Dr. Erwin Hecker, a retired Baltimore obstetrician and gynecologist who was remembered for his compassionate and thorough care, died Jan. 11 from heart failure at his Pikesville home. He was 94.
“He was extremely compassionate and took great pride in the care of his patients. He was always interested in the total patient,” said Dr. Stephen H. Glasser, a Baltimore internist.
“He had many long-term patients because he was so meticulous in his care and he had good outcomes,” he said. “He was well respected, a good friend and a good guy to be around.”
Born in Baltimore, Erwin Hecker was the son of Lewis Hecker, a salesman, and Ella Posner Hecker, a milliner.
Dr. Hecker moved with his family to Washington in 1926 and was a 1941 graduate of Central High School. He then entered Tulane University and a year later, was assigned to the Navy’s V-12 Program, also at Tulane.
He was a 1944 Phi Beta Kappa graduate and earned his medical degree in 1947 from the Tulane University School of Medicine, where he was a member of the AOA Medical Honor Society.
From 1947 to 1948, he interned at Garfield Memorial Hospital in Washington; he was an OB-GYN resident at the old Sinai Hospital in East Baltimore from 1949 to 1950, when he was called to active naval duty and served in Korea.
Dr. Hecker, who had attained the rank of lieutenant, was later assigned to Guam, his last duty station, before returning to Sinai, where he completed his OB-GYN training.
In 1954, he established a solo OB-GYN practice and had offices on Read Street, on Liberty Road in Randallstown and at Sinai Hospital.
“I’ve known him since 1977 when I went into practice and he was the most popular OB-GYN at Sinai at that time,” said Dr. Glasser, who lives in Mount Washington.
“He had been excellently trained and was a very talented surgeon. He had a very devoted following and his patients came to him for years,” he said. “Back in an era before so much specialization, many of his OB-GYN patients used him for their regular physician. He was their general doctor.”
Dr. Hecker was seldom without his pipe, Dr. Glasser said.
“Erwin really enjoyed smoking that pipe,” he said. “He was a gregarious guy, but could be quite serious. He was a very interesting person who had a dry sense of humor.”
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The longtime Pikesville resident, who retired in 1997, enjoyed traveling, gardening and collecting Lionel model trains.
“He had a great love of the arts and was quite literary. He really was in so many ways a Renaissance man,” Dr. Glasser said. “He liked traveling and liked the opera. He lived a very interesting life and lived that way until the end.”
He is survived by two sons, Stephen Alan Hecker of Lutherville and Gary A. Hecker of Landenberg, Pa.; a daughter, Julie Beth Hecker of Long Valley, N.J.; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.