Eugene N. “Gene” Herbek, M.D.

Eugene N. “Gene” Herbek, M.D.

December 10, 1949 – June 4, 2020

Eugene “Gene” N. Herbek, MD, FCAP, passed away June 4, 2020. He was born in Nelson, Nebraska, on December 10, 1949.  He grew up working with his father and brother on his family’s small farm in Deweese, Nebraska.  A proud Nebraskan, Gene graduated from the University of Nebraska for College, medical school, and residency.  He was Board Certified in anatomic and clinical pathology.

Gene chose to practice his life’s passion, pathology, which was second only to his family and friends.  He began work at St. Luke’s Hospital in Sioux City, Iowa. He then served as Medical Director of the Methodist Women’s Hospital Laboratory and Medical Director of the Transfusion and Coagulation Services for the Pathology Center at Methodist Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska.

Gene was a recognized leader in the field of pathology.  His impact was experienced at the national and international levels through his deep commitment to advancing the quality of medical laboratory care received by patients.  He tirelessly served on College of American Pathologist (CAP) committees, commissions, councils, inspection teams, the Board of Governors, as Secretary Treasurer, and ultimately as CAP President.

Gene, with his wife, Jean launched the See, Test & Treat program to provide free breast and cervical cancer screening and follow up care to uninsured and underserved women in the United States.  See, Test & Treat is made possible through the volunteer services of CAP members, their clinical care colleagues, and the generosity of CAP Foundation donors.

Among the awards Gene received are: the St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center, Sioux City, Iowa, Physician Hero Award, the CAP Outstanding Communicator Award, the CAP Foundation Lansky Award, and The CAP Pathologist of the Year Award.

Gene is survived by his wife of 48 years, Jean; daughters, Sara and Emily, son-in-law; Archie; granddaughter, Rylee; step grandson, Major; mother, Mary; brother, Robert and his wife Jan; brother-in-law, John and his wife Brenda; and sister-in-law, Ann.

In lieu of flowers, to honor Gene’s life his family requests that donations be made to See, Test & Treat

CELEBRATION OF LIFE to be announced.



  • Deepak Mohan, MD, FCAP Posted June 5, 2020 9:47 pm

    RIP Gene Herbek. He was one of the finest people I have ever known. I am heart broken that he is now gone. Pathologists have lost one our greats. Pathologists all over the world will mourn your loss. I will never forget his words: “The healing begins with a diagnosis”. RIP Gene

  • Mark Carlson Posted June 7, 2020 8:43 pm

    I had the distinct pleasure of working with Gene over the last 13 years. Always helpful, always kind, always had a smile on his face. He is one of the kindest doctors I have worked with. I will miss him greatly. I pray for your family, sincerely Mark Carlson

  • Stephanie S Familar Posted June 8, 2020 7:30 am

    Dr. Herbek was one of the first Pathologists I had contact with in my job at the CAP. He was always kind and enjoyable to work with and talk to. The world has lost a wonderful man. My sincere condolences to his family and friends. He will be missed dearly.

  • Diane Davey Posted June 10, 2020 2:03 pm

    I feel so privileged to have known Gene. A wonderful humanitarian and a great pathology leader who supported important causes for underserved patients . So proud of the work he and Jean did with the CAP See, Test and Treat Program. My sympathy for Jean and the entire family.

  • Peggy Spencer Posted June 10, 2020 4:59 pm

    It was a great pleasure to work with Dr. Herbek. Please accept my condolences. I will miss his smile and genuineness.

  • Justina Kelstrom Posted June 11, 2020 8:50 am

    During my time at CAP Dr. Herbek was a pleasure to work with and it was always wonderful to see his smiling face at the annual meeting. I extend my deepest sympathy and condolences.

  • Kenneth E Gibb Posted June 11, 2020 4:18 pm

    My deepest sympathy . .

  • Tag Herbek Posted June 13, 2020 9:54 am

    Sorry for your loss.

  • Robert Shapiro Posted June 13, 2020 3:04 pm

    Was taken by surprise. Gene was too young.

  • Robert Shapiro Posted June 13, 2020 3:04 pm

    Was taken by surprise. Gene was a great pathologist

  • Aldean Drilling Posted June 13, 2020 6:48 pm

    Legitimate person for everyone start of collage throughout life.

  • Oyedele Adeyi Posted June 13, 2020 8:28 pm

    Hearing of Gene’s passing came as a shock. Gene was someone you met and glad you did; he was a combination of everything you appreciate in a colleague and friend, mentor and leader. He was simply a caring and friendly physician and human being. Condolences to the Herbek family and to the other family at the CAP.

  • Bridget Rolenc Posted June 14, 2020 8:07 am

    So sorry to hear about this. I worked with Dr Herbek at Methodist and always found him a compassionate man. My prayers are with you.

  • Dennis O’Neill Posted June 14, 2020 8:28 am

    Gene was one of those rare individuals whose qualities as a human being matched and even surpassed his outstanding qualities as a physician and pathologist. He was always able to see beyond the issue at hand to the people on the other side of it. We’re all happy to have known him but feel diminished by his departure.

  • Allan G. Duey Posted June 14, 2020 8:47 am

    So shocked and sorry the loss of this great friend. We always enjoyed our time with Gene and Jean.

  • Carolyn Compton Posted June 14, 2020 11:29 am

    Gene Herbek personified decency, wisdom, honesty, intelligence and kindness and, as such, was a living reminder of what matters most in life and medicine. He was a prized friend and colleague. I will miss him terribly. He leaves a rich and admirable legacy behind him.

  • Gordon Johnson, MD Posted June 14, 2020 4:10 pm

    I was looking forward to calling Gene up before too long because Gene and Jean ad well as the daughters have been on my mind lately. Gene was brilliant, classy, and a consummate humanitarian. He was exactly the kind of individual everyone wanted to be around. He was a kind, compassionate leader. I know the loss to his beloved family is tremendous, and I grieve so with you. Jean, hug the girls for Linda and me and know that we love you and everything you have stood for.

    Gordon and Linda Johnson

  • Duane and Peggy Hoffmeyer Posted June 16, 2020 8:54 am

    Jean, Emily and Sara: We are so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.

  • Lezlie Haddad Posted June 16, 2020 4:24 pm

    I am silenced with shock to hear about the loss of a legend in his time. I was a medical technology student at St. Luke’s when I met Dr. Herbek. I was employed for the next 16 years and looked up to his expertise and passion as a pathologist. After he moved to Omaha, my career path changed and lead me to an internship at Methodist Hospital. I once again was connected with Dr. Herbek. Remember his big smile when I would make a surprise visit to his office. My deepest sympathy to Jean, girls and families.

  • John Casey MD, Lincoln Nebraska Posted June 17, 2020 8:12 pm

    A great loss especially for family, but also for Medicine, Pathology and the innumerable individuals with whom he interacted over the years. He was a wonderful resource for so many pathologists, including me. I often called him for advice regarding federal guidelines for laboratories and sometimes just to visit. My deepest sympathy goes out to his family in this time of sorrow.

  • Diane Bauerly Posted June 19, 2020 6:47 am

    Such a good and caring man excellent pathologists I know he will be missed. My condolences to his family.

  • Dan Cole MD Posted June 19, 2020 9:25 am

    Very sorry for your loss. Knew Gene through Iowa Association of County Medical Examiners. A Great Doctor and man. May your memories help sustain you. God Bless

  • Ron and Dorothy Lepoff Posted June 21, 2020 10:56 pm

    I can’t believe that he’s gone – one of the nicest people that I’ve ever met, kind, caring and sympathetic, a genuine standout in my long experience.

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