1990 - Doc Passes Away

Over the weekend of May 7, 1990, when Doc and Alicia were back in Chimaltenango, he died of congestive heart failure in their home.

The outpouring of grief at the round-the-clock wake was unforgettable. John Puelle spoke of a Mayan woman standing at Doc’s casket, authoritatively directing Doc to get up! “Doctor, levante-se!”

Doc’s wake was held in their home, followed by a procession to downtown Chimaltenango, and the internment in Chimazat, Alicia’s village. Despite Doc’s death, the fracture within the Clinic was evident. No wake was held inside the Clinic; instead, the eulogies took place outside, in the town square.

Additionally, over two dozen memorial gatherings for Doc occurred, in the US, and also in England and Tanzania.

At the time of Doc’s passing, internal friction and conflict had arisen within the Chimaltenango program. This was a very difficult time, and there were serious questions about the future of the program.  However, gradually, and with concerted effort, by the end of 1991, there were breakthroughs, and conflicts were resolved. The program experienced a new dawn, and the work picked up in a spirit of partnership.

Dig Deeper:

Click the image or text below for a deeper look.

Go to the People. (1990). Page Burkholder, producer. Memorial to Dr. Carroll Behrhorst.

Gringo Doctor – The Legend and the Legacy.  A Eulogy by  Felipa Xico.  Pp 31-40.  A New Dawn in Guatemala.

Memories of Doc’s Internment by Joe Kelly. p 34 Memories from Behrhorst Clinic Volunteers 1966-1990

The Behrhorst Ripples, stories by Mayan doctors following Doc. Dr. Leonél Sacbajá, p 37.

The Behrhorst Ripples, stories by Mayan doctors following Doc. Dr. Daniel Salazar, p 39.

Paso a Paso. (1992). Page Burkholder, producer.  Steps forward following Doc.