Dr. Eli Edward Reitman of Houston, Texas, fondly known as “Dr. Ed,” passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday, April 9, 2019, surrounded by his loving family, after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. He was born October 1, 1932 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. A true Renaissance man, Ed’s greatest passions in life were cooking, traveling, photography, writing, his clinical psychology practice of over fifty years, and his treasured family.
It would be customary to proceed with a listing of facts about Ed’s life, but that is not what he wanted. It comes as no surprise that he placed greater value on a depiction of him as a human being than a description of his education and life achievements. In his final days, he said the greatest gift he ever received was the outpouring of love, appreciation, and openly expressed affection from individuals in every echelon of his life.
His adoring patients often referred to him as a second father, their rock, the ultimate teacher of life. To them he was not just a mental health professional, but also a true friend. He saved many marriages throughout the course of his decades in practice, influencing not just the people he helped directly, but their children and their children’s children.
Ed’s friends would regale you with tales of his elaborate dinner parties, complete with a myriad of homemade courses and mandatory second helpings. While his meals were certainly scrumptious, more importantly, they were an expression of love for those he held dear.
His family’s fondest memories with Ed also centered around the kitchen, making countless batches of marinara sauce, clam chowder, cannelloni, and of course Ed’s annual Thanksgiving feast. He was “the glue” of the family, always there when needed with wise counsel, endless compassion, and teddy bear hugs. Meeting the love of his life in his very first college class, Ed and his wife Harriet traveled to all seven continents together, sharing 63 rich years of marriage.
The center of many souls, Ed is survived by his wife Harriet; daughter, Shelly Reitman Grenader and husband, Mark; daughter-in-law, Natalie Reitman; grandchildren, Melissa and Stephen Golding, Jessica and Steven Reinitz, Lauren Grenader, and Reese and Miles Reitman; great-granddaughter Ruby Elise Golding; and his “Lola,” Aurora Rueda. Predeceasing Ed were his son David Reitman and sister Bernice “Bunny” Schwartz.
We would like to extend sincere gratitude to Dr. Reitman’s exceptional oncology team, led by Dr. Benjamin L. Musher. Thanks to you we gained the opportunity to make precious memories on one last culinary adventure together in Italy, adopting a new motto—Life is short, let’s eat!