August 2, 1924 - November 2, 2012
Eugene was born August 2, 1924 to Edward A. Meyerding and Eugenie Marie Villaume in St. Paul, Minn. He was second of three siblings, Christine and Charles survive. He attended St. Thomas Military Academy, where he earned the rank of Cadet Colonel in his senior year. Immediately following high school, he entered the University of Minnesota in the combined University Degree Bachelor of Science/Medical School program under the auspices of the U.S. Military for World War II. He completed both degrees in 30 months.
He completed his internship at Anchor Hospital in Ramsey County, St. Paul, Minn. and was then assigned by the Army to the U.S.S. Woodford, a Merchant Marine ship. After completing that tour, he requested transfer to the Army Air Corps. He transferred into the United States Air Force when it was formed.
Eugene obtained his surgical residency at Tripler Army Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii, where he treated many casualties from the Korean Conflict. It was in Honolulu that he met and married Ms. Patricia Elliott Lord. He completed his residency in 1952 and was transferred to Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Miss. After serving one year at Keesler, he was promoted to Chief of the Department of Surgery. In 1955 he had earned the rank of Major and Assistant Base Commander. He declined promotion to Base Commander of Laredo Air Force Base in Texas, choosing to leave the Air Force to enter private practice. Having searched much of the western United States, he visited his medical school classmate and good friend - Dr. Donald McGeary and his wife, Margaret, who lived in Phoenix, Ore. Margaret had been Gene's grade school classmate in St. Paul. After visiting Southern Oregon, he moved his wife, three children, and one dog to Medford - a town of 17,000 people at that time. Gene had the opportunity to use his general medical training as well as his surgical training. He set many bones, made countless house calls, and delivered many babies.
He was among the physicians who felt that Medford needed a second capable hospital. He worked diligently with other doctors and community members in advocating and actively fundraising to establish Rogue Valley Hospital. He served as Chief of the Department of Surgery as well as Chief of Staff for both Providence and Rogue Valley Hospitals. Eugene was passionate about the surgical care of his patients. He frequently operated with fellow surgeon, William Bill Mayer. They formed an effective team. His practice of medicine in the Rogue Valley spanned more than 40 years. He retired in 1995.
Eugene's sense of humor was witty and legendary. He had a truly encyclopedic mental catalogue of jokes and could provide one for any subject requested at any time. Eugene especially enjoyed hunting. He was a superb marksman and a renowned wing shot. As he was an avid waterfowl hunter, he needed a hunting dog. He trained a Labrador retriever who become a regional champion in the Field Trial Circuit during the 1960s. He also loved to hunt elk and deer. He became an avid and accomplished tennis player and played well into his 70s. He also helped to found the Southern Oregon Tennis Club. He appreciated being able to share his favorite sports with his children and grandchildren. He loved traveling in his motor home with his wife, Patricia. They traveled over most of the continental United States, often with their physician friends and spouses, and with his doberman pinschers.
His wife of 63 years, Patricia, remained by his side through all of their hard work, military assignments, travels, adventures, and illnesses. He was devoted to her.
His health declined and, though he battled with his typical determination and resolve, he passed away with his family by his side on November 2, 2012.
He is survived by his wife Patricia; sons, Elliott (Karen) and Eugene (Linda); daughter, Page; sister, Christine; brother, Charles; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
A small family internment will be held in the future. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Parkinson's Foundation, www.ohsu/parkinson-center.