St. Paul Medical Foundation's annual Transplant Tee honors beloved priest and teacher 'Jack' Deeves

ByRachel Skei Donihoo / March 13-20, 2011

Beloved for his kind spirit and gentle humor, the Rev. John “Jack” Francis Deeves spent a lifetime inspiring others through his eternal optimism. A former teacher, counselor, priest and heart transplant survivor, he believed in miracles small and large.

Father Deeves, who had several heart attacks in 1988 and received a heart transplant the next year at St. Paul Medical Center (now UT Southwestern University Hospital – St. Paul), lived 21 years after his organ transplant. He died in October 2010.

To honor his legacy and devotion to UT Southwestern University Hospital, which Father Deeves credited with saving his life, the St. Paul Transplant Tee golf tournament will be held in his memory April 11 at the prestigious Northwood Club. The annual event raises funds for St. Paul Medical Foundation and UT Southwestern’s Heart, Lung and Vascular Programs. The 2011 Transplant Tee, in honor of Father Deeves, was made possible through a lead gift from the Mary Lee and Fritz Duda family.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for St. Paul Medical Foundation and others to pay tribute to Father Jack, who was a beloved member of the UT Southwestern University Hospital community,” said Sally Ridgway, the foundation’s president. “The fact that his later years were made possible by the gift of a new heart adds a special layer of significance to this year’s event.”

Father Deeves, a native of New Orleans, relocated to Dallas in 1979 and taught physics at Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas until 1993, when he moved to the Ursuline Academy of Dallas to teach physics and theology and serve as chaplain. He often included jokes in his homilies and teachings. Even after retiring, he continued to serve as chaplain and often could be found on the Ursuline campus, entertaining and helping students and faculty.

“As someone who lived more than a quarter of his life with a transplanted heart, Father Deeves really understood that each day was a gift,” said Patricia Kaiser, a clinical nurse specialist at UT Southwestern and close friend of Father Deeves’. “He became a wonderful spokesperson for our heart transplant patients, and was a true servant to God and our fellow man. The Dudas’ gift is a lovely tribute to him, and adds an extra dimension to an already meaningful event.”

Corporate sponsorships of the 2011 tournament range from $1,500 to $10,000, with each sponsor receiving recognition during the tournament and at the awards dinner afterward. Mr. Duda, president and founder of the Fritz Duda Co., a diversified real estate development and investment building firm established in 1974, led the charge by donating $10,000 at the “Tournament Sponsor” level in honor of Father Deeves.

Founded in 1991 by Dr. Brian Baldwin, a prominent cardiologist and adjunct professor at UT Southwestern, the Transplant Tee benefits the medical center’s Heart, Lung and Vascular Programs and the group of cardiologists, pulmonologists and interventional vascular specialists who collaborate daily in treating heart, lung and vascular diseases.

By supporting the event, golfers, sponsors and donors contribute to the medical center’s outstanding program and help enable UT Southwestern’s excellence in patient care to continue, said Thomas J. Donovan, 2011 Transplant Tee chairman.

Working alongside Mr. Donovan on this year’s fundraiser are committee members Jennifer Brodrick-Tehan, Mason Brown, Lou Ann Corboy, Mike Ernst, Donnie Griffin, John Grimes, Jan and Jim Hinckley, Elly Holder, Ms. Kaiser, Peter Kraus, Vicky Lattner, Dr. Dan and Peggy Meyer, Rick O’Brien, Vin Perella and Sondra Shine.

For more information or to register for the tournament, please contact Mary Gulledge at St. Paul Medical Foundation at 214 645-1952 or mary.gulledge@utsouthwestern.edu, or visit www.stpaultransplanttee.com.

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