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Sheldon Davidson M.D.

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Davidson, Sheldon M.D.
Sheldon Davidson, M.D. Despite the valiant efforts of Scottsdale Osborn Hospital ICU, Sheldon Davidson, 85 years young, passed away on February 25, 2013. "Shelly" was born in Chicago, Illinois to immigrant parents Anna Swerdlove Davidson and William Jack Davidson. He lost his youngest sister Florence Davidson in January of 2012 and older sister Evelyn Kogan in July 2012. He is survived by his eldest sister Shirley Hecht who is 94. Sheldon also lost his wife Beverly Davidson in 1992. He is survived by his children Laura (Bill Crowley), Sally (Charles Ables), William and Jennifer (Antony Hou). He is also survived by grandchildren Rachel, Amelia, Aaron
and Joy. He is also survived by nieces, nephews, cousins and other family members and friends. Shelly Davidson was one of the kindest and most generous people ever known. His intuitively creative way of thinking was astounding. He had a gift for storytelling and special way with wit and words. His children were often given their own special stories, along with math problems, at bedtime. Dr. Davidson obtained his bachelor's degree in Biological Chemistry from the University of Illinois. His master's degree thesis was entitled "Factors Affecting Vitamin A in the Blood." He also was an Instructor in Biological Chemistry at the University of Illinois Medical School. Sheldon graduated from the Chicago Medical School and received five years of ophthalmological surgical training at both the U.S. Public Health Service Hospital and Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1963, USPHS transferred him to Phoenix, Arizona to open an eye clinic for the Indian Health Service. In addition to his clinic work, he would travel to the different Native American reservation in Arizona, sometimes on horseback. After several years of working with the Indian Health Service, he established a private practice in Phoenix. A few years later, he established a longstanding ophthalmological partnership with his friend Lawrence Frazin, M.D. Dr. Davidson was one of the first eye doctors in Phoenix to perform laser surgery for nearsightedness. He specialized in cataract and lens implant surgery, glaucoma and pediatric surgery. He took special pride in his ability to assist children with strabismus - crossed eyes - and other muscle problems. Sheldon was a past president of the Phoenix Ophthalmological Society. He chaired the Advisory Committee on Special Education for the State of Arizona. He also served as Vice-Chairman of the Eye Section at St. Joseph's Hospital. As Chief of Ophthalmology, he operated the pediatric clinic for Children's Rehabilitative Services at St. Joseph's Hospital for 43 years. While others might have difficulty examining children, he had a unique ability working with and understanding children and those who could not easily communicate. His great sense of play and creativity drove his work and life. During World War II, the thriving Jewish population of Macedonia was decimated and their synagogues destroyed. After traveling to Macedonia, Shelly was instrumental in the fundraising and building of a new synagogue for the two hundred Jews that remain in that country; the synagogue was completed in 2000. He enjoyed the warm hospitality of the Macedonian people the numerous times he visited. He also had a great enthusiasm for the archaeology and history of that country and that part of the world--archaeology and history being two of his many lifelong interests. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Sheldon Davidson Family Research Scholarship Endowment that he established to encourage ASU students. You may give online at or by sending a check payable to the ASU Foundation, to the attention of Jill DeMichele, CLAS Development, PO Box 876405, ASU, Tempe, AZ 85287-6405. Donations may also be given to the Sylvia Plotkin Judaica Museum Fund at Congregation Beth Israel with information available at Our dear father, brother, uncle, cousin and friend--we will love you and miss you forever! You are always in our hearts. Graveside services will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, February 28th at Beth Israel Cemetery, 305 S. 35th Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85009. Arrangements by Sinai Mortuary.

Published in The Arizona Republic on Feb. 27, 2013
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