Vicki Kaye Heilig: Historian of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, dies

Historians in the News

Vicki Kaye Heilig, 61, a former historian general of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, died May 2 at Rowan Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, N.C. She had cancer.

Miss Heilig, a longtime resident of Hagerstown, Md., served as the organization's District of Columbia division president from 1992 to 1994 and from 1998 to 2002. She was historian general from 2002 to 2004 and received the organization's Jefferson Davis Medal.

Friends said Miss Heilig was a driving force on the Confederate Memorial Committee and helped lead the group's annual ceremony at the Confederate memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. She also had led the annual ceremony at the U.S. Capitol's National Statuary Hall honoring Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's birthday.

Miss Heilig was born in Salisbury and graduated in 1967 from Pfeiffer College in North Carolina. She received a master's degree from the College of William and Mary and worked as a programmer at IBM before retiring in 1997.

In the mid-1990s, Congress rejected the United Daughters of the Confederacy's federal patent on its insignia. As a thank-you gesture to senators who voted in favor of the patent, Miss Heilig took pecan pies to the Senate. When she encountered a senator on an elevator who asked whether one of the pies was for him, she replied: "No, senator, you did not vote for the UDC, so I have no pie for you." The response captured her humorous character, friends said.

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