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Adelheid Heller, 86

Adelheid Heller, 86; Family Ran Popular D.C. Bakery

Adelheid Heller, the last surviving member of the family that owned Heller's Bakery, worked up front and was the bakery bookkeeper.
Adelheid Heller, the last surviving member of the family that owned Heller's Bakery, worked up front and was the bakery bookkeeper. (Family Photo)

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Friday, July 24, 2009

Adelheid Heller, 86, the last surviving member of the family that owned Heller's Bakery, a Mount Pleasant institution for more than half a century, died July 11 of congestive heart failure at her home in Thurmont. She was a longtime resident of the District.

Mrs. Heller was born Adelheid Rosemary Juengst in Hunfeld, Germany, one of nine children. She immigrated to the United States in 1952, the same year she married August Heller, proprietor with his two brothers, Louie and Ludwig, of the family bakery in the 3200 block of Mount Pleasant Street NW.

The Hellers, who opened their bakery in 1930, took pride in making, by hand and completely from scratch, their decorated cakes, coffee cakes, rich pound cakes, hearty German bread, chocolate chip and oatmeal-raisin cookies, lemon meringue pies, sugary doughnuts, muffins, cupcakes, croissants and other baked items. Mrs. Heller, known as Addie, worked up front and was the bakery bookkeeper.

"My favorite store was Heller's Bakery," Elizabeth S. Clare wrote in a 1988 reminiscence in The Washington Post about growing up in Mount Pleasant. "We stopped at Heller's every Sunday morning to be greeted by the smiling Mrs. Heller, who never seemed to mind how long it took us to choose from the doughnuts, buns, cakes, breads and rolls of seemingly endless variety in the glass display cases."

Mrs. Heller retired in 1984, the same year the family sold the bakery.

Mrs. Heller's husband died in 1989.

Survivors include four children, Michael Heller of Thurmont, Monica Heller of Summit, N.J., Christine Boyer of Fork, Md., and Paul Heller of Baldwin, Md.; and five grandchildren.

-- Joe Holley


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