Bob Oden 1922–May 18, 2008
Dr. Bob Oden (that is pronounced O–Dane for non-Scandinavians) is one of the kindest, most beloved physicians in Aspen — a description he shares gladly with his close friend, Harold Whitcomb, aka Dr. Whit. The stories of his generosity and caring would fill many books as he has extended the principles of the Hippocratic oath to every facet of his life.
My husband tells me he “got to go to college” because of Dr. Bob. While Aspen stories abound about the good doctor, not many know this one. Bob was serving as chief flight surgeon in the Air Force during the Korean War. He was appalled to discover that his wounded colleagues were not getting proper care and seemed to have been forgotten. He lobbied acquaintance General Curtis LeMay (who was unaware of the veterans’ plight) to assure that proper benefits were allocated by the government. As a result, the G.I. Bill was successfully carried through the U.S. Congress, and many veterans were deservedly rewarded.
Dr. Bob served for many years as a U.S. Ski Team doctor and has been inducted into the national, Colorado, and Aspen ski halls of fame. He holds other honors — too many to list. However, his personal sense of accomplishment comes not with recognition but with the pleasure of watching his handiwork give success to people’s lives.
– Georgia Hanson