Calvin College biology professor, a Grand Haven native, dies at 66

Calvin College biology professor David DeHeer, 66, died Friday at Spectrum Health Blodgett Hospital in Grand Rapids. DeHeer, who had a long struggle with pulmonary fibrosis, had declined suddenly in recent weeks. A Grand Haven native, DeHeer attended Calvin through 1966, but completed a degree in zoology (with a minor in chemistry) at the University of Arizona in 1968. He earned a Ph.D. in molecular biology with a minor in biochemistry at the same institution in 1972.
Sep 20, 2011


Prior to coming to Calvin in 1985, DeHeer worked at Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation in La Jolla, Calif.

Colleagues at Calvin remember DeHeer’s unflagging efforts to build the research infrastructure and opportunities in the science division. They also remember him as an enthusiastic proponent of their work and a devoted mentor to generations of students.

He served as chairman of the biology department from 2005 through 2010.

“He has certainly been the visionary leader in that department,” said Lois Konyndyk, director of foundational relations for Calvin College. “I think he had immense ability to plan strategically for curriculum, for research and for partnerships, all of which are designed to benefit the students in the science division.”

The funeral service for DeHeer will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at La Grave Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids. Visitation was Monday, and will again today from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m., at Zaagman Memorial Chapel in Grand Rapids.


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