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William Creagh Heydecker, Jr.
July 14, 1904-December 8, 1974
Allegedly enlisted in WWI, joining the US. Army at 15; he was so tall they accepted he was 18; his mother had to go and grab him out. An inventor, he refined the oxygen tank and most of the equipment used in ambulances during the forties. He started an Ambulance business with Claire, almost putting the Crane Ambulance Company out of business...The Hickeys, cousins on Claire's side who partnered in the business, caused a number of screwups which caused the business to fail. He joined the U.S. Navy six months after Pearl Harbour at age 40; Pan Am = maintenance division at Pearl Harbour. They took care of all maintenance for the Navy's planes as well. Claire sued him for divorce on the grounds of abandonment. It was a very bitter divorce, in which Claire got her uncle, Richard E. Enright the former Police Commissioner of NYC, who used his resources and contacts against WCH, Jr.
He was married seven times. He kept few ties to the family, and while his daughter Elise kept in regular touch with him, he rarely spoke to Richard. In 1971, it had been arranged that Richard Heydecker and his family would come to Thanksgiving dinner at his house. The family walked into the house and Maryann (his 7th wife) walked in after them. She told them that he had attempted suicide and they accompanied her to the hospital. It is rumoured that there were other attempts as well. In 1974, he was successful. His death was a suicide.
Claire Elizabeth Enright May, 1901-September, 1993 m. 1925