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Curtis Edholm



Curtis Donald Edholm, M.D., age 91 passed away January 23, 2020 in Grand Rapids.  .  He was preceded in death by his wife, Shirley Breas Furgerson Edholm, his parents, his brothers Sidney and Dean and his niece Nancy Conway Lehman.  Dr. Edholm is survived by nephew Sidney (Linda) Edholm, his nieces Mary  Willamowski, Cathy Buck, Kelly Agnello, his sister-in-law Beth Conway and 20 grandnieces/nephews.   Born July 10, 1927 in Detroit as the youngest son of Sidney and Alice Edholm. In 1948 he earned a bachelor of science degree from the University of Michigan and then his doctor of medicine (M.D.) from Wayne University College of Medicine in 1952.  Dr. Edholm came to Grand Rapids for his internship at Saint Mary’s Hospital after which he entered the United States Army from 1953 to 1955.  He then returned to Grand Rapids for his Orthopaedic Surgery Residency from 1955 to 1959.  Dr. Edholm worked in private practice at St. Mary’s Hospital where he served on and chaired most of the major committees during his 25 years.  He was Vice Chief of Staff of the hospital from 1966 to 1969, Chief of Staff from 1969 to 1972 and Chairman of the Orthopaedic Surgery Department from 1981 to 1984.  Dr. Edholm was also the Director of the Orthopaedic Surgery Residency from 1977 to 1984, became a Trustee of the Dr. Frank Doran Foundation for Medical Education in 1984 and was an Honorary Trustee of the Saint Mary’s Doran Foundation in 1999.  At Mary Free Bed Hospital, he was twice Vice Chief of Staff,  Chief of Staff from 1978 to 1980, Chairman of the Orthopaedic Department from 1969 to 1973 and  a member of the  Michigan Orthopaedic Society, serving as President from 1972 to 1974.  Dr. Edholm was one of the founding members of the Association of Children’s Prosthetic-Orthotic Clinics. At his request, there will be no visitation.  After cremation, his ashes will be placed next to those of his wife at Graceland Mausoleum in Grand Rapids.  Donations may be made in his honor to the Saint Mary’s Doran Foundation, 200 Jefferson Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 or Mary Free Bed Hospital, 235 Wealthy St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.

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6 Responses

  1. To a wonderful person(docitor) i met at a very young age do to me having muscular dystrophy..i so wish i could have thanked you for the time you took for the surgeries you did on my legs…i send my condolences to all the family and frieds..

  2. Curt was a patient listener and skilled surgeon, exemplifying the best qualities of what is known as “bedside manner”. He accepted the challenge of the most difficult cases, often those that were poorly compensated, an approached them with meticulous preparation.
    My mentor during orthopedic surgery residency, he was a patient and learned teacher and a model for his students to emulate. Always in good humor, he was an able administrator and respected leader.
    He held on to fond memories of his short few yers with Shirley and treasured their time together.
    He left the world a better place by his presence.
    May he rest in peace.
    Ron Hoekman

  3. My husband and i were warmly welcomed to share table #10, at Beacon Hill Assisted Living dining room. He kindly shared some of the books of his family heritage, that he penned from materials gathered. We discovered our common Swedish heritage, dating back to grandparents’ immigration to the land of opportunity, which treated them well. We extend our condolences to his nieces and nephew. Table 10 will never be the same!

  4. I visited Curtis and table #10 at Beacon Hill in May 2018. I drove there from Philly to see him (and the tulips in Holland) for the first time in 65 years since our Army days at Chinon Engineer Depot, near Tours,France in 1954. He was the Camp doctor. The Depot was just being established to provide materials to build a jet fuel pipeline clear across France into Germany, necessary if Russia was going to attack……but never did. We went on vacation together down into Bavaria.. then to Holland …then to London and Oxford. His humor was ever present. I will miss you Doc.

  5. Dr Edholm was truly dedicated to medicine and the care of his patients. He always had time to talk and answer your questions. In those days, his ashtray was over flowing from the time he made for his patients. He performed my Herrington Rod and Fusion surgery. I’m forever grateful for his skill and wonderful demeanor. He was the best!

  6. Dr. Curtis D. Edholm also performed my surgeries for my Herrington rod/fusion surgeries. I remember he smoked alot also. Even though I had to have two surgeries in the summers of 77/78, I have had zero issues as an adult and have given birth to 4 sons and live a pretty normal life. I have seen others on social media complain of their scoliosis and it appears they were not given the chance or refused the surgery. As I said I have had no issues as an adult!

    I was just updating my health history and thought to google his name and saw that he has passed. He did make a huge difference in the world and in my life. He was a very accomplished doctor and I of course at the time had no idea of his high places at the hospital.

    I’m sorry for his family and friend’s loss. I am glad that he lived a very long life helping people all the way.

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