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Dr. Robert Stickley Hines, Jr.

• Updated Feb 13, 2018 at 3:58 PM

BUTLER/ NASHVILLE - Dr. Robert Stickley Hines, Jr.,75, of Butler and Nashville, TN passed away peacefully in his home on Sunday, February 11, 2018, surrounded by his loving family.

Born in Cleveland, TN, on June 09, 1942, he was the son of the late Dr. Robert Stickley Hines and Mrs. Evelyn Pack Hines. He is survived by his wife, Dr. Mary Alicia Hooks of Butler and Nashville, TN; his three daughters, Shannon Casson (Mark) of Asheville NC; Holly Johnson (Steve) of Greenville, SC; and Dr. Katherine Dobie of Franklin TN; his five grandchildren, Henry Casson, Robert Johnson, Caroline Johnson, Claudia Dobie, and Evelyn Dobie; and his brother, Dr. Ronald Keith Hines of Cleveland, TN, as well as many loving friends and extended family.

It is impossible to encapsulate a life that profoundly touched so many.

Physician and soldier, Robert was a dedicated man of service. He graduated from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, followed by medical school at the University of Tennessee-Memphis. He entered an internship at Philadelphia General Hospital chosen for its very demanding and rigorous training. From there, he was called to service for the US National Public Health in Alaska where he served a wide rural area as a primary care physician. After Alaska, Dr. Hines returned to Memphis to complete formal training in neurosurgery at the Semmes-Murphey clinic, where he was chief resident. Upon completion of residency in 1973, Dr. Hines formed a highly-regarded medical practice, the Appalachian Neurosurgical Clinic, in Johnson City, TN. He was a Professor in the Department of Surgery at the Quillen College of Medicine, as well as the Commanding Officer for the Army Medical Officer Training Detachment, receiving commendation for his recruitment. Dr. Hines was the consummate physician, from bedside to technical skill, highly regarded for his innovation in cerebrovascular surgical interventions. His reputation for how he made people feel in the most difficult circumstances was matched by his extraordinary skills as a surgeon.

Dr. Hines practiced medicine for more than three decades, touching and healing countless lives. During his esteemed career, he exemplified every ideal sought in a physician. His intelligence and technical skill were irrefutable; but more importantly, he was considered a superlative teacher, generous of heart, and deeply, profoundly empathetic towards everyone he met. Consistently, patients, friends and colleagues spoke of how Robert made them feel: safe, comforted, important, respected and cared for, regardless of circumstance or stature. He was gentle and affectionate. With characteristic humility, Dr. Hines once said, “Practicing neurosurgery for 35 years, I was able to stand on the shoulders of some of the world’s greatest physicians, but the most valuable and instructive mentors of all were my patients.”

In 1990, he joined the Army National Guard and in time rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel (Commanding Guard of Medical Unit). Colonel Hines and his unit were called to active duty in the Persian Gulf during Desert Storm and Desert Shield, where he led his unit to distinction that year as a part of the 8th Evacuation Hospital. His friends and colleagues of that time uniformly recount characteristics of unparalleled compassion, bravery, talent, respect, and wit that stood out then and still distinguish him to this day among his peers.

He retired on his farm (fondly called “The Dog House”) located in the cherished and beautiful hills of Butler, TN, with his beloved wife, Mary. Together they made a welcoming home, which they shared generously with family and friends. During his “retirement” he started an innovative company, RSH Developments inventing all sorts of gadgets ranging from truck boxes, knot tying devices and re-engineering high-end oven ranges to optimize function and efficiency. In 2011 Robert moved to Nashville to support Mary’s new appointment at Vanderbilt University. While maintaining their East Tennessee community they also established a new and loving community in Nashville.

A true Renaissance man, Robert was a masterful storyteller, avid outdoorsman (an Eagle Scout in his youth, big game hunter and fisherman for life), and inventor. Known as a chef of his own making, his inventive mind was also on display in the kitchen, garnering accolades from Julia Child herself.

He was a loving husband, father, and grandfather, calling his family the crown jewel of his life.

All are invited to share stories of Robert at his memorial service on Saturday, February 17, 2018 at Sugar Grove Baptist Church in Butler, TN, near his family farm. Visitation will begin at 2:30pm, followed by a memorial service with military honors to be held at 4pm.

There will also be a service in Nashville, TN, at West End Methodist Church on Thursday, February 15 at 6pm, 5pm visitation preceding.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Boy Scouts of America (https://www.scouting.org/) or Wounded Warrior Project (https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/).

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