Evelyn Quinlivan

Obituary of Evelyn Byrd Quinlivan

Evelyn Byrd Quinlivan, M.D., 66, of Chapel Hill, North Carolina passed away peacefully surrounded by her family and the love of many on October 5th, 2020, secondary to complications of dermatomyositis.  


She was born July 18, 1954 to Charles Joseph Quinlivan and Evelyn Byrd Jervey and grew up on the banks of the James River on her family’s farm in Powhatan, Virginia.  She attended Longwood College and received her nursing degree from the Medical College of Virginia (MCV). She began her career in medicine as an intensive care nurse at MCV and met her husband, Timothy Charles Nichols, when he was a third year medical student struggling with patient presentations on his medical rotations at the hospital where she worked.  She continued working as an intensive care unit nurse at the Washington Hospital Center in Washington DC and Duke University, Durham NC.   She then began medical school at the MCV and later transferred to Duke where she received her medical degree in 1985.  She trained and became board certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She joined the faculty at the UNC School of Medicine and developed an independent career as a molecular virologist as Principal Investigator on an R01 and many AIDS-related grants.  As she had become a physician at the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, she felt called to serve this population when the disease was a death sentence and petrified many health care workers, preventing them from taking care of the patients she did not hesitate to treat.  She then transitioned from her basic virology career to become the Director of the Infectious Disease Clinic at UNC where her research focused on providing care to women of color and retention in care for people with HIV.  When she retired from that position, she achieved the rank of Associate Professor, had over 70 peer-reviewed publications and many abstracts that were presented internationally at AIDS-related meetings.  After retiring from UNC, she continued her clinical focus as Regional Medical Director in Atlanta, Georgia, for Aids Healthcare Foundation, Inc. (AHF), where she was named national director of the COVID Response Team for AHF in March 2020 until the time of her death.


Dr. Byrd Quinlivan is survived by her loving husband, Timothy Charles Nichols of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, their two daughters Elizabeth Byrd Quinlivan Nichols and Brooks Jervey Quinlivan Nichols; her brother, Charles McTigue Quinlivan; sisters-in-law, Deirdre Williams and Joyce Nichols Tomlinson; brother-in-law Barry Tomlinson; and many wonderful relatives.  Her first love was her daughters and spending time with her family. 


All will remember her for teaching them to love reading novels, history and poetry, to attend and support public libraries and live theater, to travel widely and for winning lottery tickets for the musical Hamilton that allowed them to attend together.  In lieu of gifts, the family suggests making a donation to the AIDS organization of your choice, especially those with an emphasis on providing care to women of color and retention in care. (Photograph provided by Byrd’s niece, Kate Carboneau).


The Quinlivin family Is under the care of Walker’s Funeral Home of Chapel Hill.

To plant a tree in memory of Evelyn Quinlivan, please visit Tribute Store
Services for Evelyn Quinlivan
There are no events scheduled. You can still show your support by planting a tree in memory of Evelyn Quinlivan.
Visit the Tribute Store
Share Your Memory of