Dr. Wilmer G. Heceta

February 29, 1936 - January 23, 2012

02/29/1936 - 01/23/2012

Past Services

Friday January 27, 2012
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Altmeyer Funeral Home - Elm Grove Chapel
154 Kruger St.
Wheeling, WV 26003
304-242-0330 | Directions
Saturday January 28, 2012
Vance Memorial Presbyterian Church
905 National Road
Wheeling, WV 26003
Monday January 30, 2012
Greenwood Cemetery
Wheeling, WV 26003
304-242-0270 | Directions
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Altmeyer Funeral Home - Elm Grove Chapel
154 Kruger St.
Wheeling, WV 26003
304-242-0330 | Directions

HECETA, Dr. Wilmer G., 75, of Wheeling, died at 2:55am on the 23rd of January 2012 in Orlando, FL where he and his wife, Dr. Estherbelle Heceta were living temporarily with their daughter, Cris.

He was born Feb. 29, 1936, in the Philippines to Espiridion, Sr. and Ginesa Heceta. They are deceased as is a brother, Atty. Espiridion Heceta, Jr.

Upon moving his family to the Ohio Valley in 1974, the thoracic and general surgeon maintained a long medical career, centered mostly at Bellaire City Hospital, where he was Chief of Staff and Chief of Surgery for several years. Other affiliations were OVMC, EORH, Wheeling and Reynolds Memorial Hospital. He had medical licensure in the District of Columbia, as well as West Virginia and Ohio. He was the Medical Director for the former Bellaire Medical Foundation for several years. He provided inspiration and knowledge to those with whom he worked and generated public faith in his surgical practice – among his peers and in the healthcare institutions that he served.

Dr. Heceta finished his pre-med education at Silliman University, Philippines with high honors. He graduated cum laude from medical school at the University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center, Philippines. He completed a general surgery residency and rotating internship in Youngstown, OH hospital. The residency for his thoracic and cardiovascular surgical specialty was done at the University of Tennessee in Memphis, TN.

His board certifications and fellowships are numerous: Diplomate of American and Philippine Boards of Surgery, Diplomate of American Board of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Diplomate of American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians; and Fellow of American College of Surgeons, Philippine College of Surgeons, Philippine Practicing Surgeons in America, American Colleges of Chest Physicians, Angiology and Utilization Review Physicians.

Organizations and societies locally were memberships in Belmont County and Ohio State medical groups. He served four years on the Board of Governors of the Association of Philippine Physicians in America APPA. He completed several international medical missions including surgical missions for harelip children in the Philippines as well as a church mission sponsored by Vance Memorial Presbyterian Church to Mexico.

A family–oriented man and an incredibly proud grandfather, Dr. Heceta could be seen at various hockey rinks and basketball courts to support the efforts of his 5 grandchildren. Since his Feb. 29 birth date qualified him as a “Leap Year Baby,” he was teased for only recently turning “18”. At one party, his wife, who is a retired anesthesiologist from OVMC, was reminded of a letter in which she wrote, “Wilmer is ‘The Wind Beneath My Wings.'”

Dr. Heceta is survived by his wife, Estherbelle Aguilar Heceta, M.D.; daughters W. Cristina Heceta of Orlando, Florida; Elgine Heceta McArdle and husband Jack of Wheeling and Wuela Heceta Greene and husband Dave of Wheeling; Sisters Atty. Kathleen Heceta, Guendolyn H. Mah and Dr. Elizabeth H. Moleta, all of the Philippines; a former son-in-law J. Douglas West; grandchildren Danielle Heceta McArdle, Ian Wilmer McArdle, Tyson Heceta West, Brooke Eleanor McArdle, Braedyn Nichol West, Dalton Edward Greene and Dylan Elliott Greene, all of Wheeling; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

He was dedicated to serving both of his alma maters – Silliman University and UERMMMC, receiving the Outstanding Alumni Award in Medicine for Silliman University and the Outstanding Leadership Award for UERMMMC. He was Chairman of the Alumni Foundation, USA AFUSA of UERMMMC from 1984 – 1996, founding the Wilmer Heceta 333 Endowment Fund for his medical school alma mater. The concept of this Endowment Fund is for any individual, class or any entity to donate $333 payable in quarterly, bi-annual or yearly for each of 3 years in order to complete a total donation of $1, 000. Memorial Contributions or pledges may be made to the Wilmer Heceta 333 Endowment Fund, and mailed to Estherbelle A. Heceta, M.D., 13214 Meergate Circle, Orlando, FL 32837 for a donation in his name.

Friends will be received in Wheeling, West Virginia at the Altmeyer Funeral Home, Elm Grove Chapel, 154 Kruger Street, from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Friday, the 27th of January 2012. Funeral Services will be Saturday, the 28th of January 2012 at 1 p.m. Vance Memorial Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Dr. Charles LaPlaca and Rev. Dr. Larry Kline officiating. Interment services for family only will be at Greenwood Cemetery.

Notify of
32 Condolences
Inline Feedbacks
View all condolences
Bill Bedway
8 years ago




Lou & Shirley Zimmerman
8 years ago

Belle and Family: Shirley and I extend our Deepest Sympathy at the passing of Dr. Heceta. Take care. God Bless

kim breeden
8 years ago

Cris & family,

So sorry for your loss. You are left with pricelss memories of your father & husband. Take care & God Bless.

Terri Hill
8 years ago

Cris and family-

My deepest sympathies on the loss of your father. May your faith bring you the strength you need to get through this very tough time.

Sra. Janet M. Grubler
8 years ago

Cris, Elgine and Wuela – my deepest condolences on the death of your dear father; remembering you, your mom, brother and your families in prayer. God Bless!

Judie Artzberger
8 years ago

Dear Belle and Family – you are in my prayers and thoughts as you enter a new stage of life. Your family, headed by Dr. Wilmer, is one of the nicest I have ever known. My love and sympathy to each of you – God Bless and keep you in the palm of His hand now and always.


Lynn Phillips
8 years ago

Dear Belle and family, So sorry to learn of Wilmer’s passing. He will be missed by many. My prayers are with you.

Helen Salatandre Pocsidio
8 years ago

Dear Belle,

So sorry to hear about your loss. Wilmer will always be remembered by us Our deep condolence to you and your family.

HELEN Salatandre Pocsidio
8 years ago

Dear Belle,

So sorry to hear about your loss. Wilmer will always be remembered by us. Our deep condolence to you and your family.

Claudette Vaught
8 years ago

Dear Cris and Family,

Our deepest sympathy on the passing of your father. Our prayers are with you.

Claudette Vaught and Michael Greene

Michael Freid
8 years ago

Dear Cris and Family,

Our prayers are with you as your Angel moves on to watch over you.

Mike & Doreen

Bill Hehr
8 years ago

Dear Elgine and family,

My deepest sympathies on the loss of your father. You are in my prayers and may God bless you at this difficult time and for all of time. Bill

Rafael and Linda Pascual
8 years ago

Dear Estherbelle and Family ,

Our deepest sympathy , thoughts and prayers. Wilmer’s friendship and leadership will always be indented in our hearts and minds. May he rest in peace.


Paeng and Linda

8 years ago


Sarah Braxton
8 years ago

Dear Mrs. Heceta – I only briefly met Mr. Heceta in Springfield, Ohio the year I lived with Cris in an apartment. I know of him through Cris, who is a devoted daughter. I am sorry for the loss of Mr. Heceta and hope that through family and friends you can find comfort in remembering what a great man you were married to. Love to you.

Shirley Applegarth Kartman
8 years ago

Dr. Heceta, so sorry to hear of your loss. Spend winter near you in Florida. Hope you are doing well.. Shirley CRNA OVMC

kathy dearth,RN
8 years ago

Dr.Hecta and family,it was an honor and pleasure to care for Dr.Heceta at Peterson.My deepest sympathy to you and your family.May God bless you all

Frank L Carrothers
8 years ago

Elgine and Family,

I am so sorry for your loss please accept my condolences and our prayers are with you.


Becky Baker former Pediatric Nurse @ Bellaire Clinic
8 years ago

May happy memories fill the void left by the loss of Dr. Haceta. He will be greatly missed and the medical community has lost an excellent and wonderful physician.

May God give you strength to get through these sad times. Very Sincerely,

Milagro Arenas de Garza
8 years ago

Memories came back from when we met. Very fond memories of both of you and the girls. I know you were a wonderful person, husband and father. A proud family man. Cared very much for the people you met and those you didn’t know. I know you’re with the Lord and now free of the pain you endured. We pray we will meet again when the Lord calls on us. Our condolences and love go to Belle, Cristi, Elgine, Wuela and all the grandchildren and rest of the family. My love and prayers and thoughts are with all of you. My spirit is with you at the moment and has been for a while. Love you Belle. Milagro

Carmen Lemley
8 years ago

My deepest condolence to the Heceta’s family

Marcia Metz
8 years ago

My deepest sympothies for your loss. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers during this time. May his memory be eternal.

Shirley Norteman Ulrich
8 years ago

My heart goes out to the Heceta family for the loss of an incredible husband, dad and grandfather. I wish you strength and love. With fond memories, Shirley

Vic & Dorie Cariño
8 years ago

Our deepest condolence and prayers to the family of my dear classmate Wilmer and Belle. May the good Lord bless his spirit

Peter Aragones,MD
8 years ago

Our deepest sympathy to the Heceta Family.

God Bless.

Peter & Elsa Aragones


Dr Ahmad & Marylon Rahbar
8 years ago

Our heart felt sympathies to Belle and family on the loss of a dear husband and father.

Godspeed to All.

The Rahbars, Ahmad & Marylon

Suzie Dailer
8 years ago

Please know of my thoughts and prayers for all of you at this difficult time. I wish each of you peace in your heart knowing that your husband, father, and grandfather is now resting in peace forever in the loving arms of God. God bless all of you…today and always.

Sonya Janovich RN
8 years ago

So very sorry to hear of Dr. Heceta’s passing. He was a wonderful surgeon and humanitarian. I feel blessed to have known & worked with him for many years. Praying for your family.

bob ney
8 years ago

To Belle and Family

I was sorry to learn about the passing of Dr. Heceta. I was fortunate to be able to be around him at several of the medical events. His warmth, humor, personality, and wonderful nature was tremendous.

My prayers and thoughts are with you at this time of great loss.

God Bless

Bob Ney

Alex/Annie Fangonil
8 years ago

We join the Heceta family in these time of sorrow. Uncle Wilmer will always be in our hearts, filled with fond memories and how he lived be with us forever……….

Andres S. Alisago, Jr.
8 years ago

We love to come to the funeral but because OF unforeseen circumstances, we can’t. We will always remember him in our prayers. HE WILL BE SORELY MISSED. Andres Alisago,Jr. and family.

Scott Colombo
8 years ago


We are sorry and saddened by the lost of your father. Our prayers are with you and your family.

Scott, Heidi, Jonathan, and Lily Colombo