Eric H.A. Whyte

Born in Greenfield, MA on June 8, 1951

Departed on December 24, 2018 and resided in Centennial, CO

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Dr. Eric Henry Archibald Whyte died on December 24th, 2018  at 3:06 p.m., due to advanced urothelial cancer. Eric is survived by his wife Michelle, daughters Acadia, Mateya, and Sadie, and his two sisters, Robin Reisman and Kristin Whyte.

Eric was born on June 8, 1951 in Greenfield, MA to James and Hilda Whyte. He attended Mount Hermon preparatory school and graduated in 1969 as a recipient of the school's prestigious Cambridge Prize, annually presented to the most outstanding senior. Eric attended Stanford University and Amherst College, from which he graduated in 1973. That fall, he joined the faculty at Northfield Mount Hermon for one year, before returning to Pittsfield to write for UpCountry magazine. In 1975, Eric’s father died from complications after a kidney transplant, which motivated Eric to apply for medical school on a mission to better the medical field with more compassionate and competent care than his father had received. He graduated from medical school at the University of California San Francisco and went on to complete a four-year residency in psychiatry at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.

Eric married Michelle Duff in 1986 and they had three daughters. Eric and Michelle worked at Bangor Mental Health Institute in Maine from 1987 to 1988.  Their daughter, Acadia, was born there.  All three, lived in a boat house in Sandy Point, on the Penobscot Bay.  From 1988 to 1993, Eric’s little family lived in Pueblo, Colorado. While Eric worked at the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo, his family grew by two, Mateya, and Sadie.  In 1993 Eric moved his family to Pine, Colorado, taking a position at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Eric spent the last few years of his career working at The Golden VA Outpatient Medical Center, until his health forced him into retirement in 2016. Eric's patient roster at the VA was greater than five hundred veterans. Upon his retirement, Eric was honored by his patients, many of whom believed Dr. Whyte had saved their lives.  During his junior year at Amherst, like his father, Eric was diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease. In 2001, when it had progressed to the point of being life threatening, Eric’s sister Robin, selflessly, donated her kidney, giving him a new lease on life for 17 more years.

It was, finally, cancer and its ill effects, that brought Eric down on Christmas Eve 2018. Eric died at home, surrounded by his wife and daughters.

Eric lived a selfless life, always giving much more than he took. He was a man of simple pleasures and humor. He was of the opinion that “the Cheerio is nature’s most nearly perfect food” and “there is always room for ice cream.”  He will be missed greatly by his family and friends, and the hundreds of patients whom he served.

In recognition of Dr. Eric Whyte’s devotion to his patients,  in lieu of flowers or sympathy cards, we ask that donations be made, in his name, to:

The Gary Sinise Foundation (www.garysinisefoundation.org)  and

Mission 22 (www.mission22.com)

Guestbook Entries

  1. You taught us all how to live a good life, Eric. I miss you and love you.

  2. Susan Moyle Lynch :

    The Whyte family was a very important part of my growing up time at Mount Hermon. I am grateful to still be in touch with Robin and Kristen, Eric’s sisters. What an event incredible, selfless and caring brother they had.

  3. Chris Cartwright :

    Eric was a classmate and briefly, a fellow faculty brat at NMH, although the brat moniker could not have been further from the truth. Eric always exhibited a quiet strength and competence, as well as a modesty that belied his profound spiritual depth and intelligence, already clearly apparent to all his friends at a very young age. I remember feeling a deep sense of loss when the Whytes moved away from NMH nearly 60 years ago, and I feel that same sense of loss today.

  4. James F Baldwin :

    Eric was my first best friend—my next-door neighbor at Northfield Mount Hermon School. Together with his sisters, Robin and Kristin, we were an inseparable crew—never more than a “Wee-o-weet!” away and thick as thieves in so many games until darkness (and our parents) called us in. Eric and I were two years apart in age, but very close in our love of sports, particularly baseball. Eric and I had an imaginary major league—he the American, I the National—which we shared both as backyard pitch-and-catch and, after he moved to Pittsfield, a long-distance correspondence. I am forever grateful for the companionship, good humor, and compassion that Eric demonstrated throughout his life. He taught me so much about being a friend and being human.

  5. Channing Harris :

    We overlapped for one year at Mount Hermon School, but I did not know him. But having looked him up in old yearbook and thinking back, I recall being aware of others’ respect for him. Condolences to family and his friends, including Chris Cartwright (who was a senior on my floor in Overtoun, with Al Dyson). Impressive life.

  6. So sad. He was a wonderful guy and MD.

  7. Janice and Wayne Buntin :

    Michelle, Acadia, Mateya and Sadie, we are so very sorry for the loss of your husband and father. What a wonderful life he lived. He will be greatly missed by many. Our thoughts, prayers and
    love are with you.

  8. Eric was a poker buddy and good friend. We spent many years playing cards once a month. That group became a support system for all of us. We will miss Eric’s sense humor and good will. He was the finest of men and I will miss him.

  9. Chuc & Rae Duff :

    We are missing Eric everyday. He was a loving husband to our daughter Michelle. We have three lovely granddaughters he and Michelle nurtured with wisdom, tenderness and love. While we are all missing him, his essence will be with his family . As he soared on earth, he is soaring now.

  10. Peace to you Eric.

  11. Growing up with Sadie and getting to spend every weekend at the Whyte’s was absolutely the best. Eric always had something funny to say, a supportive word when you needed it and was absolutely the most fun dad. He never questioned our motive for anything as kids, only laughed with us and lent a hand. He’d make chocolate chip pancakes and thought us how to “tuck the chips in”. He thought me the word “daft” and never failed to make us all smile. He let his house be my second home and I’ll never forget that. He is so missed. Thanks for being such a wonderful daddy, and such a good man.

  12. Sadie and family-so sorry to hear this news. The Whyte house was the place all the kids wanted to be, including my daughter (Ashley). Thank you Eric and Michelle for providing a safe, fun environment for all the kids to be just who they were. No pressure. Ashley loved hanging at your house and always had funny stories to tell about the locust devouring whatever breakfast Eric had made. Thinking of you all.

  13. Caitlin Kessel :

    It was such a gift to know you, hear your stories, care for you, and meet you family. My life has been touched by knowing you.

  14. Michelle L Whyte :

    Monica,
    Eric and I enjoyed Ashley as much as she enjoyed being at our home.
    I love the way you described our household. Thank you so much.

  15. COLLEEN KISSINGER :

    To Eric’s family, I loved working with Eric for years at the Denver VA. He was such a calming influence on patients and staff alike.
    Michelle, I remember visiting your home in Pine for a BBQ, and your beautiful daughters toting my little son around in a wagon. A happy, gentle family.
    Eric seemed like one of the most self-actualized men I’ve met. Compassionate with a keen wit. I know his loss will impact many people deeply.
    Peace to you all.

    • Michelle L Whyte :

      Colleen,
      Thank you for the way you have described Eric. I haven’t thought about self-actualization for a very long time. I agree with you, He was probably the most self-actualized person I have met, as well. Thank you for your kind words.
      Michelle Whyte

    • Michelle L Whyte :

      Colleen,
      Thank you for the lovely way you have described Eric. I have not thought about self-actualization in a long time. But you have a very good point. I have not met anyone that I would say was more self-actualized than Eric either.

      Michelle Whyte

  16. Kate VanDe Veere :

    Oh, I just learned yesterday that Eric has been gone from us since Christmas Eve. I know he was welcomed into heaven by choirs of angels on that Blessed Night. I shall never forget him nor cease my prayers for him. He was one of the truly, and relatively, few good men I have known in my life – and his many courtesies to me will never beforgotten.

    • Michelle L Whyte :

      Kate,
      I looked all over for you! I didn’t find you in time to invite you to Eric’s Celebration of Life. I am so sorry. I am pleased to connect with you here! I hope you are loving life and still wearing your Red Hat.
      Michelle whyte

  17. Michelle,
    I’m very sad to hear about Eric’s passing. He was an outstanding human being and I am grateful to have shared a bit of his life.
    I have thought about him often over the years and have a few photos you and your family might enjoy having.
    Kim

    • Michelle L Whyte :

      Oh, Kim!

      Thank you! Yes, I would be incredibly pleased to see and have the photos you mentioned. What a wonderful gift and at a time when I am missing Eric so, so much. Eric and I kept several photos of the years he spent with you. You had to have been the photographer who took one of my most favorite photos of Eric! We used it in his Celebration of Life Program. I would like to share it with you.
      Thank you for posting your message to me. Discovering it today, has warmed my heart.

      Michelle

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