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In Passing

In Passing
Charles R. Heising Print E-mail
By Joan DuBois   
September 23, 2009
Charles R. Heising (1925-2009)
Charles Raymond Heising, a solid Class A player who competed in numerous Continental Chess Association tournaments for decades, died on September, 7, 2009 of lymphoma at his home in Berwyn, Pennsylvania. He was 84. He was born July 6, 1925 in Newark, New Jersey, and graduated from Summit (N.J.) High School. He earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York in 1945. In that same year, he began a 38-year career with the General Electric Co., first graduating from that company's engineering program in 1950. He was a controls designer for turbojet engines, first at GE's plant in Lynn, Massachusetts, and then at the company's operation in Evandale, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati. While living in Ohio, he tied for first place in 1956 in the Tri-State Chess Championship, co-sponsored by the Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia chess associations.From 1960 to 1962, he was stationed in Thule, Greenland, working on an early-warning radar system. GE then sent him to Houston, Texas, where from 1962 to 1966 he oversaw reliability management for NASA's Apollo spacecraft program. It was there in Houston on March 28, 1964 that he played Bobby Fischer in a simultaneous exhibition, losing to the U.S. champion in 47 moves of a Ruy Lopez Opening. In 1966, Mr. Heising moved to GE's switchgear division in southwest Philadelphia, where he remained until he retired in 1983. He was then a consulting engineer, dealing with the reliability of power transmission and distribution equipment. Mr. Heising was the principal author of a reliability handbook, used in the design of industrial and commercial power systems. In 1981, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) awarded him its standards medallion for that handbook.
Mr. Heising's activity in chess was extensive. Besides competing in many World Opens - the last one being in 1999 - he also took part in many National Chess Congresses, Liberty Bell Opens and Philadelphia Opens. In 1993, he played in the U.S. Open when it was held in Philadelphia. He also enjoyed correspondence chess and played in the Correspondence Chess League of America. He competed  quite a few times in the U.S. Correspondence Chess Championship Finals. More than 20 years ago, he boasted of an expert's rating. At the time of his death, his USCF rating was 1871.
He leaves his wife of 44 years, Grace (Effler) Heising; a son, Ray Heising; a daughter, Joy Heising; and a sister, Mary Ausman.
Obituary submitted by George Mirijanian, Publications Coordinator - Massachusetts Chess Association.

Charles R. Heising - May you rest in peace.