Current Issue

Mar.23, 2011

Vol. 111, No. 9


Christopher J. Heller ’59

Published in the Mar.23, 2011, issue

Chris, a general and vascular surgeon, died Aug. 4, 2010, at his home in Tucson from residual complications of lung cancer that he first encountered — and battled successfully — in 1987.

Born in Washington, D.C., Chris prepared for Princeton at Deerfield Academy. At Princeton he majored in chemistry and joined Charter Club, where he was renowned for his poker prowess. Following graduation, Chris went on to Johns Hopkins and then to University Hospitals of Cleveland for his surgical residency, which was interrupted by his marriage to Geneva Crinellaro in 1966. His Army induction and a year in Vietnam followed completion of his residency.

Released from active duty in 1970, Chris moved his family to Tucson and never looked back. Described by the Arizona Daily Star as “part country doctor, part frontiersman, and part visionary,” Chris was a Renaissance man — cow and calf ranching on his 15,000-acre spread in the Chiricahua Mountains, riding and hunting, coaching boys’ sports, teaching, and gardening. In 1987 he co-founded Medical Information Data Systems, a company that grew from six to over 200 employees, providing resource-management software to hospitals. In 1993 he began a plant nursery and landscaping business.

Chris is survived by Geneva, six children, and nine grandchildren. We have sent condolences.

The Class of 1959

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CURRENT ISSUE: Mar.23, 2011

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