James Kilburn Weaver, M.D. (1929-2017)
James Kilburn Weaver, age 88, died in Scottsdale, Arizona, on September 20, 2017, of a massive stroke. He was with his loving wife, Kathie, and his niece, Heather Borch-Christensen.
James Kilburn Weaver was born in Fort Collins, Colorado, on April 9, 1929, to Jess and Saville Weaver. When Jim was an infant, his family moved to Glenwood Springs, Colorado, where he was raised. Jim excelled in both academics and sports. After graduating from high school in 1947, he went on to Harvard University, where he graduated, was captain of the Harvard Ski Team, and excelled at ski jumping.
Following Harvard, he returned to Colorado and earned his Doctor of Medicine at the University of Colorado. This was followed by an orthopaedic residency at the same institution. He then did a year fellowship of additional training at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland under the world-renowned Dr. J.I.P. James. Following this, he returned to the University of Colorado as an assistant professor.
Jim always excelled in academics and wrote numerous articles and book chapters. He then moved to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, where he ran the Carrie Tingley Hospital for Crippled Children for 2 years. Jim was then named Chief of the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, where he spent many years training young residents and fellows.
Jim specialized in total joint replacement surgery, children’s orthopaedics, and sports medicine. The “Weaver-Dunn Procedure” was developed by Jim and his resident, Harold Dunn, M.D., and is still used in shoulder reconstruction today.
Jim was a member of numerous orthopaedic groups including: AOSSM (American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine), AAOS (American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons), ABJS (Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons), and he was most proud of being President of the Western Orthopaedic Society, which represented orthopaedic surgeons in the entire western third of the United States. He also was instrumental in starting the Western Slope Chapter of Orthopaedists in Colorado, which has annual meetings today. Jim and his dad were charter members of The Glenwood Springs Pool, and Jim was a board member until shortly before his death.
After returning to Colorado from Harvard, Jim married Norma Benedict from Glenwood Springs. They had 3 children, Sally, Jess, and Jill. Jim and Norma divorced after the unexpected accidental death of their son Jess.
Jim later married the “love of his life”, Kathleen Freeman Weaver, in 1976. They spent the next 41 years together “bonded at the hip” and were inseparable. Jim and Kathie moved to Glenwood Springs and joined Orthopaedic Associates of Glenwood Springs and Aspen for the remainder of his orthopaedic career.
After he retired, with his exuberant energy, they bought 100 acres of land in Fruita, Colorado, and raised a herd of 100 buffalo, all this while working part-time as an orthopaedist for the Rocky Mountain Orthopaedic Group in Grand Junction, Colorado. Jim, Kathie, and Johnny (their golden retriever) recently retired to Scottsdale, Arizona.
Jim had a zest for life, especially the out-of-doors. He and Kathie spent many hours on horseback going up the Jess Weaver Trail to their cabin on the Flat Tops Wilderness Area. They loved fly fishing on No Name Creek close to their home. They loved their golden retrievers, and never went anywhere without them. While living in Fruita, a repairman was alarmed when the dogs jumped into the swimming pool. Kathie said, “No worries, that is why we built it.”
Jim was quiet, but had a great, witty, subtle sense of humor. If you didn’t pay attention, you would miss it. Jim and Kathie built their own log home on No Name Creek in Glenwood Springs with minimal outside help. Each night, Kathie would ask him to look at how much they had done that day and Jim would always answer “I will look when we are finished.” He never left a job unfinished.
Jim is survived by his loving wife of 41 years, Kathie, daughter Sally and 2 grandsons, Jess and James. He is pre-deceased by Jess and Saville, Jess Jr, Jill, and niece Priscilla Freeman.
He is also survived by his brother-in-law Albert Freeman (Deanna), brother in-law Edward Freeman (Barbara), sister-in-law Colleen Selby (Richard), nephew Christopher Freeman (Landyn), niece Heather Borch-Christensen (Lars), and grand-nieces Elle and Cele Borch-Christensen.
Jim left an indelible mark on the orthopaedic community, as well as all who knew him and he will be dearly missed.
A celebration of life will be held at the Red Barn Guest Ranch, 345 County Road 262, SIlt, Colorado, at 2:00 PM on Sunday, October 22, 2017.
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