Susan Amelia Eicher, M.D. passed away unexpectedly on May 1, 2023.
Daughter of William R. Eicher and Jeanette A. Eicher (nee Medick), Susan Amelia Eicher was born on September 21, 1962, in New Jersey. Following her early years in Wayne, New Jersey, Susan grew up in Houston, Texas, graduating co-valedictorian from Cypress Creek High School in 1980. A four-year letter winner in swimming at Rice University, she graduated, summa cum laude in 1984. She earned her medical degree with Highest Honors at Baylor College of Medicine in 1988 and was recognized for her outstanding academic achievement by being named the DeBakey Scholar, a singular honor for a member of her class.
Also in 1988, Susan married Mark A. Jenkins, M.D., in the chapel at Rice University. They were married for 23 years prior to their divorce in 2011.
Dr. Eicher completed her residency in General Surgery and Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at BCM and successfully finished a Head and Neck Surgical Oncology Fellowship at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center after which she joined the MDACC faculty in the Head and Neck Surgery Department as an Assistant Professor, eventually becoming chief of one of the head and neck surgical teams. In 2002, Susan returned to BCM as an Associate Professor in the Bobby R. Alford Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and became Chief of Service at Ben Taub Hospital in 2004. She served with distinction before stepping down in 2016, but she continued to supervise and teach students and residents until her early retirement in February 2023 precipitated by a devastating hand injury and medical issues that prevented her from being able to operate and care for patients.
Susan demonstrated an extraordinary personal commitment to the care of the indigent and was equally dedicated to medical education. She mentored numerous medical students and residents throughout her academic career and served as a role model for patient advocacy. Her career was cut short by unfortunate health issues that took away what she loved most, which was caring for patients with head and neck cancer, performing surgery, and working with students and residents at Ben Taub Hospital.
Apart from medicine, Susan had a passion for personal fitness and sports -- swimming, cycling, weightlifting, martial arts, and women’s professional football. In fact, she played for the Houston Energy in the early 2000s. She also devoted time to the San Jacinto Council of the Girl Scouts and raised generations of Labrador retrievers.
Susan is preceded in death by her parents, William R. and Jeanette A. Eicher, and brother William M. Eicher. Susan is survived by one brother, Jeff (Wendy) Eicher, and niece Amanda Eicher. Furthermore, she is survived by her beloved Labrador retrievers, Kelsey, Cleo, and Mikahla.
The family would like to thank her friends Lee Overstreet and Cheryl Smith for their devoted care, and Dr. Donald Donovan and Dr. Doug Appling for their enduring support.
Services will be held from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 13, 2023, at the Bradshaw-Carter Funeral Home, 1734 W. Alabama St., Houston, Texas 77098. A visitation will take place from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., followed by the funeral service at 2:00 p.m. Following the funeral service, a reception will be held until 4:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be directed to either to the Resident Education Fund in the Bobby R. Alford Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine at Resident Education Fund, the Banfield Foundation (https://www.banfieldfoundation.org), or the Houston SPCA (https://houstonspca.org/).
The family is being served by Bradshaw-Carter Memorial & Funeral Services of Houston, Texas.
To view a live stream of the service, please click on the link below, which will go live at 1:50 p.m. central time: