August 6, 2016

Aug. 6, 2016: Creighton Mourns the Passing of Dr. Robert Heaney

Creighton University President, the Rev. Daniel Hendrickson, SJ

One of Creighton University’s eminent legacies, Robert P. Heaney, M.D., died this morning at his home in Omaha after battling brain cancer for more than a year. Dr. Heaney was not only a distinguished alumnus, professor of medicine, and world-renowned researcher, but a true man for others, and the Creighton community mourns this significant loss. We offer our sympathy to his beloved family, and we thank God for having graced our academic and spiritual community with Dr. Heaney’s presence among us for more than half a century.

Dr. Heaney’s life had a beautiful form to it and in passing from this earthly life, his legacy seems all the more beautiful. We are more greatly enriched as people, as a university, for having known him and shared in his passions and wisdom. He was a man of many facets. A healer, a thinker, a man of faith, he was endlessly curious about his profession and the people he helped, the world around him, and his God.

As I mentioned in a recent campus message, I was blessed to meet and pray with Dr. Heaney recently while he was receiving hospice care. I was truly touched by the peace and strong faith he exhibited. He also shared a final message with the Creighton community in the latest issue of Creighton University Magazine that also demonstrated his great depth and compassion for others.

Dr. Heaney first set foot on campus in high school in 1941, attending Creighton Prep when it was located at the University. He then graduated from the College of Arts and Sciences in 1947 and the School of Medicine in 1951. Beginning in 1957, he began his lifelong career as a faculty member and administrator. He and his family have also been generous benefactors over the years.

While his international accolades and achievements garnered notoriety for our health sciences programs, our paramount memorial to him will be a prayer of thanksgiving for the many decades he has been a part of the Creighton community.

Funeral services are pending, and information will be shared on a memorial website as it becomes available.

In Christ,

Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ