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Stanley Irving Hegg (Stan)

Died: March 21, 2013

Stan Hegg was born in Seattle, Washington April 29, 1944, and grew up in Boise, Idaho. He died in a tragic ski accident in Canada March 21, 2013. He is survived by his wife, Laurie, two children, Aaron and Meredith, one brother, Warren, a sister Peggy, and hundreds of other friends, classmates, and extended family, all of whom loved him and were devastated by his untimely death.

Stan graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1972, interned at Stanford, and became a highly respected plastic and reconstructive surgeon, living and practicing in the East Bay area of Northern California. Apart from caring for thousands of local patients, Stan was deeply committed to ReSurge International and performed hundreds of cleft lip and palate repair surgeries for impoverished children in Latin America and the South Pacific.

Arriving at Yale in September 1962, Stan confided that he thought he had been admitted into the class by mistake, or that it was simply luck that the Admissions Department wanted a representative from Idaho for geographical reasons. This belief, which he continued to hold for years, reflected Stan’s modesty and humility, but being admitted to Yale was not a mistake. During the four years at Yale, Stan was a determined student, openly stating a goal to become an educated man and to learn to think and behave like one. He definitely succeeded, but he did so without becoming boorish or haughty, never losing a charming and true modesty or self-deprecating humor.

Stan chose and excelled at one of the most challenging majors, molecular biology and biophysics. At the same time he found time to participate in many diverse social and athletic activities, playing rugby and intramural sports for Davenport College, attending mixers, going to movies, listening to music, and rarely missing the near-nightly “bullshit” sessions with roommates and others that usually started an hour or two after dinner and continued into the late night or early morning.

Classmates who knew Stan at Yale would find it easy to recognize him later in life because Stan seemed not to lose his youth, always enjoying incredible energy and vitality, a sharp mind, an appreciation for ideas, and a willingness to take on challenges. He never lost the twinkle in his eyes or his smile. He stayed in great shape and loved reading, movies, mountain hikes, sailboarding, and skiing. As for the latter, Stan was as smooth a skier as could be found. He was a regular at the annual Class of ’66 Yale Winterfest reunions and was generally considered to be one of the best skiers, if not the best, among that talented group. Upon learning of Stan’s death, one classmate wrote: “Stan was happy to talk about almost anything, but you had to pull out the personal details. No horn blowing. Just a great guy to talk to while enjoying a roaring fire at the lodge.”

Timothy Wollaeger remembers:

Stan Hegg was a excellent skier and continual participant in the Yale ’66 Winter Fest which started in 1999 at Beaver Creek, Colorado and moved around to a number of Western ski resorts. Following the 2013 Winter Fest ski trip, Stan went helicopter skiing in Canada with his son. Tragically, Stan fell into a tree well and died. Knowing his love for skiing his wife Laurie shipped his ashes to me and requested we have a ceremony for him on the top of a mountain at the 2014 Winter Fest. On a beautiful afternoon, we gathered on the top of Dear Valley and scattered his ashes. I am confident Stan would have been pleased with the setting and the number of classmates in attendance. A photograph of the group has been attached.