In Memory of Dr. James Edward Heavner, DVM, PhD
April 25, 1944 - May 18, 2016
Dr. James Edward Heavner, Professor Emeritus of Anesthesiology and Clinical Professor at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, died on May 18, 2016 at the age of 72. Dr. Heavner and his wife, Rev Betsey Heavner, have three children and six grandchildren: Matthew James is married to Carolyn Talus and father of Torsten and Aven; Kori Rae is married to Ali Kheri Mbaraka and mother of Taariq and Naadir; Benjamin Douglas is married to Gretchen Watson and the father of Elias and Marlowe. He is also survived by seven siblings: Douglas Heavner, Joretta Chaney, Richard Heavner, Bessie Park, Alice Young, Rose Rubin, Ronald Heavner, and numerous nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his parents Douglas and Grace (Frantz), and brothers William Heavner, Harold Heavner, Frank Heavner, Roger Heavner, and Herbert Heavner.
Dr. Heavner was the founding director of the anesthesiology research program at Texas Tech Health Science Center and travelled globally to consult, teach, and lecture on the management of pain and the pharmacology of local anesthetics. For more than 35 years, he published research articles to advance the medical specialty of pain management, contributed to several textbooks, and helped develop and coordinate an international examination for the credentialing of pain specialists. He was active in many professional organizations and served on the editorial board of several professional journals. The Texas Pain Society named a lectureship for Dr. Heavner in recognition of his contributions.
Dr. Heavner graduated from Fort Hill High School in Cumberland, Maryland, studied at the University Maryland and Frostburg State Teachers College. Through shared work in 4-H, Jim met Betsey Clark, and they were married in 1967. He obtained a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree at the University of Georgia. While in Veterinary School, he became active in biomedical research, spending time at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center Veterinary Pathology section. He earned a PhD in pharmacology and held a research faculty position at the University of Washington. He enjoyed research positions at the University of Edinburgh (Scotland), Helsinki Central University (Finland), Virginia Tech University and others. He spent several years at the Food and Drug Administration in the Washington D.C. area as a Branch Chief.
Jim Heavner's roots in western Maryland gave him a love of adventure and a love of family. Favorite memories are a canoe trip in the Allagash wilderness, Heavner family reunions, hikes on trails in wilderness areas and gatherings around the country that included one on one time with grandchildren.