David L. (Dave) Hiebert

World traveler, Dr. David L. Hiebert, 84, departed this earth Monday, April 19, 2021 for his next journey during an evening surrounded by music and reminiscing with his family.

Dave was born in 1936 in Kansas City, KS. with a passion for learning. The son of Peter E. and LaVerne Margaret (Haskell) Hiebert, Dave received his BA from Ottawa University in 1957. He served our country in the United States Army during the Vietnam War as a Captain of the 1st Armoured Division Medical Corp. After earning his medical degree from Kansas University and finishing his residency in Wichita, Dave and his then wife, Jan R. Snyder and their three daughters, Kimberly, Laura, and Megan moved to Lawrence. There, he began his practice as Douglas County’s first radiologist, founding Radiological Professional Services in 1967. In Lawrence, Dave, known as “Doc” to athletes at the University of Kansas, took on the role of Team Physician from 1967-1985.

Dave was proudly the first male member of the League of Women Voters in Lawrence, Chairman of the United Fund Drive, Chairman at the O’Connell Youth Ranch, President of Rotary of Lawrence, Breakfast Cosmopolitan, Achievement Place for Girls, and was a Friend of Bill W. He was active in the American Medical Society, Kansas Medical Society, American College of Radiology, Radiologic Society of North America and the Kansas Radiologic Society, the Advisory Committee for IIYM, Fundraising Committee for the New Lawrence Arts Center, and a docent at the Spencer Museum of Art.

In 1978, Dave married Gunda Freeman and gained a stepson, Tim. Together, Dave and Gunda received the Phoenix Award, the Governor’s Arts Award, the Mildred Clodfelter Award and the Distinguished Achievement Award from the KU School of Fine Arts.

After his retirement in 2001, he read x-rays at every community hospital within a 150-mile radius. His passion for learning never ceased. He audited classes at KU, working his way through most of the course catalog. Dave basked in all of the “free” education he received. A chance encounter with a KU piano student led Dave and Gunda to over 20 years of bringing musicians from across the world into their living room, hosting over 1,000 recitals. The Hiebert’s forged numerous close ties, leading them to visit students and families all over the world.

Dave rarely bought anything without a coupon. His adage was, “That’s how we afford our philanthropy and travel”.

His true passion was traveling, the more obscure and distant the better. Visiting nearly 100 countries required Dave to get a haircut the same way he changed the oil in his Cadillac- every 3 months or 3,000 miles, whichever came first. He loved taking his family members on adventures, especially Cuba!

Dave was welcomed at his final destination by his parents, sister, Pris Spong (Richard), and a flurry of well-loved canines.

Carrying on his legacy and passion for travel are his wife Gunda Hiebert, his daughters and their partners, Kimberly Purvis (Dwight), Laura Carbrey, Megan Hiebert (Dana), a step son, Timothy Freeman (Dawn), grandchildren, Michael, Erin (Peter), Joshua (Andrea), Madison (Jeff), Henrik, great-grandson Greyson, and Heather, the angelic addition, who helped ease Dave’s final journey.

Memorial contributions may be made to The Hiebert Scholarship Fund, checks to be made to KU Endowment, with Hiebert Scholarship Fund on the memo line. or, a direct contribution may be made to: kuendowment.org/hiebert, or to the Lawrence Humane Society, and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.

A celebration of life will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 23, 2021 at the Lied Center Auditorium. All are welcome. As social distancing measures will be in place, please use the following email to RSVP for the celebration, and to leave any personal messages. DLHRSVP@gmail.com

While there’s always more to say, Dave’s admonition on his answering machine clearly states, “Never use 2 words when one will do.” And, the newspaper doesn’t accept coupons.

14 Condolences

  1. ken wertzberger on April 22, 2021 at 8:03 am

    When I knew him, he always seemed to have a zest for life. Condolences to Gunda and family. RIP. Ken Wertzberger

  2. Margaret Rose on April 22, 2021 at 8:20 am

    Dear Gunda and Family. I’m so sincerely sorry for the loss of your dearly Beloved. My prayers are being sent out to you.

  3. John Lytton on April 22, 2021 at 5:05 pm

    Dear Gunda,
    I am stunned by this news. Coping with such a loss must be very difficult–please take care. Also, the loss to the musical community is irreplaceable.

  4. Nancy Hawkins on April 22, 2021 at 10:46 pm

    Dear Gunda and family,
    What a shock to read this unexpected obituary for David. I’m so sorry for the huge hole David’s death will leave in your heart. I hope that music will be of some solace to you as it was for me after Alan’s death. Peace be with you.

  5. Judy Hollingshead on April 23, 2021 at 5:13 pm

    I remember many pleasant times sharing lunch with him in the hospital cafeteria. We laughed and enjoyed sharing stories.

  6. Jeni Eggers on April 24, 2021 at 11:33 am

    Dear Megan, Laura, Gunda, and the rest of the family. I am truly sorry you are suffering through the loss of your father and husband right now, and that there are no words that can truly take away that pain. However, know that I will be sending prayers your way, and hugs, should you need them. God bless you all during your time of grief.

  7. Elizabeth Hatchett on April 24, 2021 at 7:12 pm

    David was so generous of spirit and so much fun to be with. Gunda and family my thoughts are with you and thank you for including me in your home concerts.

  8. Margie Coggins on April 27, 2021 at 11:17 am

    Gunda, you and the girls are in my thoughts at this challenging time. May you gain some comfort in the support of each other and your many friends in the community.

  9. Ron Oelschlager on April 27, 2021 at 2:38 pm

    I owe a lot to Dave Hiebert. I always enjoyed the time we spent together. My condolences to the family. I know he will be missed. Ron Oelschlager

  10. Susie Madsen Lounsbury on May 17, 2021 at 9:11 am

    My heart felt condolences to Gunda, Kim, Laura and Megan and all those who loved Dave. Our friendship with Dave and Jan was the reason we came to Lawrence. He was a generous, respected, and fun loving man who lived his life well.

  11. Sherry and George Catt on May 17, 2021 at 9:15 am

    Thanks, Dave and Gunda fpr encouraging young musicians and opening your lovely home for “musicales”. Thanks for your sponsorship at the Lied Center, and for many lighter and frivolous fun endeavors with friends. Our condolences to Kim, Laura, Megan and other family members. Your zest for life will be remembered and missed.

  12. Sean Williams on May 20, 2021 at 8:02 am

    Inspirational leader. A caring musical soul. You departed with harmonic chords and a very big pair of shoes to fill. Love to Gunda & family.

  13. Rosella Ogg on May 22, 2021 at 6:09 am

    Our Hiebert Family continue to celebrate David Hiebert in the extraordinary way that he made a difference in so many lives! We are grateful for the gentle and witty way that kept us happy and loving. Gunda, Kim, Laura, Megan and your families are held very close as you find ways to fill those sad moments and laugh through your wonderful memories! Much love, the Clint Hanna and Bill Ogg families.

  14. Daniel Luzko on May 22, 2021 at 10:17 am

    Daniel Luzko:
    With deep admiration to a life model to me and many international music students who received so much support during our study years at KU. Dave always put a big smile and a listening ear to our piano music ???? ????, not to forget his generous financial support to KU. He occupied a seat in all of our piano recitals with enthusiasm and kept a log of the numerous KU student recitals offered at his home. We love you Dave from our hearts to infinity ♾

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