Theodore E. Heidenreich Jr.

Posted:  Tuesday, October 9, 2018 - 8:15am

Theodore (Ted) Emil Heidenreich Jr., 95, of Exeter, New Hampshire died Sept. 27, 2018 after a long illness.

Ted was born in New York City on March 14, 1923, to Marion (Gregson) and Theodore Emil Heidenreich. 

Ted grew up in New York and Pennsylvania and graduated from Germantown Academy, then located in Philadelphia. He enrolled at Colgate College in 1941. When the U.S. entered World War II, he joined the ski troops and was then accepted into the Army Specialized Training (AST) program of the Army Air Corp. When the AST disbanded, he joined the 97th division of the Army Infantry and served in France, Czechoslovakia, and Germany. He, with other soldiers, received the Bronze Star for the Battle of the Rhineland. Following service in Europe, he was sent to the Pacific. In route, the Japanese surrendered; and Ted served in the occupation of Japan.

After the war, he graduated from Colgate College as an English major. His love of reading and writing stayed with him through life. At Colgate, he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta. A fraternity brother introduced him to Jane Hess, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, whom he married in 1948. Ted and Jane recently celebrated their 70th anniversary. 

Ted worked in sales, initially for the Marathon Corp, then for the Edwin J. Schoettle Co of Philadelphia. In 1956, at Ted's request, Schoettle sent him to New England to introduce their products to the region. Five years later, Ted and Jane launched Packaging Products Corporation (PPC), specializing in packaging for seafood and other perishables. PPC's first office was in Ted and Jane's home in Scituate, Massachusetts.

Ted's work took him to the commercial waterfronts and fisheries of New England. He was eventually joined at PPC by his cousin and business partner, Robert Heidenreich. Later, son Ted Heidenreich III joined the company, which continues today under his direction, serving customers from Maine to Key West.

Ted and Jane raised their family in Scituate while enjoying sailing, fishing, and power boating. Ted was a member of the First Trinitarian Congregational Church and the Scituate Harbor Yacht Club. He also served on several town committees. An avid sailor in his early years in Scituate, Ted raced in the summer and competed in “frostbiting” in the winter. In the early 1960s, he crewed on a sailboat in the Newport to Bermuda Race with The Corinthians, an offshore sailing group. With New England sailors, he founded the New England Fleet of the Corinthians. The friendships made in Scituate, on and off the water, lasted for the remainder of his life.

In addition to boating, Ted developed a love of photography, particularly ship portraits. Combining interests in sailing, writing, and marine photography; Ted wrote articles and supplied photos for Sailing Magazine. Sailing sent Ted to cover a regatta in the Netherland Antilles, and Jane joined him on the trip. After years of boating in the waters off Scituate and in Buzzards Bay, Ted and Jane took up cruising. Winters were spent studying nautical charts and summers “gunkholing” in Maine waters. Eventually, Ted and Jane navigated routes from Maine to Florida, visiting children, grandchildren and friends along the way. Throughout his decades of cruising, Ted named each of his boats Seaward, reflecting his preference to always be on or near the water.

After more than 30 years in Scituate, Ted and Jane retreated to Sanibel, Florida where they enjoyed hosting friends and family, particularly their grandchildren. On Sanibel, they made friends in their neighborhood, the Sanibel Congregational Church, the Power Squadron of Ft. Myers, and the Captiva Yacht Club. Summers were spent in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. Again, their involvement with neighbors, the local congregational church, and boating organizations enriched their lives.

In addition to his wife, Ted leaves his daughter, Marion Waters and her husband Bruce, of Hanover, New Hampshire; son, Ted and his wife Holly, of Duxbury, Massachusetts; and daughter Beth Gregg and her husband Michael, of Woolwich, Maine. He is also survived by six grandchildren, Britta Waters Pemberton and her husband Russell; Morgan Waters and his wife Laurel; Tedra Heidenreich Leonard and her husband Wayne; Gretta Heidenreich McGrath; Braeden Gregg, and Kimberly Gregg.

Ted was predeceased by Gretta's beloved husband, Taurin McGrath. He is also survived by three great grandchildren.

A memorial service in memory of Ted will be held on Friday, Oct. 19 at 3 p.m., at the Congregational Church of Boothbay Harbor, 125 Townsend Ave, Boothbay Harbor. A reception will follow. 

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to either: The Jane and Ted Heidenreich Scholarship Fund (education grants for Boothbay area students - BRSAF, P.O. Box 293, Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538), or Spencer Scholarship Fund (advanced education scholarships for nurses - c/o Riverwoods, 7 Riverwoods Drive, Exeter, NH 03833).