I'll be writing more about Dad in the weeks to come. One way that writers process important things is by writing about them. It won't feel real, and I won't really know how I feel, until I have a chance to write may way through some stuff.
The quick version, though, is this:
He had a joyful life, well lived, well loved, the way he wanted it. He worked at a job he absolutely loved for more than 40 years, and only retired last December from it. He was respected by his peers, loved by his family and friends, and was deeply connected to God. While there were many conversations we still could have had, there was nothing important left unsaid between us; nothing unforgiven, nothing hidden, nothing to trouble the years between now and when I see him again.
He will be deeply missed. But he will also be well remembered, for his wisdom, humor and, most of all (to me) his great kindness. I have never met a man who more completely embodied the term "gentle-man."
The two best pieces of advice he ever gave me were, "Study what you love," and "Never pet a burning dog."
I wrote his obituary yesterday. I will be continuing his story for many years.
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David Ward Havens, M.D., age 72 of Springfield died Monday February 28, 2011 at North Crest Medical Center. He was born January 21, 1939 in Westhampton, NY to the late Philip Ward and Anna Roth Havens. Dr. Havens was a member of Springfield First United Methodist Church and was a retired physiatrist. He received his bachelor degree in 1960 from University of Rochester, his MD from Harvard Medical School in 1964, was a veteran of the United States Air Force, serving as a Captain at March Air Force Base from 1968-1970. Dr. Havens operated a private psychiatric practice in Boston, MA from 1970-1992, a practice with an emphasis on integrating Christian faith with treatment in Hendersonville and Springfield, TN from 1992-2007.
David has been active in the United Methodist Church, Bible study, prayer and Christian fellowship his entire life. He was a trained vocal tenor who performed with the Rochester University close-harmony group, “The Yellow Jackets” during his undergraduate days. He was an amateur organist and computer buff, spent much of his life enjoying camping, canoeing, kite building and flying, vintage radio shows and small-carpentry projects. He is also the author of, “A Heart is Healed,” a book of spiritual reflections on the nature of loss, grief and healing.
Memorial services will be held at 4:30 pm on Thursday March 10, 2011 at the Springfield First United Methodist Church, 511 South Oak Street, Springfield, TN 37172, officiated by Dr. Frank Billman and Dr. Fred Hembree, Jonathan Dow will render the musical selections. The family will receive friends at the church beginning at 3 pm on Thursday. In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift to the National Parkinson's Foundation in his name.
Surviving him are his wife of 48 years, Sarah (Sally) Dayton Havens of Springfield, sons and daughters-in-law, Andrew Ward and Christina Rosch Havens of Columbus, Ohio, John Charles and Stacy Derezinski Havens of Maplewood, New Jersey, grandsons, Daniel Ward Havens, Nathaniel Phillip Havens and granddaughter, Sophie Joan Havens.