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Eduardo (Eddie) Méndez

1972 - 2018 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Eduardo (Eddie) Méndez Obituary
Eduardo Mendez

Eduardo (Eddie) Méndez, born in San Juan, Puerto Rico on July 30, 1972, died peacefully with his wife and family at his side on January 5, 2018 after a courageous fight against cancer. Eddie graduated valedictorian of his high school class at San Ignacio (San Juan, PR) in 1990, and graduated from Princeton University in 1994. Following college, he attended the University of Maryland Medical School, graduating cum laude in 1999. He completed residency in Otolaryngology followed by a Head and Neck Oncology and Microvascular Reconstruction Fellowship at the University of Washington. He joined the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Washington as an Assistant Professor in 2006, rising up the ranks to Professor in 2018. He was co-director of Head and Neck Oncology Program at the University of Washington, Director of the Advanced Head and Neck Surgical Oncology Fellowship Program, and Director of the Head and Neck Translational Research Program at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Eddie dedicated his entire career to the treatment of Head and Neck cancer, and he has improved the lives of countless patients with head and neck cancer through his surgical abilities and his research advances. He was the first head and neck surgeon to provide minimally invasive robotic surgery in Washington State. He not only performed these procedures with deftness, but he was instrumental in disseminating his knowledge and skills through training of others. He maintained an NIH-funded research laboratory at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, where he studied the drivers of head and neck cancer and mentored many research fellows. His basic science studies led to the first clinical trial of a drug that holds enormous potential to transform the treatment options and offer hope for those with advanced Head and Neck cancer. He has received numerous awards, including an American Cancer Society Find Cures Award. Aside from his professional successes, Eddie was an amazing and humble man who felt that fulfillment comes from the service your work provides others - and his was a very fulfilling life. He was a warm, funny, and loving man. He loved his career, his friends, his colleagues, but most of all his family. He was a loving dad (Papí) who enjoyed playing tennis, watching movies, dancing salsa, and being silly with his girls. He especially took immense joy from his children's talents and happiness. He is survived by his wife, Anne Manicone; daughters, Emma and Julia; brothers, George, Bobby, and Alfonso Méndez; sister, Maria Elena Ray; and mother, Belkys Méndez. He leaves behind many who love and miss him. In honor of Eddie, an endowment is being established in his name to help continue his legacy and work in Head and Neck cancer. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made online at http://supportuwmedicine.org/mendez or mailed to the University of Washington, Department of Otolaryngology, Eduardo Méndez Endowment, 1959 NE Pacific Street, Box 356515, Seattle, WA 98195. A celebration of his life will occur at Washelli Funeral Home, 11111 Aurora Avenue North, Seattle, WA on January 10, 2018 at 5 pm.
Published in The Seattle Times from Jan. 8 to Jan. 9, 2018
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