The world lost a beautiful soul on June 17, 2018, when Eric C. Hodeen, M.D., passed away in the arms of his beloved wife, Leslie, and surrounded by his loving family. Eric was a grateful man, and even in his last difficult days told Leslie, “I have the love of my life and three wonderful children; what more could I possibly ask for?”
Eric, the only child of his parents, Eric and Ruth Munson Hodeen, was born on August 29, 1942, in Providence, R.I. His childhood years were spent in Rhode Island, with summers in Old Orchard Beach, Maine, at the Seaside Hotel owned by his Aunt Anna. His family moved to Sanford, Florida, when he was in high school.
He graduated from the University of Florida in 1964 and Tufts Medical School in 1968. He completed his Straight Medical Internship at Rhode Island Hospital in 1969, and his first year of Residency at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1970. He was introduced to the Hampton Roads area in 1971 when he joined the Navy as a Lieutenant Commander in the Medical Corps. Eric considered it a great honor to practice hyperbaric medicine with the Navy divers for almost three years. Upon his honorable discharge, he returned to Ann Arbor, completing his Residency and Rheumatology Fellowship in 1977.
Having completed his education, he chose to return to the Hampton Roads area where he practiced Internal Medicine, Rheumatology, for more than 35 years. He felt that Rheumatology was his calling, cherishing especially the opportunity it gave him to have personal, long term relationships with his chronically ill patients. He was truly grateful to be entrusted with something as personal as someone’s health. Even in retirement, Eric continued his love of care-taking by establishing a twice monthly arthritis clinic at Atlantic Shores. He also was actively involved with the Arthritis Foundation, including serving as President of the local chapter. His civic involvement extended beyond his medical profession, and he was particularly proud to have been in numerous leadership positions with the Episcopal Church.
Eric is survived by his wife, Leslie, who has been the love of his life; his three children, Kristen Hodeen Robinson and her husband Mills, Eric Stephen Hodeen and his wife Julie, Michael Eric Hodeen and his wife Emily; and his three grandsons, Eric Zachary Hodeen, Eric James Hodeen, and Eric Parker Hodeen (you get the message, right?). He loved them fully, openly, and completely. Other family survivors include his mother-in-law, Ann Hamill Smith; his father-in-law, John W. Smith; and his sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Courtney Smith Johnson and John Johnson. Eric had many relatives, including cousins in his ancestral Sweden, with whom he felt a special affinity. And finally he is also survived by his sweet rescue dog, Tucker, who will never stop missing him.
Eric had dozens of friends, and treated all of them with genuine affection, respect, and generosity, even if they didn’t agree with his well informed, enthusiastically argued, and unapologetically liberal Democratic politics. He opened all of his homes, including the one he and Leslie built and enjoyed for years at Lake Gaston, to friends and family alike. He loved designing and redesigning every home he lived in, culminating in their perfect spot on 50th St.
He and Leslie played well together, traveling frequently throughout the U.S., Canada, Sweden and Western Europe, South Africa, the Caribbean, and Central America, including a medical mission to Belize. Regardless of where he woke up, the morning was not complete without his coffee and the New York Times.
A service, followed by interment, will be conducted by the Rev. Andy McBeth on Friday, June 22, 3 p.m. at Eastern Shore Chapel, 2020 Laskin Road, Virginia Beach, Virginia. Friends are invited to join the family at the home for a Celebration of Eric’s Life following the service. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to charities close to his heart, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation or the Eastern Shore Chapel Food Pantry.