HPU News for December 2011

Hawai`i Pacific University Assistant Professor John Heckathorn, Ph.D., Dies

December 28, 2011

John Heckathorn
John Heckathorn, Ph.D.
Hawai`i Pacific University Assistant Professor John Heckathorn, Ph.D., died Dec. 28 at Straub Clinic & Hospital. According to a published report in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Heckathorn suffered a heart attack on Christmas Day and never regained consciousness.

Heckathorn, 65, joined the faculty of the HPU College of Humanities and Social Sciences in the fall after a long career in Hawai`i journalism. He was perhaps best known for his long tenure as editor at Honolulu magazine, published by PacificBasin Communications.

“For more than 25 years, his words graced the pages of Honolulu magazine and through his writing, he was able to touch hundreds of thousands of lives,” said Scott Schumaker, president of PacificBasin Communications.  “Those of us who worked side-by-side with him will miss him terribly. He was a mentor to all of us and a friend to most of us, and it is his friendship that we will miss the most,” Schumaker said.

Schumaker said Heckathorn was excited to join the faculty of HPU, as it gave him an opportunity to mentor students. “He really enjoyed what he was doing for HPU. He was extremely energized by a new generation of journalists and media entrepreneurs,” Schumaker said.

“John Heckathorn was an outstanding educator who brought keen insight, passion, and humor to everything he did.  John worked at Hawai`i Pacific University for only a short time, yet his contributions to the HPU community will be felt for many years to come,” said Dr. John Kearns, vice president of Academic Affairs.

Dr. John Hart, professor and chair of the HPU Department of Communication, described Heckathorn as the premier food critic in Hawai’i. “It is such a loss. We can hire another journalism instructor. We cannot hire another John Heckathorn,” Hart said.

Heckathorn is survived by his wife and three daughters. Services are pending.