Packaging Digest Legend Bob Heitzman Dies

Our former long-time leader lived a fulfilling life of 86 years.

Lisa McTigue Pierce, Executive Editor

February 16, 2023

2 Min Read

A packaging legend has died. For decades, Robert “Bob” Heitzman was the face of Packaging Digest. A powerful personality and exceptional editor, Bob lead the magazine in its glory days in the 1980s and 1990s. Back when its Pack Expo pre-show issues would top 200, 300 pages or more. He was Editor-in-Chief and then Publisher.

Inducted into PMMI’s Packaging and Processing Hall of Fame in 1996, Bob travelled extensively to see packaging innovation around the country and around the world — and then bring it to readers.

According to his online obituary, Bob died peacefully on February 12, after a fulfilling life of 86 years.

I didn’t work with Bob directly on the publication but did serve with him one year as judges for the (then) DuPont Packaging Awards. Bob was well-known and respected by readers, advertisers, and competitors.

Packaging Digest Senior Technical Editor Rick Lingle shares his memories:

“I had the privilege of working with Bob at PD during most of the 1990s.

“Bob was a big and always positive personality who was as popular with members of the international trade press as his own staff. Bob was the consummate packaging professional and gentleman and a real pioneer in bringing case studies to readers throughout the pages of Packaging Digest.

“He was well known throughout the global packaging community.

“Bob increased the packaging knowledge and honed the editing skills for many of us who served under his mentorship at PD.

“On a personal note, one of my favorite Christmas ornaments that we hang yearly was a small ceramic Dutch shoe from one of his many trips. And I’ll always remember his wife Della’s delicious fudge. He’ll be sorely missed by many.”

Our sympathies to his family.

About the Author(s)

Lisa McTigue Pierce

Executive Editor, Packaging Digest

Lisa McTigue Pierce is Executive Editor of Packaging Digest. She’s been a packaging media journalist since 1982 and tracks emerging trends, new technologies, and best practices across a spectrum of markets for the publication’s global community. Reach her at [email protected] or 630-272-1774.

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