It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Dr. Eric W. Best on Friday, February 17, 2023. God completed his work of grace in Eric's life and now leads him into eternal life, light and happiness. Eric was born on June 28, 1932, in Beaufort, North Carolina to Lincoln R. and Doris Webster Best. His father was born in Parish Land, Christ Church, Barbados, British West Indies and his mother in Charleston, West Virginia. He is preceded in death by his parents and only brother, Dr. Robert "Bob" Best.
Dr. Best graduated from Columbia University (1953) and Albany Medical School (1957) in New York. He completed his Internship at Cleveland Metro General Hospital, Cleveland, Ohio and his Residency at Cleveland Metro General, Cleveland, Ohio and the Veterans Administration Hospital, Albuquerque, New Mexico. During this period, he also proudly served his country as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy stationed at El Toro Marine Base in California. Upon moving to Albuquerque, Dr. Best practiced Internal Medicine as a solo practitioner for approximately 40 years and subsequently worked as an Internist for Presbyterian Healthcare System, eventually retiring in 2000. Throughout his years of practice, Dr. Best was a well-known and highly-respected physician in Albuquerque and was listed as a "Top Doc" in the March 2006 issue of the Albuquerque Magazine.
He further served as President of the Albuquerque Medical Society; President of the New Mexico Society of Internal Medicine; Chairman of the Medical/Legal Panel New Mexico Medical Society; Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, University of New Mexico School of Medicine; Board Member, Physicians Mutual Insurance Company; and Board Member, Bernalillo County Medical Association. In 2003 Dr. Best received the Reverend Hugh Cooper Award for Outstanding Physician. After his official retirement, he continued to practice medicine on a contract basis while also enjoying his favorite sport of playing tennis with his buddies, Dr. Mark Berger and Dr. Kris Chong. Through the years their continued friendship and companionship was very, very special to him, especially their Saturday lunches.
Dr. Best is survived by Irene Garcia-Best, his companion and wife over a period of 43 years. He is also survived by his special and loving children, Roger, Wade and Tracy Best; ex-spouse Hannah Best and her loving partner, Sam Smith; cousin, Joyce White of Charleston WV; and extended family including Anna Luna, David and Ciera Luna, Lucy Garcia, Becky and Chris Horne, Jacob Horne, Sarah and Seth Philipp, and Emily and Grant Beltramo.
Eric's favorite saying when asked "How are you doing?" was "Tolerably Well." In faith we know he is doing even better now that he is with his loving Father in heaven.
During his career, Dr. Best served as a mentor to many young Docs starting out, as well as other medical-related personnel. He was described as a "Renaissance Man," so kind, considerate, mild mannered, thoughtful, compassionate, and loving. He will truly be missed by all that knew him, especially his wife Irene. He made all of us better by his presence.
A Memorial Service will be held Tuesday, March 7, 2023, 10:00 a.m., at St. Chad's Episcopal Church, 7171 Tennyson St. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87122.
In lieu of flowers a donation may be made, in his honor, to the Wake Forrest Historical Museum, 414 N Main St, Wake Forrest, NC 27587. Donations should be noted as a "designated donation" to enhance the awareness of Black History in Wake Forrest during the 1940-1950s.