Duane R. Hedine, MD, F.A.C.S.
Oct. 7, 1924 — Aug. 10, 2013
Duane R. Hedine, MD, F.A.C.S. Many knew him as Doc; the doctor who tended to their medical needs. Following graduation from the University of Minnesota, he practiced general medicine for several years before becoming board certified in urology. A skilled urologist, he jokingly accepted his life as a “people plumber.” He cared for patients as people first, making home visits at all hours and any day. He helped establish the Walla Walla Clinic and served patients at the VA, General and St. Mary’s hospitals. Doc.
Many thought of him as friend. Occasional golfer, member of the Elks, Eagles, Century Dance Club, and participant in the old car club. Always happy to explore new countries with others who shared his wanderlust. And always pleased to find an excuse to be outdoors and active; two favorite pursuits. He was an avid world traveler, ghost town hunter and fisherman when time permitted. He loved summers at the cabin at Lake Coeur d’Alene. Friend.
Many knew him as part-time farmer operating Prospect Acres, where he grew varieties of apples, pears and peaches. The small plot he worked for years is now home to many new families and bears a street in his name. We thought it should be called Duane Lane but Hedine Road was a wonderful option to mark the labors of a man who welcomed many to the property for the annual summer “you pick.” Gentleman Farmer.
A few knew him as son and brother. Parents, Emerald and Einar Hedine, raised dad and his sisters, Jan (Sundberg) and Susan Hedine, and brothers, Jack and Lea, in the lovely community of Alexandria, Minn. The oldest of the five, dad worked at the family store, Hedine Jewelry, until going off to college, and serving in the Navy. Stationed at Farragut Naval Station in Idaho, dad knew from then on the West was going to be his home. Son. Brother.
It was following his naval service that he had a blind date that would change his life. He married a Minnesota-girl, Edna Welz. Their life together saw them living in Minneapolis, where dad completed medical school. Then it was on to Whitefish, Mont., Chicago (urology residency), and finally to Walla Walla. They celebrated 65 years of marriage this year. Husband.
And a very lucky few of us knew him as dad and grandpa. A towering figure with a contagious laugh, tremendous work ethic with boundless energy, supportive in his way of our visions (and always happy to share some strong opinions about what these should be). He taught us to ski, ride horses, love animals, create, enjoy and be true to ourselves. Because we followed his example, we are better people for it today. Plus we learned some pretty funny sayings that will stick with us forever.
Children: Tracy (Griff) Killgrove, Karen (Rick Harper), Kris (Kathy), Karl (Renee) and Jud (Kim) Hedine. Grandchildren: Kjirsten, Alexander, Haley, Eric, Emily, Lucas and Karly. Step-grandchildren: Tanya, Jarred and Jason. Dad. Grandpa.
While Alzheimer’s ravaged a great mind and could turn a gentle man into one fighting for something that eluded him, to the end he would thank a caregiver for a good meal, declare the day was delightful, and appreciate that there was great kindness from strangers. Thank you Eagle Springs for caring for him as much as we did. Special thanks also go to Josh and the rest of the Hospice team. They call the disease “the long goodbye” but the light in his eyes was always there. Until now. Gone.
With much love and ceaseless memories of the wonderful man who shaped our lives. Missed.
Memorial service will be held at Herring Funeral Home Chapel on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, at 11 a.m., with reception to follow at the Walla Walla Elks Lodge.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Alzheimer’s Association or Walla Walla Community Hospice through Herring-Groseclose Funeral Home.
Family and friends are invited to sign the online guestbook at www.herringgroseclose.com.