2011-02-17 / Obituaries

Judith Heelan, 69

Judith (Stephenson) Heelan,

69, of Jamestown, died peacefully at home Feb. 15, 2011, surrounded by her family. She was the wife of John T. Heelan for 42 years.

Born October 24, 1941, in Providence, she was the daughter of the late Frank and Helena (Richmond) Stephenson. She was the sister of Ann Hitchen of Portsmouth and Jane Foote of North Kingstown.

Judy attended St. Patrick’s High School in Providence and went to the University of Rhode Island where she received a bachelor’s degree in medical technology, a master’s degree in microbiology, and a Ph.D. in biological sciences-microbiology. She began teaching at Rhode Island College and Salve Regina while pursuing her Ph.D., and most recently served as director of the microbiology lab at Memorial Hospital from 1989 until her death.

Judy was a teacher and a leader at Brown’s medical school for 23 years. She was a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine and the co-director of the Pathology Residency Program at the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University. She was also site director for Memorial Hospital’s Pathology Residency Program. Judy was vice chair of the Clinical Faculty Advisory Committee at the Brown Medical School where she had served since its inception in 1999.

In addition to being a professor at Brown, Judy also served as adjunct faculty for both the Community College of Rhode Island and URI.

Judy received the Teaching Recognition Award for Clinical Faculty in May 2000 and the Teaching Excellence Award for Clinical Faculty, Brown Medical School, in May 2004. She served the Northeast Association for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease, as a member of the board of directors from 1989 to 1991, and on the executive board from 1991 to 2000. She was also a member of the American Society of Microbiology and the Conanicut Yacht Club.

She is survived by her daughter Stephanie and her husband Brian Cotsonas of Jamestown, and her son John Heelan and wife Beth of Portsmouth and Huntington Beach, Calif. She is also survived by six grandchildren: Emma, Julia and Ben Cotsonas and Shea, Reed and Layne Heelan. Judy was also mother of the late Sara Lynn Heelan.

Although Judy loved to work and teach, her favorite times included those with her family and taking her grandchildren to Mackerel Cove and Green’s Pier.

Visiting hours will be held tomorrow – Friday, Feb. 18 – from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Fagan-Quinn Funeral Home in North Kingstown.

Memorial contributions may be made in her name to the Jamestown Medical Fund, P.O. Box 236, Jamestown, RI 02835, and the Visiting Nurse Services of Newport and Bristol Counties, 1184 East Main Road, Portsmouth, RI 02871.

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