Erica Heymann Hecht, 94, passed away peacefully in her Atlanta home Sept. 29, 2020, surrounded by the love of an adoring family. Born in March 1926, she was the daughter of William and Johanna Heymann, originally of Odenkirchen, Germany. Her family departed Germany in 1939, and, following a year in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the Heymann family immigrated to Buffalo, N.Y., in 1940.
Six years later, in January 1946, she met her husband-to-be Joel Hecht at a German-Jewish dance party in Buffalo. They were married the following August, a beautiful partnership that thrived for 62 years until his death in 2008. Together, Erica and Joel created a unique first-generation American story. For Erica, family was everything. She was wise, loving, capable and giving.
Erica and Joel moved from Buffalo to Atlanta in 1977. Their two daughters were already located in Atlanta, and “Joel was delighted to abandon the frigid Buffalo winters,” Erica would often say. She quickly became an active volunteer in Atlanta community activities. She worked at the Northside Hospital nursery and managed the Temple Sinai gift shop for many years. In the life of her children, she was a frequent Brownie leader and room mother for the girls at school. Known as “Mimi” to four grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren, there was no greater delight than celebrating holidays with the entire family at her home in Sandy Springs.
In addition to her parents and husband, Joel, Erica was pre-deceased by her brother, Walter Heymann. She is survived by her two daughters and their spouses, Diane “Deedee” Hamburger (Marc) and Jacqueline “Jacquie” Sacks (Harvey); grandchildren Caroline Hecht Leavitt (David Mann), Richard Hecht Zatcoff (Farrah), Jeffrey Hecht Sacks (Jessica) and Amy Hecht Zeide (Aaron); seven great-grandsons and four great-granddaughters; plus her sister-in law, three nephews and spouses.
Special thanks to wonderful caregivers Carolyn Haywood and Marlene Edwards Handley, who loved her and cared for her with total devotion. The family requests that any contributions in Erica’s memory be directed to the Richard and Edith Hecht Memorial Fund for Holocaust Education at the Breman Jewish Heritage Museum, 1440 Spring St., NW, Atlanta, GA 30309 or to Weinstein Hospice, 3150 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta, GA 30327. Due to COVID-19, funeral services were limited to immediate family only. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.