Dr. Robert Heckel

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of longtime faculty member Clinical Associate Professor Robert Heckel, DDS (DEN ‘57). 

A graduate of the School of Dental Medicine (DEN ‘57), Dr. Heckel also served the United States Navy Submarine Force from 1957-1962. Stationed at Norfolk, Virginia and Jacksonville, Florida during the Cuban Missile Crisis, he achieved the rank of lieutenant commander. 

After retiring from private practice in 2005, Dr. Heckel was asked to serve as a clinical associate professor in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. He served in that role until earlier this year, and he was proud to have been the oldest person ever to have held the position. He cherished and enjoyed teaching, and in recognition of his dedication, each year an outstanding oral and maxillofacial surgery resident is presented with The Robert D. Heckel Award.

"Over the years, he became my confidant, mentor and friend. I could always turn to him for advice, as so many others did. He mentored dozens of residents, and will be missed by everyone." —Vice Dean Dale Baur