Born in St. Louis, Missouri on September 17, 1935, Ralph was the son of Ralph Alonzo and Marie Lucille (Hadfield) Heisel.
Ralph was a graduate of Grady High School in Atlanta, GA (1953) and Georgia Institute of Technology with a BS in Architecture (1958), Atlanta, GA. For two years he stationed in Anchorage, Alaska and was honorably discharged in 1960 having achieved the rank of captain in the United States Air Force. He received his master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania (1961) where he studied architecture under renowned architect Louis I. Kahn. Upon his graduation he worked for Fry Drew & Partners, Architects, London and then I.M. Pei and Partners for 20 years where he was the architect in charge of the design of the Paul Mellon Arts Center at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, CT which won an AIA design award. Other notable projects he designed while with I.M. Pei include Johnson and Johnson Baby Products Company Headquarters, New Jersey, Raffles City Hotel, Singapore, and the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Hall, Dallas, TX. Over ten years at the helm of his own firm he designed St. David’s Episcopalian Church, New York, Wildwood, Atlanta, Winsland House, Singapore and NOL Center, New Jersey. Coming full circle, consulting for Pei Partnerships Architects, the final buildings of his career include Bank of China Headquarters, Beijing and the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. Ralph was a member of the American Institute of Architects (National Design Awards 1974, 1991), National Trust for History Preservation, Architectural League of New York, Municipal Arts Society New York. He was a founding member for the Board of Architecture Review in Mamaroneck, NY, and a visiting critic at various universities.
A positive personality, he enjoyed attending concerts in the building he designed at the Paul Mellon Arts Center at Choate Rosemary Hall since moving to Masonicare in Wallingford, CT. He always took the time to stop and chat with the new friends he made since moving three years ago. A devoted husband, father, and grandfather, his greatest joy was to spend time with his family. Ralph was the beloved husband of Janet (Scott) Heisel for 55 years.
He leaves behind his wife, Janet, who grew up in Kingsport, TN; daughter, Jean Marie (Heisel); and son-in-law, Charles Peter Ippolito of London, UK; his son, Arthur Scott Heisel of Queensbury, NY; and his beloved grandchildren, Nicholas, Mariah, and Eliza Ippolito. He also leaves his brothers, Jack Heisel of Atlanta, GA, and William Heisel of St. Simons Island, GA; and nieces, nephews, and cousins.
A celebration of life was held on Saturday, April 28, 2018 at Masonicare 74 Cheshire Road, Wallingford, CT, 06492.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Masonic Charity Foundation of Ashlar Village, 22 Masonic Avenue, Wallingford, CT, 06492.
May his memory be a source of strength and a blessing to all with whom he shared life.