Marilyn Chelder Hechtkopf

by | Jun 23, 2022 | Obituaries

Virginia Beach—Marilyn Chelder Hechtkopf, 75, died Sunday, June 12, 2022, at Sentara Princess Anne Hospital in Virginia Beach.

Marilyn was born on February 1, 1947, in Springfield, Massachusetts, to Irving and Sylvia Chelder. Her family moved around many times. She lived in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Richmond, Va. until she married the love of her life, Paul Hechtkopf, on June 23, 1974, and moved to Norfolk.

In 1969, Marilyn graduated from the University of Richmond with a degree in English language. She furthered her education by receiving her Master’s Degree in education from Regent University in 2002. She started her teaching career in Richmond at Varina High School and taught there until she moved to Norfolk. Marilyn took a short hiatus from teaching as she started working for the Hechtkopf family business. In 1986, Marilyn went back to teaching in Suffolk, Va. Her dreams and aspirations were to work with Virginia Beach City Public Schools. In 1989, Marilyn got a teaching job at Plaza Middle School in Virginia Beach where she proudly taught for 23 years. She was loved and adored by her students. She had a special place in her heart for educating her students about the Holocaust. After she retired, she became an active volunteer with the Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. She was so proud going into churches, colleges, and high schools talking about the Holocaust and what survivors went through.

Marilyn was predeceased by her father, mother, and in-laws, Jack and Hattie Hechtkopf. She is survived by her husband, Paul; her children, Jason (Erica), Allison (Edward), and Jenny; grandchildren; Josh and Sydney Whiteman, and Hunter and Asher Hechtkopf, brother; Aryeh Ben-Yehudah (Sheila); brother-in-law Michael (Judy); nephews, Ahmi, Gilad, and Ron Ben-Yehudah and Matt, Dan, and Jon Hechtkopf. Marilyn is also survived by several cousins, great-nieces and nephews, and wonderful friends. She will be missed by all who loved her.

Marilyn lived her life loving her Shetland Sheepdogs, especially Maddie who she lost last summer. She also adored her grand-dogs, Bailey Hechtkopf and Izzy Whiteman. She supported her children unconditionally. Marilyn’s grandchildren were the apples of her eyes. She loved nothing more than being their Bubbe. During her days of teaching, she loved “snow days” and would never let her students mention the word SNOW for fear they would jinx her storm from coming! This began what would become a collection of snowmen that her students so proudly gave her. As an avid sports fan, Marilyn loved following the Braves and Patriots. Marilyn was a lifelong member of Temple Israel in Norfolk.

Throughout her battle with cancer, her family is thankful for the care provided through Virginia Oncology Associates under the leadership of Dr. Alberico, and the staff at Beth Sholom Village. Their dedication and support for her and her family was a gift. Donations in her honor can be made to the American Cancer Society at

A funeral service was held at H.D. Oliver Funeral Apartments, followed by interment at Forest Lawn Cemetery. The service was live-streamed to the H.D. Oliver Facebook page.