VAN ELDIK, DICK LEROY
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Gainesville - Dick Leroy Van Eldik, MD, 84, recently of Gainesville, passed away March 5, 2013 at Shands Hospital at the University of Florida following an extended illness. Dick was born September 11, 1928, in Rock Valley, Iowa to the late Dick and Martha (Hiemstra) Van Eldik.
Dr. Van Eldik left home at age 16 to pursue his education at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he eventually met his wife Carol (Smeelink). He then attended medical school at the University of Iowa and completed internship at Indiana University Medical Center. He attended the Air Force School of Aviation and served as a flight surgeon during the Korean War.
Following his military service, Dick and Carol moved to Lake Worth, Florida where he began his solo family practice in 1957. He was board certified in family practice and was dedicated to caring for his patients in the most compassionate manner. In fact, he was named the 1987 Florida Family Physician of the year. He was always actively involved in medical and community affairs. He served in many capacities, including president of the Palm Beach County Medical Society, president of the Florida Academy of Family Physicians, and president of the Florida Medical Association. He was also one of the founders of Lake Worth Christian School and served as mayor and council member for the City of Atlantis. He retired from the active practice of medicine in 1996.
The Van Eldiks loved to travel and visited all the continents of the world. Dick and Carol moved to the Oak Hammock community in 2007 where they have been blessed to develop many close friendships.
Dr. Van Eldik is survived by his wife of 62 years, Carol Joy Van Eldik; 4 children: Linda Jo Van Eldik PhD, of Lexington KY, Richard Bruce Van Eldik MD of Ocala FL, Laurie Kay Davies MD of Gainesville FL, and Michael John Van Eldik of Palm Bay FL. He is also survived by 6 grandchildren and one great grandchild, due in August. He also leaves behind his caretaker Shirley Payton and his beloved dog Casey.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 9, 2013, at 1:00 PM, at First Presbyterian Church, 106 SW Third Street, in Gainesville, FL, with The Rev. Dr. Robert Shettler officiating, followed by a gathering in the Oak Room at 4 PM for the Oak Hammock community. Arrangements are under the care of WILLIAMS-THOMAS FUNERAL HOME DOWNTOWN, 404 North Main Street. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Calvin College Development, 3201 Burton St SE, Grand Rapids MI 49546.www.calvin.edu.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
Williams-Thomas Funeral Home Downtown
404 North Main Street
Gainesville, FL 32601
Published in Gainesville Sun from Mar. 8 to Mar. 9, 2013