Cover photo for Dr. Abbas Behbehani's Obituary
Dr. Abbas Behbehani Profile Photo
1923 Dr. 2010

Dr. Abbas Behbehani

July 28, 1923 — January 28, 2010

Dr. A.M. Behbehani, 86, of Paducah, Ky., formerly of Kansas City, Kansas, passed away at 8:45 a.m. Thursday, January 28, 2010, at Western Baptist Hospital. A private family service will be held at Milner & Orr Funeral Home of Paducah with the Rev. Joseph Geary of Paris, Tennessee, officiating. Burial will follow at Woodlawn Memorial Gardens. Known to most as "Dr. B," he was born in Nijaf, Iraq, in July 1923. In 1946, seeking a better life, he moved to Europe and then to Evansville, Indiana. Dr. B graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology. He subsequently graduated from the University of Chicago with a Master's Degree in Microbiology and obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Texas. He later married and had two sons, Ray and Allen, who were both born in Waukegan, Illinois. The family moved to Dallas and Houston, Texas, before settling in Kansas City in 1964 where Dr. B worked at the Kansas University Medical Center. He lectured thousands of medical and nursing students over the 40 years he spent there. In 1965, a beautiful daughter, Bita, was born, who quickly became Dr. B's pride and joy. Dr. B enjoyed cooking for his family, riding his bicycle, swimming, walking, classical music, reading history, short wave radio, taking his sons fishing and collecting stamps. He dedicated himself to medical research and wrote three books, including "The Smallpox Story - In Words and Pictures," which was published in 1983 and highly regarded around the world. Dr. B attended Village Presbyterian Church in Prairie Village, Kansas, for many years. He was a regular participant in their potluck dinners. He enjoyed the food and fellowship provided as well as traveling around the world on trips with them. Dr. B is survived by his sons, Ray Behbehani of Washington, D.C., and Allen Behbehani and wife Caroline of Paducah, Ky.; his daughter, Bita Heitmann and husband Kurt of San Diego, California; five grandchildren, Layla Behbehani of Washington, D.C., Erin Behbehani and Chad Behbehani of Paducah, Ky., and Trevor Heitmann and Ellen Heitmann of San Diego, California; and one sister. In addition to his parents, Dr. B was preceded in death by four sisters and two brothers. The family would like to thank Morningside Assisted Living, Superior Care Nursing Home and Western Baptist Hospital for their loving care of Dr. B. Expressions of sympathy may be made in the form of donations to American Cancer Society, 3140 Parisa Drive, Paducah, KY 42003. You may leave a message of comfort or light a candle at www.milnerandorr.com.

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