Dr. Henry M. Shuey, a Baltimore neurosurgeon who had been chief of neurosurgery at St. Agnes Hospital, died June 17 of cancer at his Lutherville home. He was 62.
Dr. Shuey was born in Philadelphia and raised in Huntsville, Ala., where his father worked at the Army's Redstone Arsenal.
After graduating from Lee High School, he earned a bachelor's degree in 1970 in chemistry from Centenary College in Shreveport, La. He graduated in 1974 from the University of Alabama School of Medicine.
After completing an internship and residency in neurosurgery in 1979 at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Dr. Shuey joined the Catonsville neurosurgery practice of Dr. Charles Henderson and Dr. Robert G. Hennessy.
"We were together for 31 years, and after 31 years, it was like a marriage," said Dr. Hennessy, the surviving partner. "And in all those years, we never had a fight. He was an easy person to get along with."
In addition to being a partner in the practice of Henderson, Hennessy and Shuey, Dr. Shuey had been chief of neurosurgery at St. Agnes Hospital since 1990.
"He was still seeing patients and going to meetings until two weeks before his death," said his wife of 39 years, the former Susan Kunnemann.
Mrs. Shuey said her husband "used laughter as a way to make his patients comfortable."
"He looked at his patients as individuals and not sick people. He wanted to listen to their problems," she said.
And to make them less apprehensive and laugh, he wore a hat that he selected from his collection of 500 or so when he operated on Fridays.
"His first hat came from a patient who had given him a fireman's hat as a thank-you present. He'd wear it around the office, and then other patients began giving him hats," she said.
"So every Thursday evening he selected a hat that he'd wear into the operating room the next day. It helped put the patients at ease," Mrs. Shuey said. "As he would walk through the parking lot, down the hospital corridors into the operating room, everyone he passed would break into a smile."
"Dr. Shuey was a superb surgeon and a leader in the neurosurgical world," Dr. Hennessy said. "He had superb skills as a surgeon and was always very attentive to patient needs. He avoided confrontations and butting heads with people. He never wanted to hurt anybody," he said.
Dr. Shuey, who believed in bringing state-of-the-art technology to his work, such as using microscopes in spine surgery, thought the patient's needs came first.
"He was, however, a firm believer that even as technology developed, the core values in medicine should remain the same with the delivery of excellent clinical care that embodied respect and compassion for every patient," Mrs. Shuey said.
"His professional commitment to St. Agnes and his patients was one of selfless dedication and courageous vision," she said.
Last year, in recognition of his clinical skills and commitment to the hospital, Dr. Shuey was inducted into the Healing Hands Society at St. Agnes and a bronze of his hands was installed in the lobby of the hospital near the chapel.
Since 2002, he had been president of the Maryland Neurological Society and had held several offices in the Neurological Society of the Virginias.
He was also a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Congress of Neurological Surgeons and the Southern Neurological Association.
Dr. Shuey was an active gardener of perennials.
"He looked for intensity in his garden as well as texture, color and variety of plants," Mrs. Shuey said.
He was a collector of fine wines and enjoyed taking trips to France, Italy and California with friends who shared his interest. He was a season ticket holder to the Orioles and Ravens.
He was a member of the Maryland Club and Baltimore Country Club.
He was an active member of Second Presbyterian Church. Because the church is undergoing renovation, a memorial service for Dr. Shuey will be held at 10 a.m. July 10 at Brown Memorial Woodbrook Presbyterian Church, 6200 N. Charles St.
Also surviving are two daughters, Meredith N. Shuey of Baltimore and Kimberley Hackman of Chapel Hill, N.C.; his mother, Eduare Shuey of Huntsville; a brother, Paul Shuey of Arlington, Va.; and a sister, Lora Abernathy of Huntsville.