Naomi Abigail Hecht

by | Jan 21, 2021 | Obituaries

Virginia Beach—Naomi Abigail Hecht, 27, of Los Angeles, CA died December 8, 2020 of BRCA-related breast cancer at a temporary home in Virginia Beach with her parents and devoted fiancé by her side.

She was born in Los Angeles, graduated from the Hamilton High School Humanities Magnet, and graduated with a double major in biology and sociology from Wesleyan University, where she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa during the fall of her senior year. Naomi worked at a health clinic in Glendale, Calif. and tutored high school students before attending the Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, where she was a third year medical student. She had an exceptional ability to grasp difficult concepts and then explain them to others in a very understandable way, which she was able to utilize in her responsibilities as a teaching assistant, or TA, for three semesters of organic and inorganic chemistry at Wesleyan, as well as informally in medical school where she would use white board and marker to clarify material to study group peers.

Naomi was remarkable, not only for her many accomplishments, but for who she was. She always wanted to help youth who were struggling socially and academically, whether she was working as a camp counselor, a high school tutor, or a volunteer at Wesleyan’s confidential listening service. She was passionate about those less fortunate and was involved in improving women’s health and that of underserved populations.

She was the most loving daughter, sister, fiancé, granddaughter, niece, cousin, and friend, who always really listened to others. When she was ill, friends and acquaintances across the country recalled being inspired by her kindness, her intelligence, her radiant smile, and lovely laugh, and her gentle and thoughtful ways.

She is survived by her parents, J. Randolph Hecht, MD and Lori Winer Hecht, MD, and her beloved brother, Matthew Hecht of Los Angeles, Calif., as well as her grandfather, Norman Hecht of Virginia Beach. She is also survived by her amazing fiancé, Lucas Van Gorder, the love and light of Naomi’s life who never left her side throughout her illness. She is predeceased by her maternal grandparents, Dr. Herbert and Phyllis Winer of Shawnee Mission, Kan, and her paternal grandmother, Gloria Hecht of Virginia Beach. She is also survived by loving and supportive aunts, uncles, cousins and extended family across the country.

She was buried at Hillside Memorial Park in Los Angeles. Donations to the UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation for breast cancer research.