Jack Ehrhardt has died

Posted on 06 Feb 2017 at 12:01pm

Jack Ehrhardt, 85, husband of former state Rep. Harryette Ehrhardt, died at home on Feb. 1. A memorial service will be held on Feb. 11.

A Professor Emeritus at UT Southwestern Medical School and past President of the Dallas Academy of Ophthalmology, Dr. Ehrhardt’s distinguished professional career spanned more than 30 years of private practice in East Dallas.

He attended Rice University and U. T. Southwestern Medical School, interned at John Peter Smith and joined the U.S. Air Force where he became a Captain. After his discharge, he received further training at Tulane University and Hermann Hospital and became a Fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

The obituary in the Dallas Morning News displays the Ehrhardt family’s wonderful sense of humor to describe their dedication to equality and civil rights as they raised their children at a time when there was little equality in Dallas.

Jack and Harryette creatively raised five children. They moved to the Woodrow Wilson School area so their children could attend what was then Dallas’ only naturally integrated high school. They purchased a “hippie commune” house on Swiss Avenue for less than the vacant lot next door (anticipating demolition for the expected high-rise). They restored it with help from family and extended family. The family also constructed their own lake house at Cedar Creek Lake.

The rare brain tumor and operation that ended his professional career robbed him of short-term memory, but left him with his great sense of humor and long-term memory including the ability to diagnose friends’ ailments and twice to leap into action and save lives. Jack’s loves included travel (to every continent); owls (a collection of 400 from grateful patients); scuba diving (and underwater photography); and chocolate (teasingly dubbed a “visitor’s toll”).

Swiss Avenue Halloween was his favorite holiday, watching 3,000 to 4,000 children brave the yard of tombstones for packets of candy including voter registration cards and reminders to vote.

Jack is survived by Harryette, his wife of 62 years, five children and extended family (Ginger Twichell and Sam Leake, Taffy Nelson and Scott, Lynn O’Neal M.D. and Mike, John Ehrhardt and Melissa, Katy Henderson, and Mike Twichell); 13 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren; and sister-in-law (Ralphana Barnes and Skip); and more than 30 nieces and nephews.

A memorial service celebrating his life will be held on Saturday, Feb. 11 at 3 p.m. at St. Matthew’s Cathedral, 5100 Ross Ave., and afterwards at the Ehrhardt home.

Jack donated his body to Southwestern for medical research. If so inclined, please consider honoring Jack with a gift to Dallas County Medical Society Alliance: Aldredge House, The Dallas Democratic Party or other inclusive effort.

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