Victor K. Heyman; Defense Official, Businessman and Folk Music Figure

Posted on January 9, 2009 by Sara Hickman. | 1 Comment

vic was a great, great fellow and i won’t be the only one who will miss him very much.

please pause for a moment today, put on some of your favorite music, and
even if you didn’t know him, get a big smile on your face for vic…he’ll
be loving it in heaven, i guarantee!


Victor K. Heyman, 73, a deputy assistant secretary of defense in the 1960s who later started a direct-mail company and became a noted figure in Washington area folk music circles as a concert presenter, died Jan. 6 at Westside Regional Medical Center in Plantation, Fla. He had Parkinson’s disease.

Dr. Heyman was a political scientist, in addition to a defense official, and later did health-care consulting and investigated fraud for the inspector general’s office of the old Department of Health, Education and Welfare.

His final federal job, in the early 1980s, was as director of evaluations for the Health Resources and Services Administration in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

It was a wide-ranging career, said his wife of 52 years, Reba Watson Heyman. She added: “He said every eight years, he wanted to re-pot himself.”

Starting in the late 1970s, he and his wife co-owned and operated Heyman Mailing Service in Rockville, a direct-mail company with clients ranging from arts organizations to political clients. They sold the business in 2001.

Dr. Heyman traced his interest in folk music to the genre’s revival after World War II. At Heyman Mailing Service, he offered low rates to mail tour schedules for leading folk musicians, including Cheryl Wheeler, Patty Larkin, Christine Lavin and John McCutcheon.

In 1996, Dr. Heyman and his wife started the Vic’s Music Corner concert series at O’Brien’s Pit Barbecue restaurant in Rockville. Vance Gilbert and the duo of Lowen and Navarro were among the artists they brought in to perform.

Mr. Heyman was a past board member of the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas, participated in showcase selection committees for many other folk organizations and reviewed CDs for the folk publication Sing Out!

In 2002, the Washington-based World Folk Music Association presented its appreciation award to Mr. Heyman and his wife for their contributions to the folk music community.

Victor Kenneth Heyman was born in Washington and raised in Los Alamos, N.M., where his father worked as a patent lawyer for the Atomic Energy Commission.

He was a 1954 graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, where he also received a doctorate in 1957 in political science. He earned a master’s degree in political science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

He served in Air Force intelligence and was a political science teacher at Marshall University in West Virginia before joining the Pentagon in 1961. He became deputy assistant secretary of defense for Southeast Asia programs.

In 1969, he was named senior associate in the Washington office of Cresap, McCormick and Paget international management consultants. He was a specialist in health care at the company before moving to HEW.

Besides his wife, of Rockville, survivors include four children, Steven Heyman of Chicago, David Heyman of Bethesda, Richard Heyman of Stony Brook, N.Y., and Judy Heyman of Vallejo, Calif.; and three grandchildren.

— Adam Bernstein [The Washington Post]

One response to “Victor K. Heyman; Defense Official, Businessman and Folk Music Figure”

  1. a-dog says:

    Thanks for the comprehensive obit for Vic. He and Reba did so much for the Kerrville Folk Festival. They were devout Kerrverts and helped the festival in many ways. He was so unassuming I had no idea he held so many important jobs in government.

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