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Trude Heller passes away at 98

Trude Heller at her 95th birthday party in 2017.

Trude Heller, who, with her late husband Max, are the namesakes of Furman’s Heller Service Corps, died on May 11, 2021, in Greenville, S.C. She was 98. An obituary is available here.

Heller was born June 19, 1922, in Vienna, Austria. As a teenager, she fled the Nazis, and in 1940 came to Greenville where she soon married Max Heller, who had escaped to Greenville earlier. The couple, who had known each other in Austria before the war, became pillars in Greenville civic life, helping to bring a renaissance to the city’s downtown and building a shirt company, Maxon Shirt Co. They became deeply involved with Furman, a relationship that started when Furman’s president at the time, John Plyler, contacted Max to offer help after reading about him in the newspaper.

In 2002, the Collegiate Educational Service Corps was renamed the Heller Service Corps in honor of the Hellers’ history of community service and philanthropy. Max Heller died in 2011.

The family planned a private graveside service May 13. A memorial service and celebration will be scheduled at a later date. The family has asked that donations be made to the Heller Service Corps or to Congregation Beth Israel.

The Family may be contacted at

For more about Trude and Max Heller, see p. 42 of the Fall 2019 issue of Furman magazine.

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