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John Heieck


Meet John Heieck

The oldest of 5 children, I was born in Auburn, N.Y and my earliest memories center around a mixed Jewish-Irish Catholic neighborhood in the inner city of Boston.  I was raised in the same house in which my mother was born, went to the same elementary school and was taught by some of the same nuns.  

In 1952, we emigrated to California, traveling on the famous "Route 66". We settled east of L.A. in the San Gabriel Valley in the foothills of the Sierra Madre. 

I have always played cards--all kinds of games, and thought that pinochle the best. My Dad and I would play for hours. But that ended when I was first exposed to bridge in the spring semester of my freshman year of college--I never "looked back". 

While attending a small men's college in a rural area in the Bay Area, on those weekends when there were no social events, the "Gang of 12" would play bridge every Friday and Saturday night until dawn the next day.  The same 12 guys played for 3 years--and we played for money! The winnings went into the "pot"--not to an individual. When the "pot" became large enough, the gang would go to Chinatown for a banquet in a private room--so nobody really "lost." 

The first 2 years of med school were too time consuming to do anything but study. The last 2 years of clinical clerkships were less demanding of time and I did play some bridge. After 3 years of a general surgery residency (no bridge play), Uncle Sam called me into the Army where I was stationed in the Wound Ballistics Lab in a small base north base of Baltimore.                                  

During my 2 years there, I only played bridge 2-3 times. It was a difficult time in the bridge world. In England, There was a huge cheating scandal and consequently, the local club in Washington D.C. had partitions at each table so players couldn't see each other--I didn't like it. 

Four weeks after my military discharge, I was "best man" at my friend's wedding in a small town in MN. There, I met my future wife, Sheila. Six weeks later we became engaged and we married 3 months later. This December, we celebrate our 48th anniversary--proud parents of 6 children and  8 grandchildren.  

After finishing my plastic surgery training in Houston TX, Sheila & I returned to Omaha, NE to establish my practice to begin our family.  

Initially, I tried to play bridge but failed due to family and practice demands.   Five days after I retired, I found the closest bridge club and reintroduced myself to the fascinating game that I once loved....... 

In 2015, Sheila and I moved to Tucson to be with our second daughter and her family. And here we are today----each playing her/his love......Sheila--golf......John—bridge.