HIRAM —The chief investment officer for MaineHealth is being remembered this week as “the hardest-working retiree” at the Portland company.

John Heye, 67, of Freeport was the chief financial officer at Maine Medical Center for nearly 20 years before moving to the chief investment officer post in June 2014 at MaineHealth, MMC’s parent company.

His body was found July 3 by anglers in Barker Pond in southern Oxford County. The Maine Warden Service is awaiting word from the medical examiner’s office on his cause of death.

The Heye family owns a camp in Hiram at 351 Narrow Gauge Trail.

Warden service spokesman, Cpl. John McDonald, said Tuesday afternoon that Heye’s body was recovered in shallow water by warden service divers.

Heye joined Maine Medical Center as chief financial officer in June 1995, retiring from that position in June 2014, according to a hospital spokesman, then moving to the position of chief investment officer for MaineHealth. 

In a written statement sent to the Sun Journal, MMC President and Chief Executive Officer Richard Peterson called Heye “the hardest-working retiree I’ve ever met.”

And, Peterson said, “His knowledge and stewardship of Maine Medical Center were instrumental to the growth and tremendous accomplishments of our organization over the past 20 years. I am certain that our continued success is a reflection of John’s legacy.”

Peterson credited Heye with shepherding “unprecedented growth” during his tenure, including the construction of the MMC’s East Tower and the Spring Harbor Hospital in Westbrook, the expansion of MMC’s presence and campus in Scarborough, and the growth and development of Maine Medical Partners.

“He had a gift for helping us make the right investments at the right time because he always kept our mission — and his role in helping us live up to our mission — at the top of his mind,” Peterson said.

“I’ll remember him first and foremost as a true friend and gentlemen. He pursued a life grounded in strong values and putting his family first, setting an example that resonates even more clearly today,” he said.

Heye was a graduate of the University of Michigan and the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, according to his LinkedIn profile.

He was on the board of trustees for Portland Stage, where he served as chairman of the group’s Finance Committee.

According to his daughter Liz Heye, her father “loved camp. Loved the water. Loved everything about Maine. He was dedicated to his family.”

“He was a wonderful father,” she said, and he died in the place he most loved, the family’s camp.

Heye is survived by four children and his wife Kathy.

According to McDonald, Heye’s body was recovered by Maine Warden Service Dive Team members about 150 feet from shore.

“It is believed that Heye was swimming during the time of drowning and may have suffered from a medical event,” McDonald said. “The body was discovered by a group of bass fishermen.”

The drowning is still under investigation by the Maine Warden Service and State Medical Examiner’s Office.

A few fishermen saw the body first and thought it was a mannequin, McDonald said.

He said warden divers “went down there to make sure it was not a crime scene.”

Wardens were notified of the incident by an Oxford County dispatcher in Paris who took the call at 9:43 a.m. July 3 from an angler. Deputies Dani Welch and Josh Daley responded with wardens to the scene.

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