John F. Heller Jr. ’47
B.A., Denison University
Citation awarded May, 1997
Jack Heller has combined a distinguished business career with an exceptional record of volunteerism. After serving as an officer in the U.S. navy in World War II, he completed his Denison degree, pursued graduate studies at the Ohio State University, and entered the insurance industry. He was among the first in the country to earn the designation of Chartered property and Casualty Underwriter. In 1955 Jack started the property division of Republic Franklin Insurance Company, and retired as President and CEO in 1987. He served throughout his career on a number of committees for the insurance industry, always promoting education.
Jack’s commitment to community service has been continual. In the 1960s he served as a Trustee of the Central Ohio Transit Authority during its formative period. He has worked on behalf of the United Way and many other charities, including Big Brothers of Franklin County. From 1985 through 1994, Jack served on the Board of Hospice of Licking County, helping to spearhead the growth of this very vital organization. He served two years as President, during which time he started an endowment fund that today exceeds one million dollars.
During his retirement, Jack has volunteered extensively for Denison, serving as president’s Associates City Chair, Capital Campaign Volunteer, Class of 1947 Secretary/Treasurer, and currently as Golden Anniversary Reunion Co-Manager. Jack and his wife Jane Carstensen Heller ’49 live in Granville. They have four children, one of whom, John F. Heller III ’81, is also a Denison alumnus.