Los Angeles, July 12, 2012 — Ken Heitz, chairman of the board of El Paso Electric, died July 9 in Los Angeles, California, after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 65 years old.
Heitz served as a member of EPE's board since EPE's emergence from bankruptcy in 1996 and was named chairman of the board in 2008. He also served on EPE's external affairs, energy resources and environmental oversight, executive and nominating & corporate governance committees. In January 2012, he was elected chairman of the compensation committee.
As a student at UCLA in the 1960s, Heitz was a member of three consecutive UCLA NCAA national championship men's basketball teams coached by John Wooden. He was a starting forward on the Bruin freshman team that defeated the two-time defending NCAA champion UCLA varsity squad, 75-60, in the first-ever game in Pauley Pavilion on Nov. 27, 1965. Heitz's freshman teammates that year included center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Lew Alcindor at the time), guard Lucius Allen and forward Lynn Shackelford.
After graduating Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from UCLA in 1969, Heitz attended Harvard Law School, where he earned a Juris Doctorate degree with honors.
Michael Parks, vice chairman of the EPE Board, and Eric Siegel, chairman of the executive committee of the EPE Board, said, "Ken has been a key member of the Board since the company's emergence from bankruptcy in 1996 and played a pivotal role in the company's return to prosperity. We will miss him greatly."
Heitz is survived by his wife Linda and their daughter Alex, his former wife Barbara and their daughters Jennifer and Joanna, and granddaughters Eva and Rachel.