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1928 - 2013

Herbert Roedling, M.D. (S ’59)

November 23, 1928 – November 6, 2013 Dr. Herbert Roedling, 84, of Beverly Hills, California, passed away peacefully after a short illness Wednesday, Nov 6, 2013 at his home surrounded by his family. Born November 23, 1928, in Graz, Austria, the son of Dr. Alexander Roedling (a founding father of the International Skiing Federation – FIS) and Hilda (Schmidt) Roedling. Herbert graduated from University of Innsbruck in 1952 with a degree in medicine. As a Fulbright exchange student, he interned at St. Luke’s Hospital, Milwaukee, WI. Herbert received a Master’s Degree from University of Minnesota. He completed his general surgery residency at Columbia Hospital and the Mayo School of Graduate Medicine. Herbert was a dedicated surgeon for over 62 years. While busy caring for his patients, he was also the trusted medical advisor for all his family and friends. Herbert worked on the surgical staff at the Mayo Clinic, Santa Monica Hospital, Cedars-Sinai, St. John’s Hospital and the Serra Medical Clinic, Sun Valley. He was Clinical Professor of Surgery at University of California, Irvine, from 1966 to 1976. He was extremely proud of his pioneering role in the introduction of interventional endoscopic surgical procedures to America. In 1958 Herbert and his Mayo Clinic colleagues reported the first endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy, earning him a nomination for the Nobel Prize in Medicine. His other legacy to the world of surgery was the hemostatic clip, now known as the Weck Samuels Hemoclip. Developed with Dr. Peter Samuels and published in the Annals of Surgery, Col 163, No 3, March 1966. Herbert was a decorated downhill ski racer. At 17 he won the Austrian Collegiate Ski Championship. In 1949 he won the downhill at a world cup event in Val Gardena, Italy. Injuries forced him to miss the next 2 years, but in 1952, while completing his final year in university, Herbert won both the Innsbruck University Championship and the Collegiate World Championship in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Herbert was appointed physician to the Austrian team at the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley, CA. He remained an active skier all his life, still doing black diamond runs on his most recent ski trip in Vail in 2012. He was also a lifelong tennis player, playing doubles twice a week, often followed by cocktails at his house. His most recent tennis win was at a Brookside Tennis Club social in June 2013, while visiting with his son Alex. Herbert married Rita, the love of his life on December 26, 1964. He became ‘Steppo’ to Anita and Kathy, Rita’s daughters, and later ‘Dad’ to Alex. During their wonderful 36 years together, Rita introduced him to her world of Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Hawaii, while he introduced her to his world of skiing and Austria. Herbert was the life of every party, and his dinner speeches were infamous! After Rita passed away in 1996, he continued to travel frequently to Austria and Hawaii to spend time with his close friends. Herbert is survived by his son Alex (Catherine) Roedling of Saratoga, CA.; daughters Anita (Arnold) Rosenstein of Beverly Hills, CA.; Kathy (Guy) Fritz of Rancho Santa Fe, CA.; grandsons Liam, Brian, Chris, Kyle and Taylor and his loving relatives and friends. Special thanks to LuAnn Johnson and her team of caregivers who took such great care of him during the last few months of his life. In lieu of flowers, the Roedling family requests that charitable gifts be directed to the Cancer General Fund in memory of Herbert Roedling at the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.¿ Gifts may be made online at or by calling (310) 423-8537.
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