D. Ray Heisey, 79, professor and director emeritus of communication studies at Kent State University, died of complications from thyroid cancer May 20.
During his 30-year career at Kent State, the Kent resident served as professor of public address and intercultural communication and later directed the school of communication studies.
He retired in 1996 and received the President’s Medal in 1997.
Heisey also served in various capacities at universities around the world. From 1975 to 1987, he was president of Damavand College in Tehran, Iran.
He taught at Peking University in Beijing, China, during the fall semesters of 1996 and 2000, when he served as editor of Chinese Perspectives in Rhetoric and Communications.
Heisey initiated exchange programs with institutions in England, Sweden, Poland and China. He also taught in Belgium and Estonia.
The professor, who also was an ordained Brethren in Christ minister, wrote a book titled Healing Body and Soul: The Life and Times of W. O. Baker, who was a leader in the BIC denomination.
A native of Gladwin, MI, he grew up in Louisville in Stark County.
He received degrees from Greenville College and Messiah College, where he taught for eight years before joining the faculty at Kent State.
Heisley earned a master’s degree from Ohio State University and a doctorate from Northwestern University. He did postgraduate work at the University of Edinburgh.
Since 1968, he attended Kent Presbyterian Church, where he was a frequent contributor to adult education and a choir member.
Heisley served on the board of the Brimfield Historical Society.
Survivors include his wife, Susanne; children, Kevin, Alec and Ian; four grandchildren; and siblings, Ruth Blackketter and Marion J.
Calling hours are 6-8 p.m. Friday, May 27, at Kent Presbyterian Church, 1456 East Summit St., where a memorial service will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 28.
Donations may be made to Mennonite Central Committee, 1013 Division St., Goshen, IN 46528.
Arrangements are by Bissler & Sons Funeral Home.