homepage logo

Obituary Verle Headings

By Staff | May 15, 2012

Verle E. Headings MD, Ph.D, died at his home in Harpers Ferry, on April 27, 2012.

Born on July 14, 1935 in Hubbard, Ore., to Nona and Emery Headings, he grew up as a farm boy. Developing a love of learning, he studied at Hesston College, Hesston, Kan., Goshen College, Goshen, Ind. and University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich., earning an MD and a Ph.D in medical genetics.

Teaching at Howard University since 1969, he became the director of graduate studies in genetics and human genetics and also directed the MD/Ph.D program there. With his interest in bioethics, he took graduate courses at Georgetown University and infused the courses he taught with principles of bioethics. He delighted in the observation that his courses at Howard University resembled, in their diversity, a mini-United Nations.

He was a co-founder of Rolling Ridge Study Retreat Community, which offers a quiet place to study, think, meditate and write in the peaceful woods of the Blue Ridge mountains.

An active member of Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church, he served on the session and chaired the missions committee during which time the church initiated mission trips locally and abroad. He encouraged people to find ways to serve their neighbors locally as well. He exemplified his value of excellence and lifelong learning through his continued study, reading, travel and participation in many retreats, discussions and seminars. Loving precision in words, he enjoyed writing poetry. His quiet faith and thoughtfulness were an encouragement to many, both students and friends.

He is survived by his wife, Vivian (Amstutz) Headings, three daughters and their families-Jennifer and Kevin Graber and their children Aaron and Abby, Los Gatos, Calif.; Emily Headings and Eric Troyer and their children Seth and Zoe, Seattle, Wash.; and Caroline and Andrew Macuiba and their children Lola and Neil, Portland, Ore.

A memorial service will be held at Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church on May 5, at 2 p.m.

Memorial contributions may be made to Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church (Missions) or Rolling Ridge Study Retreat Community.

Arrangements by Melvin T. Strider Colonial Funeral Home, Charles Town.

Please sign the online guestbook and view his obituary at www.mtstrider.com.