Dr. Eric H. Widell Jr., M.D., 77, died Monday, Dec. 3, 2012, in Las Vegas, Nev. Eric was born in Jacksonville, Fla., and grew up all over the United States. His father, Eric Sr., worked for the Army during World War II, and the family moved many times. The last move was to Whittier, Calif., where Eric graduated from high school and attended Whittier College. He attended medical school at USC and then had a four-year residency in orthopedics at Harbor General Hospital in San Pedro, Calif. After a year’s fellowship in rehabilitation at Orthopedic Hospital in L.A., Eric served in the Navy for two years, spending one year in Vietnam. In 1969, he joined Dr. Leon Wiltse and Dr. Gordon Bateman in private practice in Long Beach, Calif., doing general orthopedics with an emphasis on surgery of the spine. He served as chief of medical staff and chief of orthopedics at Long Beach Memorial Hospital.
In 1988, Eric moved to Sun Valley, Idaho, and joined the Mollie Scott Clinic, again serving as chief of the medical staff at Moritz Community Hospital. In 1993, he opened his own office, the Sun Valley Spine Institute, where he remained until his retirement in 2000. Although Eric and Lois moved to Las Vegas, Nev., they returned to visit Sun Valley and their many friends yearly. Eric was an avid photographer, played the trumpet professionally through college and med school, and loved to scuba dive, play tennis and rock climb.
Eric is survived by his wife, Lois, of Las Vegas; a brother, Gary, of Warren, Pa.; a sister, Cheryl Cross of Whittier, Calif.; and a daughter and granddaughter in Palm Springs, Calif. Both of his sons preceded him in death.
A memorial was held in Las Vegas on Dec. 9. A Sun Valley celebration of Eric’s life will be held this summer. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Kingswood Memory Care Unit of Heritage Springs in Las Vegas, Nev., by calling B.J. Wright at 702-360-6023.