David Milton Heimbach
1938 - 2017
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David Milton Heimbach

Dr. David Milton Heimbach, formally of Seattle, WA died surrounded by his family on August 7, 2017 in his home on Maui where he and his wife moved after his retirement. He was 78 years old. He is survived by his wife, his sister, his 2 children and his four grandchildren.

Dr. Heimbach was born on September 29, 1938 in Doylestown, PA. He graduated with honors from Cornell University and then Cornell Medical School. In 1966 he served as a Captain in the USAMC for 2 years and then went on to have a successful and rewarding career as a surgeon and professor. He made great contributions to burn care and touched the hearts of thousands of patients. He was a gifted teacher and mentor during his 37 years as Professor of Surgery at the University of Washington. In 1977 he became the Director of the UW Burn Unit at Harborview Medical Center. He was also Past President of the American Burn Association, and the Past President of International Society for Burn Injury. Dr. Heimbach also led teams of doctors to 3rd world countries teaching burn care to those less fortunate. Throughout his career he received many special honors including the Harvey Stuart Allen Award for Distinguished Service, the President's Leadership Award for Lifetime Achievement in Burn Care and Leadership from the ABA, the Unsung Heroes of Compassion Award given personally by the Dali Lama every 4 years to World Wide leaders who have made a difference to medical care in developing countries, and the Tanner / Vanderput /Boswick Award for International Lifetime Achievement. Beyond his career, Dr. Heimbach was a compassionate and kind man and a great storyteller. He had a wonderful sense of humor and loved to share his jokes with others. He was loved by all who knew him.

Due to the move to Maui, there will not be a public memorial. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Harborview Burn Center in his name would be appreciated.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Seattle Times on Aug. 20, 2017.
Memories & Condolences
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10 entries
August 4, 2018
Sincerest condolences for your loss. May precious memories of your dear loved one, along with encouraging words such as those found at John 11: 25,26 be of comfort to your family.
May 9, 2018
Bob DeLaney
October 3, 2017
Jimmy Chase
October 3, 2017
I am so saddened to learn of Dr. H's passing!! I owe Dr. Heimbach my life!!! I was burned as a 12 year old kid in December of 1977. I spent 3 months in the burn unit at Harborview, and he & I became close, even sharing the same birthday! He was an extremely kind, caring, and compassionate man!!
Jimmy Chase
September 25, 2017
The best 9 years of my nursing career were spent in the HMC burn unit. Semi retired now I still hold fond memories of that time and Dr. Heimbach was a huge part of that time.
Will Dacus
Coworker
August 25, 2017
Golfing on Maui
Maxine Edwards
August 23, 2017
I already miss such a nice surgeon and friend enjoying life while devoted to his patients and team and also to his colleagues and their works all over the world
Christine Dhennin
August 22, 2017
Mentor, Colleague, Friend for 27 years; like losing a parent
Nicole Gibran
August 20, 2017
I worked with Dr Heimbach as an OT in the Burn Center for many years. I learned so much from Dr Heimbach, Dr Loren Engrav and Dr Nicole Gibran and appreciated the partnership between Burn and Plastic Surgery for optimal outcomes for our thousands of patients. His sense of humor with daily email quips and talk of Civil War in the OR, as well frustrations with learning how to play Sudoku, will always be remembered! I always loved when he returned to Seattle from his month in Maui--- we called him Jose because of his gorgeous tan! I'm glad that he found peace and tranquility in his Hawaiian paradise. Thank you for all your contributions to burn care --- including the many MDs (I lost count after 20 Burn Fellows), nurses, therapists and other staff you trained through the years and leave as your legacy to burn care! Rest In Peace Dr H.
Dana Nakamura
August 20, 2017
I worked with Dr. Heimbach at Harborview for the first nine years of my nursing career. He was a strong nursing advocate and a wonderful, skilled physician. He helped save the lives of many people. Rest in peace David.
Francine Taylor
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