City enriched by Heller Legacy
City of Greenville elected officials and staff were saddened to learn of the death of Trude Heller, wife of Max Heller, who served as Greenville’s mayor from 1971 to 1979.
The Hellers first met outside Vienna, Austria in 1937 and reconnected years later in the United States after escaping from Nazi-occupied Austria. Max convinced Trude, who was living in New York with her mother, to visit Greenville, where he was working at a shirt factory. The Hellers married in 1942 in a ceremony on Main Street.
They had three children and were active in the Jewish community and their synagogue, Congregation Beth Israel. Trude frequently spoke publicly about the Holocaust and received an honorary doctorate from Furman University in 1999. The couple received the Order of the Jewish Palmetto from the Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina in April 2007.
“Everyone loved Trude,” said Greenville Mayor Knox White. “She never missed a chance to encourage others and listen to their stories. Greenville was richly blessed by her embrace.”
Mayor Heller passed away in 2011. Trude Heller was 98.