Dr. E. Linn Heartfield

March 17, 1937 - May 03, 2019

Dr. E. Linn Heartfield

Dr. Edward Linn Heartfield, 82, died May 3, 2019 in Beaumont, Texas surrounded by family, close friends, and Rev. Msgr. Jeremiah J. McGrath.  On Easter Sunday, Rev. Msgr. Michael A. Jamail administered the Sacrament of the Sick on Linn, and the day before he died, gave him the Papal Blessing.  Rev. Msgr. Jamail prayed the Litany of the Saints in Linn’s ear and the Commendation of his soul to God’s mercy.

Linn “Eagle Bird” Heartfield was born on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 1937, in Port Arthur, Texas to the union of Grace Linn and Gilbert Bailey Heartfield.  His formal education began in St. James Parish in Port Arthur, Texas.  He graduated from Bishop Byrne High School in Port Arthur in 1956, after which he attended The University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, graduating in 1960 with a Bachelor of Science degree.  He earned a medical degree from Tulane University School of Medicine and completed residencies in general surgery and otolaryngology at Charity Hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana.  He was dual board certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology in head and neck surgery and the American Board of Facial and Reconstructive Surgery.

Linn was a gifted surgeon and beloved physician who cared for thousands of patients in his 50 years of medical practice.  He was a founding partner of Southeast Texas Ear, Nose and Throat along with Dr. Thomas J. Killian, a close friend from medical school he persuaded to move to Beaumont, and Dr. Harold “Steve” Parks, Jr.  From this partnership and medical practice grew lifelong friendships that continued until his death.

Linn was a man of exceptional intellect whose three-dimensional insight enabled him to disassemble and put back together just about anything.  He could adeptly explain the working mechanism of a combustion engine and transmission by the age of 10.  When he was 14, he took apart his first car, a red Model A Ford, just to see how it worked, and then reassembled it.  He built a 16-foot speed boat when he was 15.  He rebuilt a dragster with a better and faster engine to compete in races around the country.  He pushed the limits with high powered motorcycles in motocross competition.  Linn ran 26.2-mile marathons.  And he proudly designed and built—with his own hands—the home in which he lived until his death, complete with an elevator constructed from a London telephone booth.

Intellectually curious by nature, Linn was well-versed in subjects as diverse as theology, philosophy, classical music, and circumnavigation.  He was full of “tricks,” like suspending his Christmas tree from the ceiling to spin for easy decorating.  His talents were many.

Linn lived a life of adventure the likes of which most only dream.  He was a mariner, embarking on his first sailing experience while he was in medical school when he successfully sailed across Lake Pontchartrain in a 10-foot styrofoam boat.  On the way back, the boat broke in half, necessitating a rescue by the Coast Guard.  Undeterred, Linn repaired it and sailed across again.  He later sailed his 52-foot Hans Christian across the Atlantic, and then went on to sail around the world.  On his two-year global adventure, he steadied boat and crew through many a storm in the Gulf of Mexico, the Mediterranean, the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.  He competed in the 630 nautical mile Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, which is universally recognized to be one of the most treacherous sailing races in the world.  When his boat took a pounding from a large whale, Linn had the presence of mind to safely navigate away using an auxiliary engine.  He fended off pirates near the Bahamas.  He narrowly escaped being sunk by a large ocean-going trawler that moved upon his starboard side in the middle of the night.  After confirming that no one was injured or dead, Linn, true to form, waived off the penitent ship captain’s offer of assistance and bid him safe travels to Mexico.

During his travels he taught medical students at teaching hospitals in Australia and South Africa for 10 months.  Upon returning stateside, Linn continued teaching at The University of Texas Medical Branch School of Medicine in Galveston, Texas while getting certified in the latest advances in otolaryngology made possible by laser technology.  Patients from all over the world sought Linn out for his skill in what was then a new surgical technique.

Linn lived life to the fullest and brought a sense of joy and fun to everything he did.  He prioritized people and experiences over things, and love was always his guiding force.  He had a tremendous capacity to connect and maintain meaningful friendships with people he encountered in his travels to France, Ireland, Croatia, Australia, Turkey, Greece, and South Africa.  He is remembered as a loyal and empathetic listener whose enthusiasm and love had no limit.  His Catholicism was sincere, deeply rooted and integral to his identity.  He remained humble, empathetic, generous, and grateful to the end.

Many are left to cherish the memory of this remarkable man.  He is survived by his wife, Shanna Lucius Heartfield, whose love and devotion brought him much happiness and to whom the family will always be grateful;  son Edward Linn “Guy” Heartfield, Jr. and his wife Blair of Dallas, Texas;  daughter Heather Mary Heartfield of Houston, Texas;  daughter Sharon Mary Heartfield Marchand, M.D. of Beaumont, Texas;  son Adam Linn Heartfield of Bismarck, North Dakota; daughter Lana Grace Heartfield of Lumberton, Texas;  and stepson Wyatt Adam Smith of Kountze, Texas.  He is also survived by six grandchildren:  Walker Edward Heartfield and Hall Milton Heartfield of Dallas, Texas; Sadie Mary Hewitt and William Heartfield “Field” Hewitt of Houston Texas; and Sidney Albert “Sam” Marchand V and Louis Ignatius Marchand of Beaumont, Texas.  Brothers Gilbert Bailey Heartfield, Ph.D. and his wife Yolanda of McAllen, Texas and U.S. District Court Judge Thad Heartfield and his wife Cornelia of Beaumont, Texas also survive Linn, as do many nieces and nephews.

The family wishes to thank Dr. Sidney A. “Sam” Marchand IV, Dr. Harold Z. Bencowitz and the ICU nurses who cared for Linn in his final days.

A gathering of Linn’s family and friends will begin at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 12, 2019 at Broussard’s, 2000 McFaddin Avenue, Beaumont, Texas.  A Christian Vigil will follow at 6:00 p.m.  Mass will be celebrated by Rev. Msgr. Michael A. Jamail and Rev. Msgr. Jeremiah J. McGrath at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, May 13, 2019 at St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica, 700 Jefferson Street, Beaumont, Texas.  Serving as pallbearers will be Dick Barlow, M.D., J. Thad Heartfield, Peter C. Isaac, M.D., Gilbert I. “Buddy” Low, Harold “Steve” Parks, Jr., M.D., Gerald Patrizi, and Wyatt A. Smith.  Following mass, all are invited to a gather in the Cathedral Center to celebrate Linn’s extraordinary life.

In lieu of customary remembrances for those so desiring, memorial contributions can be made to Catholic Charities of Southeast Texas, 2780 Eastex Freeway, Beaumont, Texas 77703.


Broussard's Mortuary - McFaddin Avenue
2000 Mcfaddin Avenue Beaumont, TX 77701
Gathering of Family and Friends
Broussard's Mortuary - McFaddin Ave.
2000 Mcfaddin Street Beaumont, TX 77701
Sunday, May 12, 2019
5: 00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Christian Vigil
Broussard's Mortuary - McFaddin Ave.
2000 Mcfaddin Avenue Beaumont, TX 77701
Sunday, May 12, 2019
6:00 p.m.
Funeral Mass
St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica
700 Jefferson Beaumont, TX 77701
Monday, May 13, 2019
11:00 a.m.
Broussard's Crematorium
5150 Stivers Street Beaumont, TX 77705

Comments (28)

  • Celia Crittenden

    24 May 2019 at 14:07 | #

    I am so sorry about Linn, but know he is in heaven spicing things up. I can still see his infectious smile. Peace be with all his family and friends who will miss him so much.
    With love,
    Celia Crittenden


  • Robert L "Bob" and Tina Jones

    15 May 2019 at 17:14 | #

    Farewell to a friend and fellow Tulane Medical School graduate and a Charity Hospital New Orleans resident. May his soul rest in peace. Prayers and condolences go out to the Heartfields.


  • Robin Valdez

    13 May 2019 at 03:41 | #

    My heart goes out to Shanna, his wife whom he adored, as well as all the Heartfield family. Linn leaves behind a legacy most can only dream of. He was a great friend to all. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.


  • eric kugler

    12 May 2019 at 19:23 | #

    In reading this memoriam, I just have to say how incredible a life that Dr. Heartfield has lived. He has done more in 1 year than most in a lifetime. My deepest condolences as you touched so many people on your amazing journey. You will be missed. To your next great adventure-journey on Dr. Heartfield.


  • Ronnie D Gebauer

    12 May 2019 at 13:53 | #

    Linn could Cowboy Up with anyone, a true friend and if he would have been born in Earlier times he would have discovered Continents
    Amen Amigo


  • William Baxley

    11 May 2019 at 20:10 | #

    My deepest condolences to the Heartfield family.
    “He kept at true good humour's mark, the social flow of pleasure's tide: He never made a brow look dark, nor caused a tear, but when he died.”


  • Candy Johnson

    11 May 2019 at 19:29 | #

    It is with a heavy heart I send my love and deepest condolences to the family of Dr. Linn Heartfield. I worked as his secretary for almost 20 years, (1981-2000). “Dr. Heart” was a wonderful boss and friend. He was not only known for his genius mind and expertise in his field of medicine, but was also a great adventurist, mariner and navigator and happiest when on his 52 foot sailboat sailing the oceans and seas around the world. He took numerous voyages, sailing around the world in sometimes life threatening conditions some so amazing you normally only read about in books. He touched so many lives and was a inspiration to all who knew him. My heart goes out to his children, wife, brothers and loved ones. I would like to tell his children. “Your dad’s vision of life was remarkable and he lived life to the fullest and leaves a legacy to be admired”...... Praying the Holy Spirit rest upon each of you, comforting and strengthening you in the days ahead....

    “I know you’re sailing again dear friend.....With one last voyage to make.....Set sail into the sunset.....follow the LIGHT over the horizon.....to our eternal home called Paradise.....Until we meet again......Candy Johnson


  • Liz Ryan

    11 May 2019 at 17:40 | #

    My deepest condolences to the Heartfield family. Linn was a remarkable person who lived an amazing life to the fullest. He was a wonderful friend to so many people.. My thoughts and prayers are with you all at this time..


  • Chief US District Judge and Mrs Rodney Gilstrap

    11 May 2019 at 17:30 | #

    The entire Court family of the U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas extends our collective sympathy and prayers to Senior District Judge Thad Heartfield and the entire Heartfield family at this time of loss.


  • Cindy Lockwood

    11 May 2019 at 16:50 | #

    My sincere sympathy to Dr. Heartfield’s family. As a pharmaceutical rep and a patient he was always great to call on, always gracious with his time & interest. He also provided some much needed lighter moments at times. He will be missed.


  • Jeya bharathi

    11 May 2019 at 16:44 | #

    Past week I was thinking about him and few days later found his passing. He was a talented surgeon. ...more than that he was a very kind person, full of spirit. I came to know him 40 years ago and he became a good friend of the family. He used to tell stories about his sea adventures. He was full of life in so many ways. Thanks for posting so many fascinating details about his other talents. God bless him. Jeya bharathi


  • Don and carolyn webb

    11 May 2019 at 00:55 | #

    What a guy he was a loyal friend whom we shall never forget


  • Kathi and Carl Heartfield

    09 May 2019 at 23:17 | #

    Our condolences to the Heartfield family. What a life that Linn lived. He was an amazing person who lived life to its fullest. Our prayers are with you all.


  • Suzy James

    09 May 2019 at 21:31 | #

    Dr. Heartfield got me through a terrible illness, and after recovery he did my tonsillectomy. whenI was 16. I was so sick and he was so kind and compassionate. After I got out of high school I worked at his office where I decided that I wanted to go to nursing school. I learned so much from him that is with me to this day. I will never forget his kindness and encouragement. He truly had the kindest heart... I will always remember him with great affection and respect. My condolences to his family and many friends.


  • Nicki Barks

    09 May 2019 at 19:53 | #

    I am so sorry to hear of Linn's passing. I have known him since the mid 70's and we hit the beach. I trusted no one with my health but him no matter what it was even a bad burn on my leg from a motorcycle I called Linn. He was the sweetest and funniest person. I will always cherish our friendship and good times. Rest in Peace Linn...you now can see the world all at once. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.


  • Jay Old

    09 May 2019 at 19:38 | #

    Too many fond memories. I'll never forget the house in the woods, the classical music blaring, and the many lunches at the Beaumont Club. Linn was one of a kind, who was an always welcoming and unconditional friend to all he met. My best wishes to the entire Heartfield family.


  • J . T. Leone

    09 May 2019 at 18:12 | #

    A great adventurer, and a pleasure to know. He had
    a wonderful life and lived it to the fullest. He will be sadly missed everyone who knew and loved him.


  • Melissa Jennis Ahrens

    09 May 2019 at 04:02 | #

    Thad and family...I'm sorry to hear the news. Will keep you all in my prayers.


  • Joe and Janie Nicotre

    08 May 2019 at 23:04 | #

    So sorry for your loss Sending our love and prayers


  • Lori Kubin

    08 May 2019 at 22:18 | #

    So many fun memories of Dr. Heartfield. He was a good friend, talented physician and so smart. He will be missed by all. Prayers for his family ❤️


  • Sherry McKee

    07 May 2019 at 03:07 | #

    Very sorry to have heard of Linn' s passing. I was a patient and all three of my son's and my mother. He was a very dedicated doctor and cared about his patients. Praying for his children and family.


  • Alice Flitcraft

    06 May 2019 at 23:52 | #

    I'm so sorry for your loss. I was a patient of his, as well as a nurse that worked with him thru out the years. He was always kind to the nurses and a joy to work with. He will be missed.



    06 May 2019 at 20:01 | #



  • Charles and Alicia Daleo

    06 May 2019 at 15:17 | #

    Our deepest condolences to the family. I don't know of an individual who live their life any more to the fullest than Linn. Wonderful and so well liked and respected. Helped so many throughout his lifetime.


  • Jean Roussel

    05 May 2019 at 19:20 | #

    To all the Heartfield family. To his children, Thad and Gilbert , his brothers. I got new of this early this morning. I have know most of you for a lifetime. . I am so sorry to be saddened by this news and my heart goes out to each of you and I pray for you to get through all of this. Linn loved life. He enjoyed his life and friends and he always remained a friend of mine all his life. My sincere condolences to all God bless each of you.

    Jeanie Roussel Austin Tx


  • Edna cowherd

    05 May 2019 at 16:40 | #

    My thoughts and prayers are with you Thad and Connie and family.


  • Robert McDonald

    05 May 2019 at 16:31 | #

    My condolences to the family of Dr. Linn Heartfield. I live in his neighborhood on Williford Road in Kountze. So sorry to hear of his passing.


  • Rachel Shults

    05 May 2019 at 03:06 | #

    I am so very sorry for your loss, I know how much you loved Linn and will miss him. My thoughts and prayers are with you and the family.


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