Jerry Murray HiegelMarch 8, 1927 ~ October 6, 2017 (age 90)
Madison - Jerry M. Hiegel, age 90, retired former CEO and Chairman of Oscar Mayer Foods Corp passed away at surrounded by the love of his family on Friday, October 6, 2017. A devoted civic leader, Jerry spent an inordinate amount of time on public and civic affairs once saying “Well, when you finish a career, you ought to have learned something. And I feel I can use that to make a contribution to some things.” He was praised for being a retired executive who remained in Wisconsin to use his skills for the public good, once saying he “was just trying to be useful.” He was a former Chairman of the board for United Way of Dane County, served as chairman of the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority, was involved with the Capital Funds Drive, a Madison business organization that coordinates contributions to charitable agencies, a recipient of the prestigious Tocqueville Society Award (Madison’s local society founded by Jerry and Oscar G. Mayer in 1990) and a Catholic Charities Award, Chairman of the American Meat Institute, was a Director Emeritus of Madison Symphony Orchestra, board member of Oakwood Retirement Community, and Edgewood College, and was a former Chair of an investment and management company. Jerry was described by colleagues and friends as “having a lot of character; a classy but unassuming man, constantly aware of how his actions affected colleagues.” Jerry was born on March 8, 1927 in Davenport, Iowa, the son of Leo Edward and Katharine Murray Hiegel. He graduated with a bachelors in 1949 from St. Ambrose College in Davenport, Iowa and was later awarded an honorary Ph.D. from there. Jerry also received a Master’s degree in business administration from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. On Aug. 20, 1949, Jerry was united in marriage with Dorothy Blaha in Chicago, Illinois and soon after started working for Oscar Mayer in the mailroom. He was a member of St. Patrick Catholic Church, St. Bernard and Holy Redeemer Church, Palm Desert, California. Jerry was an avid golfer and card player.
Jerry is survived by his eight loving children, Susan Stoneking (Marc Sabin) of Denver, Colo., Christine H. Lewis of Santa Barbara, Calif., Nancy (James) Aldrich of Madison, Gail McAdams of Santa Barbara, Calif., Mark J. Hiegel of Scottsdale, Ariz., Scott Hiegel of Washington, D.C., JoAnne Anderson and Sandy Hiegel of Madison; 20 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by sisters, Jill Manson (Don), Sally Brown (Jack) from California and many wonderful nieces and nephews.
Jerry was preceded in death by his wife of 55 years, Dorothy; parents, Katherine Murray and Leo E. Hiegel; sisters, Jean Fitzsimmons (Bob) of Davenport, Iowa, Kay Miclot ( Jerry) Arzenberger of Davenport, Iowa, and Nancy Lee Hiegel of Davenport Iowa. He was also preceded in death by his beloved grandson Travis Hiegel of Scottsdale, Arizona.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at ST. THOMAS AQUINAS CATHOLIC CHURCH, 602 Everglades Drive, Madison, WI 53717, on Tuesday, October 10 at 11:00am with Father Bart Timmerman presiding. A visitation will be held at the Church on Tuesday from 10:00am to until the time of the Mass. Private Inurnment will be held at Resurrection Catholic Cemetery.
Memorials may be made in Jerry’s name to the University of Wisconsin-Madison Waisman Center to aide in Parkinson’s research.
To view and sign this guestbook, please visit: www.ryanfuneralservice.com.
Joyce-Ryan Funeral Home
& Cremation Services
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