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Ted Heck, 94, travel writer

Ted Heck, 94, of Rydal, a former marketing consultant and travel writer, died Nov. 11 of heart failure at Abington Hospice at Warminster.

Ted Heck, 94, of Rydal, a former marketing consultant and travel writer, died Nov. 11 of heart failure at Abington Hospice at Warminster.

Mr. Heck's business career included service with advertising agencies N.W. Ayer & Son and Lewis & Gilman, and others for whom he developed new products or extended already existing markets.

He promoted products such as Klondike ice cream bars, Domino sugar, Tastykake, Brik Pak (a type of carton), Reddi-wip topping, Parmalat (a process to extend the shelf life of milk), Campbell's Soup, and Land O'Lakes milk.

He came up with innovative ideas in business, such as a special scorecard for football officials and a teaching aid for bridge players.

He spent more than a decade ending in the early 1990s as a marketing vice president for Lehigh Valley Dairies. While there, he got word that a ski columnist had left his job and had recommended that Mr. Heck replace him.

An avid skier, Mr. Heck jumped at the chance, and began a second career as a business and travel writer.

He was ski columnist for the Harrisburg Patriot-News and contributor to, a winter sports website. Mr. Heck also was editor and publisher of the Blue Book of European Ski Resorts. He retired in the late 1990s.

In an undated piece posted on the Golf Ski & Travel website, Mr. Heck held forth on why he sought out places to ski in the Jungfrau, Mönch and Eiger mountains of Switzerland.

"A skiing friend asks 'Why Europe?' when snow in the American west is better than in the Alps and matchless in how it is groomed," he wrote. "True, but ah, the ambience abroad. Charming and quaint villages, castles, culturally rich cities, strange accents, change of pace, even a chance to see relatives."

Born in Bethlehem, Pa., Mr. Heck graduated from Liberty High School. He played football and wrestled at Lehigh University, from which he eventually graduated with a bachelor's and a master's degree.

Mr. Heck interrupted his studies to enlist in the Army in late June 1944 during World War II. He fought as a platoon leader and company commander with the infantry in the Rhineland and central Europe and later was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Air Medal.

The Air Medal recognized Mr. Heck's quick thinking to help alter the plan of action when he was flying in a reconnaissance plane under attack, his son, Todd, said his father recalled.

In 2014, 70 years after the war, Mr. Heck went to the French Embassy in Washington to receive the Legion of Honor for his service toward the liberation of France. "He was thrilled and honored to receive that recognition," his son said.

While a business executive, Mr. Heck volunteered for the United Way, Explorer Scouts, Junior Achievement and various civic associations. He served on the board of the Pennsylvania Ski and Winter Sports Museum, Stroudsburg, Pa.

A longtime member of Manufacturers Golf and Country Club in Fort Washington, he also was active in the tennis and bridge programs of Philmont Country Club, Huntingdon Valley. He continued to ski and play tennis into his 90s.

He was married to Elizabeth Butterfield Heck. They divorced in 1978, but stayed friends. She died in February.

In addition to his son, he is survived by a daughter, Barbara "Bobbie" Butterfield; his fiancee, Constance Abend; a brother; and several nieces and nephews.

Services were private.