Tributes to Walt Hearn
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4/14/2017 at 6:58:27 PM GMT
Posts: 152
Tributes to Walt Hearn

Walter Hearn passed away on Tuesday, April 11, 2017, after a long life of service to God, his wife and family, to ASA, and to every one he met.  A memorial service will be held Sunday, April 23, at 2:30 pm at First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, 2407 Dana Street, Berkeley, CA.. Memorial gifts in Walt’s honor, in lieu of flowers, can be made at this link or sent to: ASA, 218 Boston St., Suite 208, Topsfield, MA 01983. 


ASA members and followers are encouraged to share their memories of him on this forum. Sign in with your ASA login information if you aren't already signed in. Click on "Reply" in the gray bar above this note, write your note and add a photo or attachment if you wish.Then click on "Submit Post."

Last edited Tuesday, April 18, 2017
4/17/2017 at 2:16:27 AM GMT
Posts: 8
Walt was one of the very first ASA members that Ruth and I met. He immediately impressed us with his personal warmth, humor, and welcome. He always was an encouragement in any endeavor, and had a remarkable ability to make connections with people regardless of their views on issues of contention. Walt was just a joy to be with, and you always felt affirmed by him.

He amazed us with his ability to love everyone even if someone was really wrong: a quote in the ASA history says, "but I like YOU" about someone whose ideas were completely opposite Walt's...

One of our favorite ASA talks by Walt was about dumpster-diving: finding eggs and butter and perfectly good dinners in restaurant and grocery store trash. It left us laughing and wishing we were brave enough to try it.

Each newsletter was a joy to read, and Walt did a wonderful job of tracking everyone, all the ASA members got mentioned and you never saw any bias.

He will be remembered as a wonderful example of Christian love and charity. He will be missed.

Keith & Ruth Miller

4/17/2017 at 4:02:57 PM GMT
Posts: 2
I could never look at another dumpster without thinking about Walt and his wry sense of humor as he described his technique. What treasures might lie inside if only I had the courage to dive in? Walt was an amazing intellect and so unassuming. He will truly be missed.

~Dick Fischer

4/17/2017 at 4:54:19 PM GMT
Posts: 3
Dear Walt

Thank you, Walt, for introducing me to ASA during my first quarter as a graduate biochemistry student at Iowa State University and for giving me the book to read containing your chapter in Science and Christian Thought Today edited by Russell Mixter. You convinced me to become a member, and I have been happy with my decision ever since.

Even though you were not my major professor, you invited me to several of your parties at your house. You cleverly had us graduate students break the ice and relax by saying or doing some funny things. A fond memory that I have shared many times with others was when you asked us to lie on the floor with our head resting on the next person’s abdomen in a human chain. Then when you asked the first person in the chain having someone’s head on their abdomen to beginning laughing, this started a domino effect of each laugher’s abdomen causing the head of the next person to be bounced and encouraged to laugh, until the whole roomful of students in the chain was laughing. That was a great icebreaker.

It was a pleasure to have you as my first biochemistry lecturer at ISU. And I was very grateful for your willingness to serve on my thesis committee and appreciated your editorial comments.

You and Ginny asked me to write a chapter in What They Did Right edited by Ginny, who helped me express my thoughts and experiences with my parents more clearly. You also helped me edit an article for publication in Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, which was greatly appreciated.

When our family of 4 traveled on vacation to northern California, you graciously hosted us to dinner and an overnight in your Troll House and gave us a personal tour of slides and sights in Berkeley especially delightful for 2 little girls. You impressed us with a delicious home cooked dinner of some discarded food behind local stores. We exchanged ideas of natural reuse and recycling. For example, you motivated me to reuse envelopes, and I still do.

You stayed at our home during the ASA Annual Meeting in San Diego and wrote endearing descriptions of each of us and gave us the C.S.Lewis set of The Chronicles of Narnia, which we enjoyed reading to our girls during their evening bath before bedtime.

Another time Walt stayed with us when he was the invited speaker at Point Loma Nazarene College and gave us the impetus to have a local ASA Section meeting and stimulated some of the College professors in science departments to become ASA members.

We enjoyed corresponding with Walt and Ginny each Christmas (or early in the New Year), and delighted in reading their yearly activities. Your humor and your way with words tickle us. We treasure your special friendship.

We love you and will never forget the impact you had on our lives.

Jerry & Judy Albert, Jill Marr & Jennifer Starnes

 Attached Files: 
Hearns.docx (13.28 KB)
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Last edited Monday, April 17, 2017
4/17/2017 at 5:06:46 PM GMT
Posts: 2
Advice to a graduate student

I met Walt Hearn at an ASA meeting when I was finishing up my PhD in 1996. I mentioned that I was worried about the job market, and probably quoted some dismal statistic for jobs in my field. Walt looked at me and asked, "how many jobs do you need?" Stunned by this profound question, I meekly answered "one." Walt then asked me why statistics matter with a sample size of one. His response got through to me, and got me to laugh. And that is how Walt taught me to trust God and quit worrying about the future. I applied for exactly one job that year and got it. I have been at the same university ever since, and am now a full professor. I have always felt that this is where God wants me to be. Last summer at the 75th ASA meeting at Azusa Pacific, I ran into Walt and Ginny after the banquet. I recounted my story, and finally thanked him for is wonderful encouragement 20 years ago. We laughed about it together, and Ginny said "that sounds like Walt."

4/17/2017 at 10:07:25 PM GMT
Posts: 6
A pillar of ASA

I met Walt Hearn at my first ASA Conference in 1969. Since then I have seen him at almost every ASA conference that I have attended, including the 75th, last year. 

 Just like Richard Bube, Walt was a pillar of ASA. He knew how to draw you into attending and participating at conferences. One such occasion was when I was not sure if a talk on 'tent making' for scientists was a valid subject, He  jumped at the idea and encouraged me to do just that!

The title of his book. "Being a Christian in Science " has a permanent place in my science and faith bookshelf (An appropriate verse at this time is  Psalm 116:15, Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints)

Ken Touryan

4/18/2017 at 11:38:56 AM GMT
Posts: 1
1982 photo of Walt with ASA officers

I am attaching a photo taken in 1982, which includes Bob Herrmann, executive director, Walt, Don Munro (vice-president elect), and myself (president elect).

Ed Yamauchi

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4/18/2017 at 11:36:20 PM GMT
Posts: 3
Remembering Walt Hearn
I joined the ASA in 1990 when I was a graduate student at the University of Minnesota.  Elving Anderson was the person who invited me, and I attended the 50th Anniversary event at Wheaton with him on 1991 I believe.  Every conference I attended, one of the highlights was speaking with Walt and Ginny.  They were so gracious, always enthusiastic about younger members joining ASA, asked great questions and made you feel truly a part of the ASA family.  I am thankful for Walt's influence on my life, and I hope I inspire and welcome young people to the ASA like he did.
Mark Strand
North Dakota State University

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4/19/2017 at 10:13:41 AM GMT
Posts: 1

Walt Hearn was a long-lasting friend of Christians in Science over many years.  He was the only non-British member of the planning committee for the group who gathered in Oxford (England) in 1965 for the International Conference on Science and Faith, which resulted in the highly influential book The Scientific Enterprise and Christian Faith (written by Malcolm Jeeves), based on the conference. Walt’s contribution was very important because he was very aware of the range of views represented, particularly on some topics, such as evolution, that were held by participating members.  We owed him a great debt in maintaining  an atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding when lively debates developed around particular issues. He used to visit the UK frequently, and was the ASA member of the planning committee for the first Joint ASA-CiS Conference in Cambridge (England) in the 1990’s. He was a wonderful colleague and a mighty warrior for the Lord.

(Submitted on behalf of Christians in Science)

4/19/2017 at 1:33:13 PM GMT
Posts: 1
It was truly a blessing to have known Walt Hearn. He was kind enough to mention me in his wonderful book, "Being a Christian in Science." His thoughtful and encouraging words were typical of his many insightful writings that have enriched the body of Christ. I thank the Lord for the honor and privilege to have served the ASA with Walt.

Bob Kaita