Frederick Jacob Reagan Heebe obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Frederick Jacob Reagan Heebe

August 25, 1922 - August 10, 2014

Obituary


Judge Frederick J. R. Heebe, a long time judge on the Federal District Court in New Orleans, passed away peacefully at his Metairie home on Sunday, August 10, 2014 after a lengthy illness. He was 91 years old. Judge Heebe was born on August 25, 1922 in Gretna, Louisiana to the late Bernhardt and Marguerite Edna Reagan Heebe. Judge Heebe’s first marriage was to Willie Dee Barnes, the mother of his two children, Frederick Riley Heebe (spouse Jennifer) and Adrea Dee Heebe (spouse Dominick Russo). Fred and Adee blessed Judge Heebe with three grandchildren, Fred’s...

Judge Frederick J. R. Heebe, a long time judge on the Federal District Court in New Orleans, passed away peacefully at his Metairie home on Sunday, August 10, 2014 after a lengthy illness. He was 91 years old. Judge Heebe was born on August 25, 1922 in Gretna, Louisiana to the late Bernhardt and Marguerite Edna Reagan Heebe. Judge Heebe’s first marriage was to Willie Dee Barnes, the mother of his two children, Frederick Riley Heebe (spouse Jennifer) and Adrea Dee Heebe (spouse Dominick Russo). Fred and Adee blessed Judge Heebe with three grandchildren, Fred’s twin daughters Anna Grace Heebe and Sarah Louise Heebe and Adee’s daughter Elizabeth Leigh Heebe-Russo, and one step-grandson Rusty Russo. Judge Heebe has been married to the former Doris Dedeaux Stewart for the past 30 years. His stepchildren include Doris’ daughter Glennda Bach (spouse Gene III) and son Earl (Ed) Stewart, Jr.(spouse Brenda); seven step-grandchildren (Michael Bach, Dena Bach, Rebecca Rochon, Gene Bach IV, Trey Stewart, Jared Stewart and Jacob Reagan Stewart); and ten step-great-grandchildren.



He graduated from Fortier High School where he was a band mate of the legendary jazzman, Al Hirt. In 1943 he graduated from Tulane University. While at Tulane he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He served in the Army during World War II in the Pacific Theatre and received the Purple Heart for wounds he received on Okinawa. He also was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with a Bronze Service Star for heroic service.



After the war, Judge Heebe entered Tulane Law School and graduated in 1949. He practiced law from 1949 to 1960. He was elected to the Jefferson Parish Council in 1958, where he served as Vice-Chairman. In 1960, he was elected as a state judge on the 24th Judicial District Court for Jefferson Parish. He served there until 1966, when he was appointed to the Federal District Court by President Lyndon B. Johnson.



Judge Heebe served as Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana for over 20 years. He took “senior status” upon reaching his 70th birthday, and he continued to actively serve in that capacity until 1996, when his health issues forced him to give up his duties as judge. He was nationally recognized as a brilliant jurist America could trust to “follow the law,” according to former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark. Current U.S. District Judge Ivan Lemelle places Judge Heebe in the tradition of Louisiana’s “grand history of brilliant jurists.”



Judge Heebe served as a federal judge during a tumultuous time in American history, and he decided many important and historic cases. Most notable among those were civil rights cases involving public school desegregation, voting rights, employment and housing discrimination, and access to public accommodations. Other matters that came before him involved the preservation of historic French Quarter buildings; the effort by Clay Shaw to stop his prosecution by Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison in connection with the assassination of President Kennedy; protest over the Vietnam War; and battles over reapportionment.



Family and friends are invited to visitation on Saturday, August 16, 2014 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon at the Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home, 5100 Pontchartrain Boulevard, New Orleans, Louisiana. A memorial service will be held at noon following visitation. A private interment will follow. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to your favorite charity in the name of Judge Frederick Heebe.