The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

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April 9, 2012

A man dedicated to each endeavor he tackled

Monday, April 9, 2012 — I first met Dr. Eddins in the old Stanly County Hospital (which became Stanly Memorial Hospital) in 1964 when I was the new physician in town. He very graciously welcomed me to Albemarle and into the community of physicians. He suggested we cover weekends, holidays and vacations for each other. We did that for over 25 years, until he retired, in sickness and in health (I was sick more often than he was), without a cross word between us. For most of his career he worked 80 hours a week. I don’t remember him complaining about his hours. He was totally dedicated to his patients, making many house calls and being readily available day and night for them. He was equally dedicated to keep up, by constant study, with the frequent changes in medicine.

Prior to my arrival, Dr. Eddins had created one of the first intensive care units for heart attack patients in the country. He did this even before monitoring equipment was available. In 1969, I helped him design the forerunner to the present day unit with all the electronic equipment.

After he retired, he opened up his farm and his horses for a camp for special childen helping them gain confidence and a feeling of acceptance by riding his horses, and his buggy pulled by a horse. There were many children and he had to have help to manage it all, but there was no charge to the campers.

He loved having my grandchildren come and ride his horses and they all loved him. They were able to get up close to horses, goats, dogs and doves which they would not have been able to do absent his generous donation of his time.

He was proud of his membership in the “Saints” Sunday School Class at the First Baptist Church in Albemarle. He seldom missed a class in spite of his busy practice. For years he addressed the prayer postcards to sick class members and friends. Dr. Eddins and Harry Almond regularly made friendly rounds  Sundays at the hospital and nursing homes.  He also made rounds on Christmas Eve at the hospital, dispensing candy kisses and goodwill to the patients and staff.

Early in Harold McDonald’s ministry at the First Baptist Church, Dr. Eddins and Harry Almond came over to help the new minister. When they had finished, Harold asked how much he owed them. Dr Eddins replied, “You just have to preach our funerals for free.” Harold  has already preached Harry Almond’s, and I am sure he will be there for Buck. (Buck was a nickname given to Dr. Eddins by his father.) Sometimes good things happen to good people. A “retired” Harold McDonald happened to be the Chaplain at the nursing home where Buck spent his final days.

Dr. Eddins eventually inherited a large sum of money from an uncle-in-law (the man married his beloved aunt). Dr. Eddins considered this unearned money; therefore, he thought he was morally obligatred to give it away. He gave thousands to the Stanly Community College and Wake Forest University, his undergraduate alma mater. I can’t think of anyone else who would think they were morally obligated to give away money no matter how they acquired it.

An unusually unique man. The mold has been thrown away.

 

Dr. Francis (Frank) W. Green, of Albemarle, practiced in the city for 39 years. He retired in 2003.

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