Delta Chi Profile: Keith Hellems ’62

Greg Kaiser celebrates Keith’s Dork of the Year award when a sophomore

Delta Chi had an old building in my time, the house was already 50 plus years old. Thanks to Mike “Magoo” McGuire ‘58, Lane Kendig ‘62, Herb Koenig ‘63, Lee Brandt ‘64 and Howard Gandelot ‘64, it did not fall apart in my time. Since the fraternity was small, one had to always be working to get enough members together to field interfraternity sports teams, singers to give serenades and members to do jobs around the house. In retrospect it was a bonding experience, which in large part later played a role in raising a significant amount of money for the new house.

Remembering the sleeping dorm where everyone slept with windows open , winning floats at Michigras, setting up the drinking room in the basement for beer parties, serenading at sorority or residence houses for any pinning of a girl by a Delta Chi, wondering how fraternity brothers could play bridge all the time and still graduate, and , of course, the camaraderie of the fraternity brothers and contact with brothers so many years later, gave me the incentive to help raise money so that those that follow can have a lifetime experience just as I had.

I lived in the house three years. I had roommates David Falconer ’62 and Greg Kaiser ’61 in a 2nd floor room and as a senior lived with Bruce Balas ’62 on the 3rd floor next to the large dorm.

Because of my involvement with the fundraising I have renewed many friendships with people I knew years ago and have also made some new ones. The central team consisting of David Falconer ‘62, Howard Gandelot ’64 and Frank Morrey ‘64 became good friends, having talked to each other essentially every Monday for 3.5 years. Others include John Levinson ‘73, Barry Wood ‘61, Greg Kaiser ’61, Mike Kennedy ‘63, Bill Ament ’58, John Broad ’60 Howard Wiarda ‘61, John Jenkins ‘57, Al Knaus ‘66, Herb Koenig ‘63, Bob Cole ‘62, Lane Kendig ‘62, Bob Stekanas ’55, Tom French ’57, John Stinson ’75, Tom Michalski ‘55 and many more.

I started Michigan as a math and physics major and was initially in the Honors Physics Program, but after getting a “C”, which was like getting a D in a regular program, my physics career ended and I became a math major. David Falconer was around and I noted that he actually knew what was going on in math and physics while I just never completely grasped the more sophisticated concepts. I became convinced that a new major was in order, so as a late junior I decided to go to medical school. I was accepted by the University of Virginia and graduated in the class of 1966.

Delta Chi Michiganensian 1962

I have lived in Charlottesville, Norfolk, Warrenton and Fairfax, Virginia since getting out of Michigan.

“The fraternity house gave me a home and some continuity so that I could build some friendships and create an identity within the fraternity. Most of us, particularly me, came to the campus young, naive and inexperienced. The fraternity gave us a place to develop our intellect, our social skills and a way of interacting within our surroundings.

I established myself in the fraternity by winning “Dork of the year” once and “Wedge of the year” 3 times . I was recording secretary for a year and was elected president for 1961-62 school year. With these impressive credentials I was accepted to the University of Virginia Medical School, graduating in 1966. This was followed by an internship in Medicine at Boston City Hospital and two years (1967-69) in the Navy as a general medical officer, serving one year on the U.S.S. Rockbridge (APA-228), a marine troop ship carrier, followed by one year in a dependent’s clinic in Norfolk, Virginia at the Little Creek Dispensary. Interestingly I was 4-F initially because I had polio when I was 12, but once I became a physician, I became I-A. All doctors had to serve since the Vietnam War was going on. I was a Lieutenant. while in the service, becoming a Lt. Commander about the time I left the service.

I returned to the University of Virginia where I took a radiology residency from 1969 to 1972. In 1972, I joined a three man group that provided radiology services at Warrenton, Culpeper, Front Royal and Manassas, Virginia hospitals. During those years I served on multiple medical staff and hospital committees, including being President of the Fauquier Hospital Medical Staff and also Fauquier County Medical Society. I served seven years on the Fauquier Hospital Board and five years on the Fauquier Systems Board. Along the way I was President of the PTA of our children’s private school and served on its board for three years. I was President of my group, Virginia Radiology Associates, for the last 10 years before retiring in 2006. The group grew from four to 24 radiologists.

I married Joyce Reuter, whom I met in high school. I was a junior and she was a sophomore. She went to Smith College as a freshman but transferred to Michigan as a sophomore. We got married in August 1962 just as I started at the University of Virginia medical school. We have, as the saying goes, four lovely children of whom we are proud. Three of our children were graduated from a prep school in Wallingford, Connecticut, Choate Rosemary Hall. Our son Harper, born in 1963, received his BA degree from Wesleyan University in Connecticut and MA degree from the University of Virginia in Soviet Studies and then became a sculptor and barista. Kingsley, born in 1966, was graduated from the U. of Virginia McIntyre Business School and worked as a CPA for KPMG in their Washington, D.C. and later Tyson’s Corner, Va. office, married and raised three or our five grandchildren. Kristen, born in 1969, was graduated from U. of Virginia with a B.S. degree and then the U. of Mississippi Medical School. She took a pediatric internship at the U. of Virginia and her residency at the U. of Mississippi. She practiced about five years and then went back and took a four year radiology residency followed by a two year fellowship in cardiac imaging. Her title in the family is “Dr. Dr.” and she is now on the faculty at the U. of Mississippi. She is raising our other two grandchildren. Kim, born in 1976, was graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a fine arts degree and worked for a jewelry designer for about two years. She then became a licensed veterinary technologist and worked for nine years at the U. of Virginia Hospital. She decided to return to school and in May 2016 finished a two year program as an X-Ray technologist where she earned the very

first award given by the Keats Foundation for the highest academic average. In August 2017 she started a two year program to become a radiation therapy technologist and in 2020 she began a one year course to become a dosimetrist in radiation therapy. She now has a job in Norfolk, VA as a dosimetrist.

July 2021-80th bday family picture

While raising our 4 children, Joyce has been involved in many areas: volunteering in Kairos, a prison ministry, for the past 25 years which she still does; multiple elections to church vestries over the years; and helping to establish the literacy volunteer group in Warrenton, VA. She has been a dancer all her life and was a member of a clogging group that performed in the July 4th parade in Washington, D.C. She has been a quilter and needle pointer most of her adult life. She presently does Pilates and takes part in a monthly book club. In the past 4 years she has become a duplicate bridge enthusiast. She has boundless energy which has kept us all alert over the years. She also has a great sense of humor.

Genealogy has been a hobby for some time, although not recently. I have about 12,500 names in my database. At one time or another I have had collections of National Geographic Magazines dating back to 1917, Life Magazines dating back to their 1st one in 1936, about 1200 miniature liquor bottle collection, and a few political campaign buttons and military patches collection, all having been sold or given away as we downsize. Joyce and I live near an Osher Lifetime Learning Institute which is affiliated in our area with George Mason University. Over the past 10 years we have taken innumerable courses ranging from Middle East old and recent history, review of the Hadron Collider physics, world war topics, religion courses, etc. We have also traveled to Europe, Russia, China, India, Vietnam, Cambodia, Australia and New Zealand in past years.

I had a tonsil/tongue cancer treated with radiation in 2010 with what appears to be a cure with no recurrence as of this time. Fifty years of smoking (yes, I know doctors should know better). I stopped smoking the first day they put me on the radiation unit and I was surprised how easy it was to actually go without cigarettes for more than a few days.

Being asked in 2013 to become part of a four man fundraising team with David Falconer ’62, Howard Gandelot ’64 and Frank Morrey ’64 to raise money to build a new fraternity house was a welcome challenge. We literally made thousands of phone calls and sent even more emails to members of the Michigan Delta Chi. We resurrected the database with updates of addresses, phone numbers and email addresses. It was a time consuming and successful project. Before this project, I had only kept in contact with a once a year Christmas cards to two people from my 1962 days. Touching base with so many members turned out to be a wonderful experience.

My answer to the question what was your biggest success is being married 60 years to the same lovely woman and having four children who are presently on their own.

Advice for the younger Delta Chi members is to study daily and don’t binge study since the latter is stressful and creates bad habits. Have a job that you enjoy if at all possible. Enjoy the social interaction that your family and job make available to you.

What do you want to be remembered for? That I was a nice guy and a good husband and father. That my name is on the Michigan Delta Chi donation plaque as one of the four members who raised the funds needed to build a new Michigan Delta Chi chapter house for present and future Brothers to live.

H. Keith Hellems, M.D.

3928 Rust Hill Place

Fairfax, VA 22030

703-273-1577 (H); 540-878-6661(C) [email protected]