Prominent radiologist was 'more than great'

Gerald Frank "Gerry" Scidmore, a former longtime chief of medical staff at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian and prominent Newport Beach radiologist, has died. The 71-year-old died Friday at Hoag after a brief but intense fight against leukemia, his wife said.

Scidmore joined the Hoag medical staff in 1971 and was a founding member of the Newport Harbor Radiology Associates.

The nearly 40-year veteran was a role model to all who knew him, said longtime friend and retired physician Douglas Cassel.

"Gerry was more than great; he was the best in the department," Cassel said. "Everything he did was special and awe-inspiring."

Scidmore served as partner of the radiology department and was seen working diligently up until not long before his death, according to departmental staff.

He was a member of numerous medical and radiology societies, including the California Medical Assn., the American Medical Assn., the Radiological Society of North America and the American Roentgen Ray Society. He was also a fellow of the American College of Radiology.

Scidmore was a firm advocate of putting a patients' needs above all else — a philosophy he practiced for more than four decades and a lesson he strove to impart to the next generation of radiologists and physicians, Cassel said.

"Gerry always stressed patient care," Cassel said. "He never sacrificed for expediency or ease and he never compromised — he was excellence in all things."

Scidmore lived in Corona del Mar with Bonnie, his wife of 36 years. Born in National City, Calif., Scidmore graduated from UC Berkeley and received his medical degree from UC San Francisco. He came to Newport Beach after serving in the Army as a captain and radiologist, according to information provided by Cassel.

Although he is remembered at Hoag for his dedication to excellence in his work and patient care, his family remembers him for his quick wit and as an ever-present wall of support.

"He pushed his children intellectually and encouraged us to follow our own direction," said son Jeremy Scidmore, 32. "He was jovial, supportive and incredibly understanding."

His five children were raised to value community and were encouraged to use their natural talents to contribute to society, Jeremy Scidmore said.

Scidmore is survived by his wife, sisters Jacquelyn Grant and Jean Marie Steson, five children — MarciSkidmore, Scott, Jeremy, Deborah Givens and Stephanie Alstott — and four grandchildren.

Services will be held on June 16 at 1 p.m. at the Christ Lutheran Church of Costa Mesa, 760 Victoria St. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to Hoag, Christ Lutheran Church of Costa Mesa or Habitat for Humanity, Cassel said.

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