Arthur Charles Heitzman, 92, peacefully passed away on Thursday, July 11, 2013 in Katy, Texas with his loving daughter, Lisa, at his side. Arthur was born on May 18, 1921 in Weehawken, New Jersey to Charles R. Heitzman and Mildred E. Lynch Heitzman. He is preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Robert J. Heitzman and Charles R. Heitzman, Jr. Arthur's childhood was spent in Union City and then Cliffside Park, NJ, where he graduated high school, and met his future wife, Lucille von Dohren. He earned a scholarship to attend General Motors Institute majoring in Industrial Engineering. After graduation in 1944, he enlisted in...
Arthur Charles Heitzman, 92, peacefully passed away on Thursday, July 11, 2013 in Katy, Texas with his loving daughter, Lisa, at his side.
Arthur was born on May 18, 1921 in Weehawken, New Jersey to Charles R. Heitzman and Mildred E. Lynch Heitzman. He is preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Robert J. Heitzman and Charles R. Heitzman, Jr.
Arthur's childhood was spent in Union City and then Cliffside Park, NJ, where he graduated high school, and met his future wife, Lucille von Dohren. He earned a scholarship to attend General Motors Institute majoring in Industrial Engineering. After graduation in 1944, he enlisted in the US Navy, serving in active duty for two years in the Pacific fleet as a navigator during World War II with the rank of Lieutenant (jg). Arthur's sea adventures continued with a year as a Merchant Marine officer.
Pursuing a consuming fascination with photography that began in childhood, Arthur attended the School of Modern Photography in New York City in early 1948. After working with several prestigious photographers including Alan Fontaine in New York and British portraitist, Baron, Arthur decided upon professional portraiture as a career. Arthur and Lucille married in September 1948 and the following year opened Arthur Heitzman Photography in their hometown of Cliffside Park. In 1959, Arthur and his family moved to Houston to join Gittings, Inc., a premier portrait photography firm, after mentor Adolf "Papa" Fassbender recommended Arthur to Paul Linwood Gittings. He became Chief Photographer at Gittings by 1965 and retired in 1986 as Senior Vice President and Director of Photography. Arthur remained active in photography for several years following serving as a consultant.
Arthur was acclaimed as "the dean of fine photographic portraiture", traveling the world photographing many subjects including a number of celebrities and dignitaries. The pinnacle of his career came in 1975 when Arthur photographed Sophia Loren in Paris, to provide a portrait of her for a Neiman-Marcus marketing campaign. The resulting portrait later became Arthur's signature work. As a member of the Professional Photographers of America he earned merits for his portraits and for teaching advanced portraiture techniques to others internationally, which earned him the PPA degrees of Master of Photography in 1967 and Photographic Craftsman in 1974. Arthur was awarded a Fellowship in the British Institute of Photography in 1975 and was inducted into the elite Cameracraftsmen of America in 1981. He was also a member of the American Society of Photographers, the Professional Photographer's Guild of Houston, and other photographic organizations.
A lifelong passion for music led Arthur to amass an extensive collection of classical music recordings and to sing with the Houston Symphony Chorus for 34 years, which afforded him other travel opportunities in Mexico and Europe. He was a student of the piano for most of his life having won piano competitions in his youth and taking advanced lessons in retirement to polish his playing skills. Arthur and Lucille regularly attended symphony, opera, and ballet performances in Houston.
Gardening brought Arthur much joy, especially in sharing the beauty of his rose garden with others. This love merged with that of photography during his early career as he provided pictures and articles for several gardening magazines in the late 1950s, and he loved to photograph his flowers in retirement.
Arthur was kind, grateful, and the perfect gentleman. He had a contagious laugh that showed his love of life and its adventures. He was a real "people person", enjoying meeting new people and conversing with others. His gracious spirit showed through to the end.
Arthur is survived by his wife of almost 65 years, Lucille; son Eric Heitzman and his wife, Anita, of College Station; daughter Laura Marlowe and her husband, Michael, of Allen; and daughter Lisa Mitschke and her husband, Greg, of Katy. Surviving grandchildren are Karin Heitzman Peters, Drew Mitschke, Emily Mitschke, Miranda Marlowe, and Meredith Marlowe, and great-granddaughter Morgan Peters.
Arthur's family wishes to extend their sincere appreciation to those caregivers who have served him over the past four years, particularly the staff of Evergreen Cottages for their exceptionally compassionate care in Arthur's final days.
A memorial service in the chapel of Waltrip Funeral Directors at 2:00pm on Thursday, July 25 followed a private committal at Woodlawn Garden of Memories.
Memorial contributions may be made to Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, (www.medicalservicedogs.com