Christian von Heune ’54 died on January 19, 2009, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Dr. Christian von Heune died January 19, 2009, in Albuquerque. He was born Christian Berend Johann von Hoyningen-Heune on August 28, 1932, in Recklenburg, Germany. His mother was an American, and his father was an anti-Nazi German writer who was killed in 1941. In 1945, the Latvian SS took their home. His mother packed up her six children and escaped in a farm wagon, making it to the United States in 1948 when he was 16 years old. He finished high school at the Woodstock Country School in Vermont. At Bowdoin, where he was a member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, he was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa in his junior year, was a James Bowdoin Scholar, and graduated summa cum laude. A week after graduating, he renounced his German title of “baron” in order to become a U.S. citizen five years later. He went on to Harvard Medical School, where he received the Maimonides prize in his fourth year and graduated in 1958. He completed his internship and residency at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, specializing in internal medicine, then moved with his wife and four children to Germany in 1962, where he served medical duty as a captain in the Air Force Medical Corps at Sembach Air Base. After his discharge in 1965, he moved to New Mexico and he started a practice with the Lovelace Clinic. He participated in a local television show on KNME-TV where he tried to explain medical science, and continued to make house calls until his retirement. With an adventurous spirit, he enjoyed camping, hiking, mountaineering, skiing, rafting, scuba diving, sailing, and snow camping. He conquered all 54 of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks after the age of 50, and tackled 65 peaks over 14,000 feet before he was 65, several solo. He also reached the summit of Mexico’s 17,802 foot Mt. Popocatepetl. He ran the La Luz trail and participated in half marathons until he was 65. In his retirement, he dedicated himself to environmental preservation, volunteering at the Cibola National Forest Service Open Spaces Program, removing graffiti, clearing trails, and leading nature hikes. He was a docent at the New Mexico Natural History Museum in Albuquerque. He loved music, played the flute, and taught his children to sing in chorus, especially German songs. He also was a member of the American Civil Liberties Union. He is survived by four sons, Christian Berend Robert von Heune, Sergei Johann von Heune, Gregor von Heune, and Karl-Heinrich von Heune; two daughters, Andre¢ Sievers and Ariadne Marie Barclay; his first wife Jeanne Clark von Heune, whom he married in 1953; his fourth wife, Anne Claire von Heune; a brother, Friedrich A. von Heune ’53; three sisters, Dorothee Greenberg, Sigrid MacRae, and Brigitte Reid; four grandsons; and a granddaughter. He was predeceased by a brother, Michael A. von Huene ’52, in 1982.