TRIBUTES TO THE REV. DR ROBERT HEILIGER|
From Kathleen Krug
Bob was the epitome of kindness, compassion, gentleness and was a great pastoral counselor. He never failed to take time to visit; he was always interested in how you were and what was going on in your life. Rest in peace, my friend.
From Linda Nachbauer
Encouraged by his unconditional love and light hearted spirit, it is with great sadness that I say, "until we meet again". Dr. Bob was truly a great colleague and dear friend, and will be sorely missed by all of us at PPI.
From Peg Neihaus
I want to express my condolences to each of you on the loss of this truly good man. What a gift it was to be able to work "next door" to him during my years at PPI.
He was there a long time, and others of you undoubtedly have so many more memories than I do. I got a flavor of that when Bob gave the talk at one of the PPI luncheons. What a generous spirit! Remember his April Fools gifts, and when he gave each of us a rock with a verse? The rock still sits on a shelf in my library, along with the framed "There is a Season" quote you gave me when I left PPI.
I'm sure there will be much reminiscing of Bob in the days ahead. Blessings to each of you as you mourn his passing.
From Stephen Boyd
I have known Rev. Dr. Bob for 28 years, as one of my models for what a professional Pastoral Counselor looks like. In my early years of formation, he reviewed my MBTI profile at PPI, and encouraged those beginning years of my training. I have had the pleasure of serving his parish over the last 20 years with those parishioners who he wanted me to see in my Oxford office. I know he is with us in Spirit encouraging us, as we continue the journey of Faith and Love, that he has modeled to us all.
From Sandy Morgenthal
To all Bob's family and loved ones and to all who loved him:
Bob was a strong, quiet, wise and gentle man. His caring was always apparent in his relationships and his work. His wonderful sense of humor amused us all and kept that special smile of his almost always there. I experienced the gift of meeting and working with Bob. We at PPI will sorely miss him and send our sincere condolences to his family.
From Dick Donnenwirth
First of all, Holly & the entire Heiliger family, please know that the loving prayers of each person at PPI are with you at this time of huge loss.
Goodness, it is hard not to portray Bob as larger than life. What's not to like about the guy! Bob joined Pastoral Psychotherapy Institute 28 years ago, just two years after it was first incorporated under the ownership of a psychologist. Then a few years later when we changed to non-profit with a community-based Board of Trustees, we had to rename as Professional Pastoral-Counseling Institute. And Bob set the model for what a Pastoral Counselor really is. He was the quintessential pastoral counselor: solid personal values, a strong pastoral identity, well-educated as a mental health professional and integrated with a clear theological stance.
One of the unique characteristics of Bob was that in all 28 years, I never heard him say an unkind thing about any other person. He considered that as close to gossip and gossip as tantamount to bearing false witness.
He did have a delightful & subtle sense of humor. At PPI we grew to look forward to April Fool's Day because he would always do something crazy. For example, early on while we were still owned by a woman psychologist, she came into my office mid-April 1 morning laughing. It had taken her a while to realize the source of her frustration. Everything on her desk was in perfect order except reversed - right to left & left to right - all compliments of Bob. One of our colleagues told me last week he had invited her help to do a pre-Xmas joke, but a week before Xmas had said they would have to wait until after the New Year began. And he never told her what he had in mind. I picture Bob's spirit smiling, "Gotcha, one last time!"
Bob was also known for little acts of kindnesses to many clients & colleagues often in humble anonymity. He also seemed to get along with everybody - no, even liked everybody & everybody liked him. That set the bar pretty high in a professional community of 16.
You know, we often emulate people we admire. Last week in going through Bob's office files I came across a sheet of paper with a yellow post-it note addressed to me. It was an obituary of Dr. Ruth Borofsky of Boston, Bob's therapist of long ago. It spoke of her strong belief in the healing power of love (and Bob did too). Most surprisingly, she died at age 95 and saw clients until a week before she died. And of course that is what Bob did. We all looked up to Bob, but as I said before he set the bar pretty high for us.
His physical presence in life had a great positive effect on all of us at PPI. Now in death, Bob's spirit is continuing to communicate with, and impact each of us. He will be greatly missed and long remembered!
From Clark Echols
I feel so blessed that Bob was my first professional Supervisor. He took it very seriously and so provided just the right balance of nurturing, advice, reflection, encouragement, and wisdom of experience. His quiet yet strong presence will be missed. I wish I had had many more April Fool's Days with him!