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Memorial Oaks Funeral Home & Cemetery

13001 Katy Fwy, Houston, TX

OBITUARY

Dr. Hartwell H. Whisennand

February 29, 1940May 18, 2020
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Dr. Hartwell Hayes Whisennand, 80, passed away peacefully in Katy, Texas on May 18, 2020 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s.

Hartwell, “Whiz”, was born on leap day, February 29, 1940, in Temple, Texas. His parents, Marilyn and Dr. Hartwell Whisennand, had three children, Whiz, Susan Widner, and Richard Lynn Whisennand.

On June 15, 1963, Hartwell married Diann McCormick. The two had three beautiful daughters, Cynthia Weaver, Brenda Duane, and Heather Boyce. Despite their separation in 1990, the two remained friends.

Hartwell was a graduate of Bellaire High School in 1958, then moved on to Southern Methodist university, where he graduated with his Bachelor of Science in June 1962. Hartwell then attended the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston where he obtained his M.D. in 1968. Following an internship at Boston City Hospital, he completed two residencies with Baylor University College of Medicine in general surgery and thoracic surgery.

Following his residency, Dr. Whisennand continued his medical career with the Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas. He worked as a thoracic surgeon and an associate to the late Dr. Michael E. DeBakey. In 1985, Dr. Whisennand completed the first-ever liver transplant in Houston, Texas in record time. Throughout his thirty-plus years with Methodist Hospital, Dr. Whiz performed numerous heart transplants, various surgical procedures, and published several works. He traveled to Saudi Arabia on multiple occasions where he acted as Senior Cardiovascular Surgeon at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre. Dr. Whisennand gave countless people the opportunity to live through the medical magic of transplants. He was a hero and mentor to many.

In addition to his medical achievements, Hartwell served in the United States Army Reserves. He served as a medical advisor and commander in the 491st Medical Clearing company between 1971 and 1978. He loved serving his country and attending his annual Reserves training.

When he was not working at the hospital or serving in the reserves, Whiz was an avid hunter and fisher. He loved spending time with his brother, Richard and brother in law, Larry, hunting deer, doves, and the occasional turkey. He also served as a lifetime member of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, where he served as a lifetime committeeman on the Quarter-Horse committee.

Hartwell is survived by his three daughters, Cynthia Weaver, Brenda Duane and husband Michael, and Heather Boyce and husband Nick. Former wife, Diann Whisennand. Grandchildren, Taylor Weaver and wife Lacey; Katelynn Duane Armijo and husband Ryan; Zachary Duane; Alli Weaver; and Elissa and Dylan Boyce. Great-grandchildren Lyla and Coleman Weaver. Siblings, Richard Whisennand and wife Lois; Susan Widner and husband Larry. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, Dr. Hartwell and Marilyn Whisennand and his grandparents. Visitation will be held on May 26, 2020 at 9:00 am at Memorial Oaks Funeral Home, 13001 Katy Fwy, Houston, Texas. Graveside Service will be held on May 26, 2020 at 10:00 am at Memorial Oaks Cemetery, 13001 Katy Fwy, Houston, Texas. The family will celebrate Dr. Whisennand’s life at a later date when there are not restrictions on large groups in light of Covid-19.

Serving as pallbearers are Michael Duane, Nick Boyce, Taylor Weaver, Zachary Duane, Richard H. Whisennand, Dylan Boyce, Richard L. Whisennand (Honorary Pallbearer), Larry Widner (Honorary Pallbearer).

For those desiring, memorial donations may be made in Dr. Whiz’s memory to the Alzheimer’s Association, https://act.alz.org/site/Donation2.

  • PALLBEARERS

  • Michael Duane
  • Nick Boyce
  • Taylor Weaver
  • Zachary Duane
  • Richard H. Whisennand
  • Dylan Boyce
  • Richard L. Whisennand, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Larry Widner, Honorary Pallbearer

Services

  • Visitation

    Tuesday, May 26, 2020

  • Graveside Service

    Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Memories

Dr. Hartwell H. Whisennand

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Heather Boyce

May 25, 2020

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