, to Paul and Anna Scheer Hieger.
Roy attended the University of Kansas School of Medicine where he received the degree of Doctor of Medicine (MD) in 1957. He joined the Army Medical Corp in 1957, and then completed his Pathology residency. Roy served in Vietnam and was a two-time recipient of the Legion of Merit for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements. He retired in 1977, achieving the rank of Colonel.
Following his retirement from the Army, Roy began work for the University of Texas Health Center at Tyler as Professor and Chairman of the Pathology Department, where he stayed for 22 happy years. In the words of someone who worked closely with him for ten of those years, his "openness, kindness, compassion, giving, and understanding are like none other". Another member of the department wrote to him "Thank you for being kind and gentle and fair and for keeping things in perspective. Thank you for making me laugh and never making me cry." Even after his retirement in 1998, he continued to work part-time at the Health Center for several years, commuting from Round Rock whenever he was needed.
Roy married Helen Charlene Brewer in 1951 in Wichita, Kansas after meeting her in their college Human Biology class. They were married for 68 years. He enjoyed ballroom dancing with Charlene, oil painting, and music (especially Santana). He was also a gifted gardener, having the ability to turn any yard into a lush, colorful haven. But his greatest joy for many years was collecting Carnival Glass. He spent countless hours scouring eBay, searching antique shops and attending conventions in the pursuit of rare and beautiful pieces of glass. Roy was an active member of the Texas Carnival Glass Club, the Heart of America Carnival Glass Association, and the International Carnival Glass Association. He received the 2005 Whitley Award from the Texas Carnival Glass Club after serving as president of both the Texas and International organizations. The award honors those who give of their time and knowledge to benefit the carnival glass collecting hobby and collectors over many years.
Roy is survived by his spouse Charlene; his brother Wayne Hieger of Andale, Kansas; his daughter Kim Smith of Cedar Park, Texas; his daughter Suzanne (J.T.) Pundt of Tyler, Texas; his son Collin (Cynthia) Hieger of Nassau Bay, Texas; his grandchildren Jennifer Smith, Dana Pundt-Barbosa, Carlyn Pundt and Conner Hieger; his great-grandchildren Audrey Pundt-Barbosa and Azalea Pundt-Barbosa; and his niece and nephews and other relatives. He will be remembered by his family for his warmth, resilience, and easy infectious laugh.
At his request, a private memorial service will be held in the fall to celebrate his life. In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations be made to the American Civil Liberties Union (www.aclu.org) or Planned Parenthood (www.plannedparenthood.org).