In Memoriam

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Alva Ray Huckins ’48

Alva Ray Huckins ’48, November 24, 2011, in Ojai, California. Growing up in Portland, Ray decided early on to become a physician. He worked in a shoe store at 13 and enlisted in the navy reserve as a high school senior. He worked his way through Reed as a lab technician, tow-truck driver, and janitor. In his junior year, he was called to active service as a pharmacist’s mate at Chelsea Naval Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, where he met Elizabeth Larsen. The couple married in 1942, and Ray was then sent to a mobile naval hospital in the South Pacific, where he developed a new, lifesaving procedure for quick blood typing. He returned briefly to the U.S. to do research at the Rockefeller Institute in New York and helped establish a naval medical research station on Guam to investigate tropical diseases. After the war, he came back to Reed to earn his BA in chemistry. He went on to earn both an MS in physiology and an MD from the University of Oregon Medical School, where he coauthored a book on congestive heart failure. Ray and Betty settled in Ojai, where he worked as a family physician until 1996. He also headed the Ventura County Medical Society and was a driving force behind the establishment of the Ojai Valley Hospital. He served on the Ojai planning commission and city council and as mayor in the late ’60s. Survivors include two daughters and a son, four grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. Betty died in 2009.

Appeared in Reed magazine: June 2012

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